What’s the story? Maynooth International Youth Studies Conference, Ireland

We encourage youth workers and youth studies folk to contribute ideas to the forthcoming Maynooth International Youth Studies conference, Ireland, 18-19th June, 2020, particularly as the focus this year is “narrative in youth work and youth studies”, which of course chimes with our own story-telling in youth work project. As the Maynooth conference organisers explain,

“Story and narrative (the terms are commonly used interchangeably) have equally come to the fore in youth work as a profession and a practice, as they have in other areas of ‘work with people’ (community development, education, social care and social work). They now commonly feature in accounts of face-to-face practice, in young people’s own creative actions and activisms, in evaluation studies and research reports, even in policy papers. In other words story and narrative are being found to have uses in describing and explaining what youth workers do and how they do it; what young people do in and through youth work; what its impact, benefits and outcomes are (i.e. what happens or changes as a result of youth work); what its nature and purpose is at the broader societal level and how it relates to other areas of policy and practice.

Despite this widespread use there is not always or necessarily agreement about what narrative (or story) is or what it ‘does’. That may be part of its usefulness and attractiveness. It is certainly a reason to come together to ask ‘What’s the Story?’, not in the expectation of arriving at an agreed answer but so as to enable a mutually enriching sharing of perspectives, experiences and insights.

Responses, in the form of paper presentations, panel discussions, facilitated conversations and dialogue, interactive workshops and other forms of storying are welcome.”

In the first instance an expression of interest (250-300 words) should be sent to: youthwork@mu.ie
Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 3 April 2020. Responses by: Friday 10 April 2020.


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