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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Policy, politics and practice: work with young people

Coburn, Annette (2008) Policy, politics and practice: work with young people. In: Reclaiming Social Purpose in Community Education. University of Edinburgh, pp. 22-24.

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Abstract

This subtitle draws on Phil Mizen’s book, ‘The Changing State of Youth’ (Mizen, 2004) that examined how changing state interventions and perspectives have impacted on the lives of young people in contemporary British society. This short paper asserts that youth work has also changed to accommodate oppressive state policies, interventions and adverse perspectives. These have resulted in the emergence of a form of youth work that is about controlling and containing young people rather than empowering and liberating them. The paper is optimistic that challenging current constructions of youth through a dynamic educational youth work sector may alter the prevailing discourse and strengthen the possibilities inherent in young people’s democratic and human rights. As academics, we are well placed to mount this challenge through dialogue with the Scottish Government.