Policy, politics and practice: work with young people

Annette Coburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


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
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReclaiming Social Purpose in Community Education
Subtitle of host publicationThe Edinburgh Papers 2008
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • community groups
  • community education
  • young people

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