“ With some important exceptions, most social science literature about youth continues to be produced according to white, Western perceptions of reality, and Western traditions of social and cultural analysis …”
Council of youth ministers => 27.11.09 ‘on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field’
Welcomed with open arms by the youth field:
Young people are targeted as main priority
Youth work is recognised as important actor to contribute to objectives
But: investing in what and to which purposes?
Promoting their social and professional integration as an essential component to reach the objectives of Europe’s Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, at the same time as promoting personal fulfilment, social cohesion and active citizenship? A-historical?
It is of vital importance to enable all young women and men to make the best of their potential . This entails not only investing in youth, by putting in place greater resources to develop policy areas that affect young people in their daily lives and improve their well being, but also empowering youth by promoting their autonomy and the potential of young people to contribute to a sustainable development of society and to European values and goals.
A-political? A-pedagogical? A-theoretical? A-social? Good framework for youth work?
The foreign observer is struck by the great diversity of youth movements in Belgium, and, if he has been in the country before, by their immensely increased importance in national life since the recent war. (Picalausa & Vanderbruggen 1946)
Through governmental measures and through their own initiative , the leaders of the youth movements are now taking responsibility towards the needs of youth in this changed world: physical health and fitness, moral and character education, vocational guidance and apprenticeship, education toward family responsibility, an adequate civic education adapted to the technical and moral needs of democracy.
The youth movements are firmly decided to help solve all these problems by the influencing of the public opinion and of the government, by a co-operation with one another, by the extension of their action to the mass of youth , and by the complete and well-integrated education they aim to give to their members, alongside the family and the school, so as to enrich their personality and equip them to accomplish the great task of rebuilding their country and helping to make a better world.
‘ The most convincing reply to the charge that the youth organization is a redundant institution was that given by the boys and girls who were themselves members. Those adolescents who belonged to a society were definitely easier to come to terms with than the non-members. They were not only willing but able to talk, and they generally had something worth saying. And were not those youngsters who were active members a shade more reliable, a shade more open-handed than the rest?’ (Jephcott 1954, Smits & Elchardus 2004).
Tackling the problem of becoming accessible to non-organised or marginalised young people is now felt by al key players to be essential to increasing participation by young people (Commission of the European Communities 2006).
Working class young people? Vulnerable young people?