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Graeme Tiffany - How have changing definitions of the state affected how we see, and how we 'do', youth participation work?


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Workshop on Participation of Young People in Civil Society
15-16 November 2013

Published in: News & Politics, Education
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Graeme Tiffany - How have changing definitions of the state affected how we see, and how we 'do', youth participation work?

  1. 1. How have changing definitions of the state affected how we see, and how we ‘do’, youth participation work? Can the philosophy and practice of Street Work ‘keep it real’?
  2. 2. ‚are there any non-governmental nongovernmental organisations any more?‛
  3. 3. An Astroturf campaign is a fake grassroots movement: it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Monbiot (2010)
  4. 4. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, doing one of the things she did best, speaking on the issues of the day on a street corner. In this case, she was part of the movement to keep the US out of the First World War. Speaking against the draft at the time was a federal crime.
  5. 5. ‘Trouble: youths on the streets’
  6. 6. ‚Nettoyage au Karchër le Racaille.‛
  7. 7. Street Active Citizen
  8. 8. “I’m off to do a Positive activity”
  9. 9. Prescribed: Pre-scribed
  10. 10. Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations, and serves as the foundation and logic of interventions made in the interest of public health and preventive medicine.
  11. 11. ‚The existence of the experimental method makes us think we have the means of solving the problems which trouble us...‛ Wittgenstein (1953: 232)
  12. 12. Numerical data has a power of explanation in the governance of education because it is based upon an esoteric and unknowable set of techniques for many in the field. Also, it operates by excluding the values, ideas and politics that interest many students of education. Making things countable is not purely a question of mathematics but of social purpose and of convention. When elites become weak, when politics is divided, and when system trust is low, then counting and comparison offer a way through the governing of systems, including education. Today, when the future can no longer be organised through meaningful projects by government, numerical data becomes a useful substitute for ideas. The Rise of Data in Education Systems: collection, visualisation and use. Ed. Martin Lawn Symposium Books 2013. p7
  13. 13. People living in these areas felt they were seen as the ‘lowest of the low’, and they resented how society seemed to moralise, blame them and attribute their problems to their own behaviours. Pearce (2010)
  14. 14. The eradication of social exclusion is not articulated via any vision of social justice which seeks to remove the structural constraints arising from the unequal distribution of socio-economic resources. Gray, 2005: 940
  15. 15. Community Worker > Community Development Worker > Community Education Worker > Community & Youth Worker > Youth & Community Worker > Youth Worker > Youth Support Worker > Targeted Youth Support Worker > Targeted Youth Support (Troubled Families) Worker
  16. 16. Conn
  17. 17. Ref. Pohl, A. Disadvantaged Urban Youth and Youth Work, IRIS e.V., Tübingen Youth Work Work Principle Activation agenda Participation Activation Meaning of citizenship Democratic rights and civic engagement Being part of workforce Aims Citizenship, Empowerment Employability, Adaptation Means Non-formal learning, Pressure & control of shared decision-making training and job search Motivation for activity Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation
  18. 18. Education is both an engagement between teacher and learner and an initiation into the conversation between the generations of mankind. Oakeshott, M. (1972) Education: The Engagement and its Frustration, in Dearden, R.F.., Hirst, P.H., and Peters, R.S. (eds.) Education and the Development of Reason, London: Routledge & Keegan Paul. Oakeshott, M. (1962) The voice of poetry in the conversation of mankind, Rationalism in Politics, London: Methuen.
  19. 19. Effective street-based youth work, which requires maximum ingenuity, flexibility and creativity, finds itself in tension with the time-limited funding regimes, audit culture and the outcomesled ethos which currently pervades the public services. Crimmens et al. 2004:78
  20. 20. ‚It is so important that teenagers are able to live elsewhere, in places where they can escape both family constraints and those of the systematic learning of rationale (school) … in truth, it is this participation in social life within frameworks that are relatively free from the family and school sphere that guarantees the gradual emergence of autonomy in adolescence.‛ Mérieu, P. (1992) ‘Mais comment peut-on être adolescent?, Le Ligueur, Bruxelles, le Octobre 2, 1992, pp. 1-5.
  21. 21. (Social) space is a (social) product [...] the space thus produced also serves as a tool of thought and of action [...] in addition to being a means of production it is also a means of control, and hence of domination, of power. Change life! Change Society! Lefebvre, H. (1991) The Social Production of Space, London: Blackwell.
  22. 22. Participation: The principle that those who will be substantially affected by decisions made by social and political institutions must be involved in the making of those decisions.
  23. 23. Youth Works guarantee • To treat you as an individual. • Your priorities will always come first. • To offer you choices and not make decisions for you. • You choose what's best for you. • To advocate for you and support your choices. • We will attend appointments with you if that's what you need. • To always have approachable staff on the streets at times when you can meet them. • You can see a member of staff almost immediately. • To always give you a say in how the service develops. • Your ideas are important to us, tell us how we can improve.
  24. 24. The practice actively seeks to tip balances of power in young people’s favour. Davies, B. (2005) ‘Youth work: a manifesto for our times’, Youth and Policy, No.88.
  25. 25. ‚The exercise of democracy begins as exercise, as walking around, becoming familiar with the streets, comfortable with strangers, able to imagine your own body as powerful and expressive, rather than a pawn. People who are at home in their civic space preserve the power to protest and revolt, whereas those who have been sequestered into private space do not.‛ Solnit, 2006
  26. 26. Democracia real YA
  27. 27. Web: