Management guru Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Graeme Tiffany - How have changing definitions of the state affected how we see, and how we 'do', youth participation work?
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’?
‚are there any non-governmental nongovernmental organisations any more?‛
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) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/25/tea-party-koch-brothers
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.
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.
‚The existence of the experimental method
makes us think we have the means of solving
the problems which trouble us...‛
Wittgenstein (1953: 232)
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
The Rise of Data in Education Systems: collection, visualisation and
use. Ed. Martin Lawn Symposium Books 2013. p7
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.
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
Gray, 2005: 940
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
Ref. Pohl, A.
Disadvantaged Urban Youth and Youth Work,
IRIS e.V., Tübingen www.iris-egris.de
Meaning of citizenship Democratic rights
and civic engagement
Being part of workforce
Pressure & control of
shared decision-making training and job search
Motivation for activity
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.
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
Crimmens et al. 2004:78
‚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.
(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,
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.
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
• 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
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.
‚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.‛