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Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work$
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Mike Seal and Pete Harris

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447323099

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447323099.001.0001

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Rethinking some youth worker ‘tales’

Rethinking some youth worker ‘tales’

Chapter:
(p.137) Eight Rethinking some youth worker ‘tales’
Source:
Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work
Author(s):

Mike Seal

Pete Harris

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447323099.003.0009

This chapter begins by challenging workers to critically interrogate what the authors see as archetypal youth work ‘tales’. The authors highlight how some youth workers can over-privilege and idealise their own relationships with young people and need to be wary of over-identifying with them to such an extent that challenging their violent behaviour falls off the agenda. They also argue that youth workers need to develop greater conceptual clarity, especially around notions of respect and trust. With the former, for example, workers may need to make distinctions between earned, intrinsic respect, and respect that is based around fear. The chapter explores how workers might encourage young people to reflect on self-respect and how status is constructed in their community and culture, working on alternative attainable and sustainable ways to develop it. The authors then cast a critical eye over the relationships between youth workers and professionals from other agencies, arguing that youth workers should not develop a crab mentality towards these agencies but rather seek to present the distinctive, but not unique, contribution they can make.

Keywords:   youth work tales, over identification, trust, respect, crab mentality

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