Cycling between home and university, I travel through the neighbourhood where I am a youth worker. Has youth work become a place that I’m only passing through on my research journey? The metaphor is perhaps too obvious, but there might be something in it. Most researchers get closer to the world they are studying while they’re doing field work, whereas for me, doing a PhD has also meant the opposite: a subtle loss, a slow pulling away. I still feel like a youth worker, but I am less immersed in the practice than I was two years ago, and feel guilty about it. Then, I feel guilty that I’m spending too much time doing youth work when I could be studying. Paradoxically, I am drawing on my youth work identity ...
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