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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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Our theoretical frame

Our theoretical frame

(p.27) Two Our theoretical frame
Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work

Mike Seal

Pete Harris

Policy Press

The authors set out their own distinctive analytical frame that combines elements of critical theory, psychosocial criminology and applied existential philosophy to produce a practical conceptual basis for work with the young people that youth workers will encounter on a daily basis. This involves the authors seeking to augment the existing youth work ‘canon’ with some key concepts from criminological thought, primarily around the study of desistance and masculinities. The authors seek to locate the criminological subject within a social context, whilst taking psychodynamic ideas of the “defended self” seriously, and existential philosophy which serves to foreground notions of self, choice and meaning within considerations of violent behaviour and desistance. These are then linked to what the authors see as 4 possible levels of meaningful response: personal/psychological, community/cultural, structural/symbolic and existential.

Keywords:   youth work, critical theory, psychosocial, existentialism pleasure, defended self

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