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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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Responding at the community (C) level

Responding at the community (C) level

(p.91) Five Responding at the community (C) level
Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work

Mike Seal

Pete Harris

Policy Press

This chapter explores how the community can become a part of a culture of violence, both resisting and exacerbating it. Members of the community have mixed feelings about whether to escape from, or try to work with, the violence in their communities. The authors demonstrate how the concept of ‘learned helplessness’ may be useful to explain the ‘habitus’ of some communities around violence and argue that initiatives aimed at preventing violence should focus on developing community self-efficacy and self-belief. Workers need to help communities explore their understanding of violence and the part it plays in their culture. The authors introduce the notion of home-grown workers as valuable assets within youth and community work and debate the pros and cons of such worker identities. The authors discuss the challenges inherent in multi-agency work, illustrating the need for other agencies to understand that there is a need for youth workers to professionally distance themselves from some aspects of partnership working where it facilitates the development and maintenance of relationships with young people involved in violence.

Keywords:   community, habitus, learned helplessness, ethnopraxis, home grown workers, multi-agency work

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