The voices of grassroots youth workers are rarely heard in policy, research or public debate. This book paints a picture of passionate practitioners who build meaningful relationships with marginalised young people, at a time when their practice is threatened by spending cuts, target cultures and market imperatives.
Written by an experienced youth worker, this engaging book uses interviews, dialogue and research diary excerpts to bring youth work practice and theory to life. Offering perspectives not found elsewhere in the literature, it will interest researchers and practitioners in youth and community work, education, social work, and health and social care. Its rich, empirical research will resonate internationally.
"Essential reading for youth workers and other creative and critical thinkers who are looking for the cracks where life can still break up and break through the grids of control." Janet Batsleer, Manchester Metropolitan University
"written with an engaging freshness, honesty and vigour...Tania de St Croix has written the best book on youth work since Mark K. Smith’s seminal Creators not Consumers, published in 1980." Youth & Policy
"An excellent resource for youthwork practitioners, capturing the difficult climate for youth work." Jess Bishop, Coventry University
“An in-depth look at the devastating impacts of neoliberal reform policies on youth services and youth work that illuminates the dedication and passion of youth workers against the backdrop of a dehumanizing work environment.” Dana Fusco, York College USA
"The book is essential reading for anyone in the youth work sector in England, and recommendations are included which appear most useful to organisations delivering youth work. The passion of the youth workers involved is inspiring while the situation in which many find themselves should act as a warning to international readers." Chris Martin, University of Leicester
"A motivational and inspiring insight into the experiences of part-time and volunteer youth workers, providing an opportunity to hear their voices within policy and practice" Emma Chivers, University of South Wales
Dr. Tania de St Croix has been a youth worker for over twenty years, and is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Youth and Childhood at King's College London. She is active in Voice of Youth, a youth workers' co-operative, and In Defence of Youth Work, a campaign for critical, democratic and emancipatory youth work practice. Tania has written several widely-read articles and book chapters on youth work practice and policy.
The marketisation of youth work;
Target cultures and performativity;
Surveillance on the street;
Reclaiming and reimagining youth work;
Afterword: Research methodology
Appendix: Research participants.