An investigation of Youth Work in Irish Youth Services

DORAN, Cormac (2016). An investigation of Youth Work in Irish Youth Services. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The aim of this project is to examine the extent to which youth work in Irish youth services pursues a social controlling function and to identify and examine types of power being deployed in the sector. The growth of youth services with paid, professional staff since the early 1990’s has seen the emergence of programmes for targeted young people (Scanlon et al 2010). Different in nature to historical, volunteer led youth work that focused on emancipating young people Lorenz (2009, p.8) identifies how contemporary targeted youth work “represents the interests of the system, which regards integration as an organisational task requiring structures, rational plans and utilitarian goals.” This study investigates youth work provision within a sample of Irish youth services. This sample is from a wide geographical range and consists of community based, independent and youth work organisation type youth services. Using an adaptation of Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz 2006) and Adaptive Theory (Layder 1998), perspectives of youth service managers and civil servants with responsibility for youth provision are explored. The research process is focused on two main areas: the extent to which provision of youth programmes within the sampled services fulfils a social controlling function and the identification and exploration of the role of various stakeholders in programmes. The project addresses the above foci by gathering data through interviews and using a three stage coding process to interpret data. Key theoretical tools are adapted and deployed in a pragmatic nature to suit the project. Theory emanating from Bronfrenbrenner’s Ecological System is used when presenting findings relating to various levels within the area of study with Bourdieu’s concepts of Field and Capital used to explore subjective data as opposed to traditional objective approaches. The result of this process is the creation of new knowledge regarding the role of programmes in youth services, the identification of agencies in the sector and their motivations for involvement in youth work programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Garland, Paul
Thesis advisor - Coldwell, Michael [0000-0002-7385-3077]
Thesis advisor - Morrison, Andrew [0000-0002-6700-6875]
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 15:57
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:08

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