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youth work - research studies

There have been a number of substantial studies of youth work. Some of these are the result of major, funded, programmes, others are the result of research undertaken by individuals over a period of time. Here we focus on more recent material, and augmented it with some significant earlier works.

Butters, S. and Newell, S. (1978) Realities of Training. A review of the training of adults who volunteer to work with young people in the youth and community service, Leicester: National Youth Bureau. 282 pages. Important report that attempted to make significant links into social theory. Chapters deal with deining youth work; the social education repertoire; training agencies, provision, curriculum control and change, conflict in in curriculum making, training discourse, and external reproduction.

Davies, B. (1986) Threatening Youth. Towards a national youth policy, Milton Keynes: Open University Press. 167 + viii pages. Includes substantial sections on youth work provision - including a good inside view of the development of policy in the 1960s and 1970s.

Eggleston, J. (1975) Adolescence and Communty. The youth service in Britain, London: Edward Arnold. 253 + ix pages. This is a report on an a substantial research study into the organization and purpose of the youth and community service in England and Wales (commissioned by the DES in 1967 and completed in 1974). The research was organized at two levels. At the 'macro' level an attempt was made to look at youth organizations overall but with special attention to their structure, values and operation. This was supplemented by more detailed studies of a limited number of clubs and units an, in particular, the values and behaviours of their members, and their relationships with adults. Chapters deal with the structure and practice of the service; the design of the study; ideology and values; member's views of society; membership and participation; adult leadership; spheres of experimental activity; YVFF (Stoke on Trent) - a case study; and the future. There are appendices concerning the clubs, and the questionnaires used. The book provides a grounded insight into youth work in the early 1970s and argues for a fundamental reassessment of the scope and methods of the youth service. The all-providing service was seen as an anachronism, what was needed was the development of junior work, and of work with young people in community settings and in non-traditional (and often short-term) projects. It was a shame that more services and organizations didn't look more closely at its arguments. [Out of print].

Gillespie, N., Lovett, T. and Garner, W. (1992) Youth Work and Working Class Youth Culture. Rules and resistance in West Belfast, Buckingham: Open University Press. 208 + x pages. A bit of a mixture - but worth a dip. Chapters explore youth and youth cultures in West Belfast; the Shankill and Upper Springfield; the Youth Service in Northern Ireland; youth work in West Belfast; formal youth club participants; youth and youth sub-culture in the Shankill and working class youth in Ballymurphy.

Goetschius, G. W. and Tash, J. (1967) Working with Unattached Youth. Problem, Approach, Method, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 402 + xii pages. Classic project report that provides one of the most detailed accounts of detached youth work/ street work. It includes a full discussion of the project background, approach and methods and the implications for practice. The use of substantial extracts from workers' recordings allows the writers to develop a close appreciation of the nature of the work and the feelings involved. For my money, this is, by far, the best study of a UK youth work project. It grounds its analysis in specific events and experiences and seeks to develop a framework for practice. [Out of print].

Heath, S. B. and McLaughlin, M. W. (eds.) (1993) Identity and Inner-City Youth. Beyond ethnicity and gender, New York: Teachers College Press. 250 + vi pages. I have included this North American text as it is, arguably, the most important book on youth work to have appeared in the 1990s. The book draws on a substantial research programme and asks the question 'What do effective youth organizations offer inner-city youngsters that schools do not?'. The editors provide some useful orienting chapters and these are followed by studies of arts work; little leagues and scouting; street work and gangs; and the state of youth policy and youth organizations. What the studies bring out is the significance of the local - and the continuing importance of central youth work concerns such as enabling young people to build stable and consistent relationships with sympathetic adults. A populist version of the research, but written this time with much more of a child-saving orientation is McLaughlin, M. W., Irby, M. A. and Langman, J. (1994) Urban Sanctuaries: Neighbourhood organizations in the lives of futures of inner-city youth, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Holmes. J. (1981) Professionalisarion - amisleading myth? A study of the careers of ex-students of youth and community work courses in England and Wales from 1970 to 1978, Leicester: National Youth Bureau. 296 pages (A4). One of the few studies of youth workers with sections on the research project; professionalisation and its opponents; and the backgrounds of students.

Jeffs, A. J. (1979) Young People and the Youth Service, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 144 + ix pages. This book traces the early history of youth work and the 're-emergence' of the work following the Albemarle Report. Particular attention is paid to the emergence of school-based work and the possibilities of schools as sites for youth work. (one of the few substantial explorations in the literature). It was the first book since Eagar (1953) to properly engage with the historic origins of non-uniformed work - and set a standard for 'scholarly' treatments of the area. [Out of print].

Lakes, R. (1996) Youth Development and Critical Education. The promise of democratic action, New York: SUNY Press. 192 pages. This book 'profiles programs for economically disadvantaged, inner-city youth engaged in neighborhood revitalization and community organization programs'. The writer uses a field-based approach to review over two dozen youth development projects in non-school and after-school settings. The analyses of these programs examines how young people might achieve a level of economic and political self-determination and community control, as well as personal fulfillment coupled with healthy adolescent growth. Includes chapters on community economics, neighbourhood improvement, health and wellness, street arts, youth leadership, and intergenerational, faith-based community organizations as 'beacons of hope'. Also includes a listing of useful organizations.

Leigh, J. (1971) Young People and Leisure, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 205 + xiv pages. Important exploration undertaken as part of the North East Deerbyshire Project with chapters on education for leisure; the youth service; education in leisure time; the leisure organizations of some young adults (young farmers; 18+, the Underground, Release, BIT); young adults, work and leisure in Minton; the Moortown Project; and providing for the leisure of young adults. Argues for the need for existing facilities to be more readily available to people (on terms realistically related to local conditions); and the need for providers to explore the possibilities of non-institutional approaches.

Leigh, M. and Smart, A. (1985) Interpretation and Change. A history of the Enfranchisement Development Project, Leicester: National Youth Bureau. 144 + vi pages. The book is structured around a chronological account of the project's work that offered some interesting speculations about the (then) future direction of practice.

Marken, M. and Perrett, J.  (1998) England's Youth Service. The 1998 Audit, Leicester: National Youth Agency. Government-sponsored report that had a surprising 100 per cent response from local authorities. Examines spending, staffing, training arrangements, formal policies and 'partnerships'. Shows great variability of provision (although there are great problems comparing the different accounting systems).

Milson, F. (1970) Youth Work in the 1970s, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 141 + xiii pages. Significant text as the writer was joint chair of the committee that produced Youth and Community Work in the 1970s. This book provides a background review of the youth service, the rationale for youth work, the experience post-Albemarle and a discussion of gaps and growing points, goals and paths.

Ripley, N. and Canning, P. (1996) Personal and Social Educational Development in Youth Theatres, Birmingham: National Association of Youth Theatres. Report of research involving national surveys and case studies. claims to be the first detailed examination of the variety of youth theatres. Chapters deal with research methodology; the national picture; youth theatres in rural areas; youth theatres in peripheral estates; networks; and strategies for success.

Smith, M (1988) Developing Youth Work. Informal education, mutual aid and popular practice, Milton Keynes: Open University Press. 177 + xiii pages. Chapters examine the origins of youth work and the making of popular youth work; definition, tradition and change in youth work; the demise of the youth service; the notion of social education; informal education; and popular practice. There is a concern for forms of work that have been developed within local communities. [Out of print].

Smith, M. K. (1994) Local Education. Community, conversation, action, Buckingham: Open University Press. 192 + viii pages. Examines the work of community educators, youth workers and community workers. Has a locality focus. Includes chapters on being local; being an educator; engaging in conversation; organising the work; curriculum and direction; embedding practice; reflecting in action; and dialogue and praxis. For updates see the Local Education Workspace.

Stimson, C. (1948) Education After School, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 180 + vii pages. This book analyses a piece of work similar in form to the sort of street project described by Paneth (1944). The workers set up a club and social centre in a house in Liverpool during the Second World War. The first half provides an account of the project; the second examines the social and economic conditions facing the young people; their educational needs; the nature of their social groups; local services for young wage earners; and educational administration. Firmly locates the work in local communities and their institutions.

Ward, P. (1996) Growing Up Evangelical: youthwork and the making of a subculture, London: SPCK. 242 + x pages. Part one provides a history of youth work within the Christian church in Britain - with a special emphasis on the impact of evangelism upon the development of practice. Part two explores youth work and worship. Part three, 'safety and subculture' examines a 'subcultural approach to youthwork' and brings out some of the tensions within evangelical youthwork Pete Ward examines the tendency for evangelical youthwork to build an alternative subculture - and the possibility of fostering closed rather than open perspectives. He asks 'is evangelism essentially adolescent?' This book is important because of the way in which historical material is drawn together, and because of the questions raised for evangelical youthwork. Ward is, after all, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Adviser for Youth Ministry.

Wheway, R. and Millward, A. (1997) Child's Play: Facilitating play on housing estates, Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing. (Publications Section, Octavia Housing, Westwood Way, Coventry CV4 8JP). Report of a study conducted with Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Examines existing facilities on estates and the planning and development issues. Explores how play areas and other facilities can be designed in order to facilitate local, informal, supervsion. Also examines various play and youth work initiatives. For summary (Findings 217) go to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation page (click on Housing).

Awaiting annotation

Anderson, J. C. (1975) Participants in Part-time Youth Work Training, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Bagwell, P. (1987) Outcast London. A Christian response: The West London Mission of the Methodist Church 1887 - 1989, London, Epworth Press.

Barnes, L. J. (1945) Youth Service in an English County, London, King George's Jubilee Trust

Bone, M. and Ross, E. (1972) The Youth Service and Similar Provision for Young People, London, HMSO.

Butters, S. with Newell, S. (1978) Realities of Training, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Cammeron, C., Lush, A. and Meara, G. (1943) Disinherited Youth, Edinburgh, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.

Chivers, T. S. (1977) Which Way for Youth Workers?, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Collis, A, T. and Poole, V. E. (1950) These Our Children. An account of the home life and social environment of children in an industrial slum district based on observations and records of social workers who lived in the district, London, Victor Gollancz.

Council for Cultural Co-operation (1965) Leisure-time Facilities for Young People from 13 to 25 years of Age, Strasbourg, Council for Cultural Co-operation.

Dent, H. C. (1944) Education in Transition. A sociological analysis of the impact of war on English education, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. Ltd.

Garrett, B. (1986) 1000 Links. Youth activity in Croydon, Croydon, Croydon Guild of Voluntary Organisations.

Gillespie, N., Lovett, T. and Garner, W. (1992) Youth Work and Working Class Youth Culture. Rules and resistance in West Belfast, Buckingham, Open University Press.

Holmes, J. (1981) Professionalisation - a misleading myth, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Hyde, R. (1921) The Boy in Industry and Leisure, London, G. Bell and Sons.

ILEA (1984) The Youth Service. A Fair Deal for Girls?, London, Inner London Education Authority.

Jephcott, A. P. (1942) Girls Growing Up, London, Faber.

Jephcott, P. (1954) Some Young People. A study of adolescent boys and girls, London, George Allen and Unwin.

Jephcott, P. (1948) Rising Twenty, London, Faber and Faber.

Jephcott, P. (1967) A Time of One's Own. Leisure and young people, Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd.

Jordan, G. W. and Fisher, E. M. (1955) Self Portrait of Youth (or the Urban Adolescent), London, Heinemann.

King George's Jubilee Trust (1955) Citizens of To-morrow. A study of the influences affecting the upbringing of young people, London, Odhams.

King, A. (1986) Partnership in Youth Work. A Survey of Voluntary and Statutory Practice in Scotland, Edinburgh, SSCVYO.

Kinngsland, M., and Stead, D. with Dalby, K. (1989) Government Funding for Voluntary Youth Work, Leicester, National Council for Voluntary Youth Service.

Lam, R. (1982) Getting Together. A study of members of PHAB Clubs, London, NFER-Nelson.

Lowe, J. (1975) Youth Leadership. A survey of leaders, attitudes, training and work patterns, London, ILEA.

Lowe, J. (1973) The Managers. A survey of Youth Club management, London, ILEA.

Lush, A. J. (1941) The Young Adult, London,

Maychell, K., Pathak, S. and Cato, V. (1996) Providing for Young People. Local authority youth services in the 1990s, Slough, National Foundation for Educational Research.

Milburn, T., Clark, J., Forde, L., Fulton, K., Locke, A. and MacQuarrie, E. (1995) Curriculum Development in Youth Work. A report for the Scottish Office Education Department, Glasgow, University of Strathclyde.

Morgan, A. E. (1939) The Needs of Youth. A Report made to the King George's Jubilee Trust Fund, London, Oxford University Press.

Morgan, A. E. (1943) Young Citizen, Harmondsworth, Penguin.

Morse, M. (1965) The Unattached, Harmondsworth, Penguin.

National Youth Agency (1992) Youth Service Funding and Expenditure 1988-1992, Leicester, National Youth Agency.

NCVYS (1983) Partnership in the Youth Service. A survey of local authority policy and practice, Leicester, NCVYS.

Reed, B. H. (1950) Eighty Thousand Adolescents. A study of young people in the City of Birmingham by the staff and students of Westhill Training College, London, George Allen and Unwin.

Rooff, M. (1935) Youth and Leisure. A Survey of Girls Organisations in England and Wales, Edinburgh, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.

Russell, C. E. B. (1905) Manchester Boys, Sketches of Manchester Lads at Work and Play, Manchester, Neil Richardson (Reprint 1984).

Smith, D. I. (1979) Local Authority Expenditure on the Youth Service (1975-80) Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, D. I. (1980) Local Authority Expenditure on the Youth Service (1979/80 to 1980/81) Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, D. I. (1985) Expenditure on the Youth Service 1978 to 1983. A Consultative Document, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, D. I. (1985) Expenditure on the Youth Service 1978 to 1983. A Consultative Document, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, M. K. (1994) Local Education. Community, conversation, praxis, Buckingham, Open University Press.

Spencer, J. with Tuxfors, J. and Dennis, N. (1964) Stress and Release in an Urban Estate, London, Tavistock.

Stimson, C. (1948) Education After School, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Thomas, M. and Perry, J. (1975) National Voluntary Youth Organisations, London, Political and Economic Planning.

Urwick, E. J. (ed.) (1904) Studies of Boy Life in our Cities, London, Dent.

Venables, E. (1971) Teachers and Youth Workers: a study of their roles. The report of a research project undertaken for the Schools Council, London, Evans/Methuen.

Watts, J. R. and Whitworth, T. A. (1968) The Professional Youth Leader's View of his Career and Role, Bradford, University of Bradford, Department of Educational Research.

Baker, J. (1996) The Fourth Partner: Participant or consumer?, Leicester, Youth Work Press

Burton, H. M. (1943) The Education of the Countryman, London, Kegan Paul, trench and Trubner.

Carnegie Trust (1996) The Carnegie Young People Initiative: Years of decision, Leicester, Youth Work Press.

Flynn, F. T. et al (1956) Some Impressions of Social Services in Great Britain, London, United States Educational Commission in the United Kingdom.

Kuenstler, P. H. K. (1953) Voluntary Youth Leaders, University of Bristol Institute of Education Publications 5, London, University of London Press.

Kuenstler, P. H. K. (ed.) (1955) Spontaneous Youth Groups, University of Bristol Institute of Education Publications 8, London, University of London Press.

Linell, J. (1988) Power and Delivery. The role of the area officer in local authorities, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Robinson, M. C. (1963) Girls in the Nineteen Sixties, London, National Association of Youth Clubs.

Rogers, A. (1988) At Full Stretch. The tasks of the full-time worker in local authorities, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, D. I. (1989) Taking Shape. Developments in Youth Service policy and provision, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, D. I. (1987) Reshaping the Youth Service. Policy developments following the Thompson Report, Leicester, National Youth Bureau.

Smith, N. (1984) Youth Service Provision for Girls and Young Women, Leicester, National Association of Youth Clubs

Stead, D. (1992) Facing the Facts. The future delivery of local youth services, Leicester, National Youth Agency.

Watson, W. (1962) Social and Pastoral Aspects of the Youth Service in Britain, Munich, UNESCO Youth Institute.

© Mark K. Smith. First published July 1996.