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At the heart of Newman University’s values and ethos lies a commitment to the principles of social justice and the common good. The core purpose of this interdisciplinary Centre for Community and Social Justice, therefore, is to bring together diverse communities to think critically about relations of power, social inequities and injustices in order to create a more inclusive, equal and democratic society. The Centre encourages external communities and organisations to join academic staff and students to research collaboratively and to disseminate knowledge in order to combat social injustices for the wider social good.

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In this article, Pete Harris considers the need for a psycho-social approach in the forms of youth work that employ ex-offenders as role models with young people involved in violence. Harris recognises the potential of this form of youth work practice but emphasises a need for professional training and supervision that draws on reflexive processes for the worker. He argues that psychodynamic approaches are useful in the training and supervision for this form of youth work.

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This article argues that psychosocial theory can enhance understanding of intersubjective dynamics between workers and young people involved in crime and violence. After introducing some conceptual tools from psychoanalysis and post-structural theory, a case study follows a worker’s efforts to bring about a young man’s desistance (including the worker’s use of self-disclosure) and how this is stymied by systemic failings in a homeless hostel in the UK. The article concludes that professional work in services targeted at young people with multiple support needs requires a deep sensibility to intersubjective and unconscious dynamics within professional relationships and organisations.

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This article explores late modern Black and Muslim young men’s and women’s experiences of higher education. Carrying out qualitative research with 14 male and female young people, these students claimed that their Youth and Community Work course at their university made available an alternative representational space, enabling them to develop a major transformation of their sense of identity and self. In deploying the term pedagogical self, we are attempting to capture their naming pedagogy as central, in their terms, to the ‘reinvention of their selves’. We conclude by suggesting that our research participants’ narratives are located within an exploration of late modern identity and the self in higher education. In turn, this enables us to reflect on a generational shift in meanings around racialisation and difference in thinking about the future of higher education in Britain.

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The main argument in this article is that the rationale for the state’s growing interest in children (in particular those children who are considered a social problem) and the emerging social policy solutions, i.e., foster care, are driven by particular political and economic agendas which have historically paid little attention to the needs of these children and young people. This article explores the relationship between the state, the child and their family and the drivers for this transformation in children’s public care making use of a genealogical approach to identify the key social, political and historical factors, which have provided the context for this change. It examines the increasing interest of the state in the lives of children and families and the associated motivation for the emerging objectification of children.

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This book draws on the findings of a two-year European research project to offer answers to the ‘problem’ of how to respond to violence involving young people that continues to challenge youth workers and policy makers.

‘Responding to violence through youth work’ combines elements of critical theory, psychosocial criminology and applied existential philosophy to present a new model for responding meaningfully and effectively to these issues, demonstrated through a series of case studies and insider accounts generated through peer research.

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