‘Befriend them but not be their friend’: negotiations of youth practice in a digital age

Jaynes, Victoria (2019) ‘Befriend them but not be their friend’: negotiations of youth practice in a digital age. Journal of Youth Studies. ISSN 1367-6261

[img] PDF (This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Youth Studies on 26/03/2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676261.2019.1592131) - Accepted Version
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‘You’ve gotta befriend them but not be their friend’ is how one youth worker thoughtfully described the secret to successful youth practice. This paper draws on experiences of youth workers in the United Kingdom to consider how the growth of digital technologies comes to be negotiated and articulated in professional practice. Situating these experiences alongside young people’s accounts, this article highlights a distinction between young people’s relationship with the digital and adult perceptions of youth and technology. The aim of this paper is to consider what factors contribute towards this divide and where adult perceptions come from, if not from the experiences of young people themselves. The article then goes on to discuss the potential consequences of the presence of technology and discourses surrounding the digital for youth worker’s engagements with young people in professional practice. Overall, this article argues for the enduring relevance of youth workers and physical youth centres in a digital age and joins several scholars in critiquing the chronic under-investment in youth workers and provision in the UK and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 10:24
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2020 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82913

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