• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Youth Workers - Agents of social change or agents of social control?"

Extracts from this document...


"Youth Workers - Agents of social change or agents of social control?" Are youth workers agents of social change or agents of social control? That is the question that I am hoping to answer in this piece. Here you will see an introduction and brief explanation of both social change and social control. I will be using quotes and information from various books and theorists. I hope to give you a brief history and definition of what youth work is. From reading the information on social change and social control, as well as what is said about youth work, I hope that you have a clear understanding of each. I will be arguing my points based on the three key policy reports. The Albemarle Report, the Milson-Fairbairn Report, and the Thompson Report. I will be making specific references to each report and arguing whether each report feels that youth workers are agents of social change or agents of social control. Finally I will be making my own conscious decision on whether I think that youth workers are agents of social change or agents of social control and I will be referring to the three reports to back up my decision. The debate about whether youth workers are agents of social change or social control is a very complex one. But first, what is social change and social control? Social control is the processes of informal social control and formal social control of deviant behaviour which falls beyond the bounds set by social norms. ...read more.


The very fact that the youth were described as upsetting the natural 'order' of things was very clear in that Albemarle wanted the youth workers to be agents of social control. The raw foundation for youth work was introduced in the Albemarle Report. The four principle recommendations really got the ball rolling. However, one of these recommendations states that the Minister of Education should take the steps to increase the exiting force of full time leaders. What this is saying is that youth workers should lead my force and not through understanding, empathy trust etc. This is summed up by the way that an army graduate was straight away qualified as a youth leader. That whole idea boils down to one simple aspect, discipline. If a young person is disciplined then it will fulfil the role that society expects from them. The argument above states that the Albemarle Report quite obviously veers towards youth workers being agents of social control, however, it recognises that a change is needed. A contrasting view comes from the Milson-Fairbairn Report. This report was sceptical of the extent to which community schools could represent the full range of community interests. The aim of the report reads, " It is the critical involvement of young people in a society which seeks to be compassionate and participant." (Lecture Pack). The report acknowledges that there have been significant changes since the Albemarle Report and there are still debates concerning many issues. ...read more.


His report is central to participation and citizenship. The participation coming from both the young people and the youth workers. After looking extensively at the three reports I don't believe that youth workers can be either 'just' agents of social control or 'just' agents of social change. I feel that at the beginning of youth work, yes, there was an added emphasis on youth workers being agents of social control, however, as time has progressed and the youth have grown and different generations have come through I feel that we have passed the stage of youth workers being agents of one or the other. There is an element of youth workers being agents of both. My argument for this is that there will always be expectations from society and there will always be a structure, however hidden it may be, but there is also the need to always try and meet the needs and expectations of the young people. It has been this diversity that has helped the youth service grow and become as big as it now is. The emphasis now is to try to help the young people to participate and have a more active role in society while acknowledging that there are expectations and rules and discipline to be followed. Finally, I feel that overall youth workers should be agents of social control AND agents of social change. This is to help the youth workers be as effective as possible and to facilitate the young people to the greatest of their ability. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Work section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Social Work essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Individual Development and Change

    3 star(s)

    Attachment provides the child with emotional security. Ainsworth et al. (1978) have delineated three styles of attachment: * Secure * Avoidant * Ambivalent In the United States of America and Britain, the ideal attachment is 'secure attachment'. Within different cultural settings attachment varies.

  2. Juvenile Delinquency

    Another major problem is human trafficking. In Latin America, the main reason for juvenile delinquency is linked to the problem of debt crisis in the region, evidenced by the extremely high unemployment rates prevailing within this group. Juvenile delinquency is particularly acute and is often associated with the problem of homelessness among children and adolescents.

  1. A Social Worker's role is described as being both an agent of social control ...

    It is important to remember that social work is a specialised career because every person the social worker works alongside will be different. The difference will be biological and social, self-perception and ethnicity. In recent years the areas of specialisation within the social work has increased greatly.

  2. Critically consider the argument for and against social work practice being based on research ...

    Sheldon argued the use of evidence based practice (EBP), should make practice more objective because as a scientist detaches himself from his object of investigation, EBP practitioners too will be able to do the same. The opponents of EBP argued that while there is a need for social work to

  1. Nepotism - research project

    people of his choice', first advise his two relatives to apply correctly? 2. Why, only after the matter had attracted public attention, had the MEC decided to exercise his prerogative? 3. How did a matter between three people attract the attention of the legislature?

  2. There is a conflict between current legislation and government policy on youth crime and ...

    Restorative justice came about by the Government white paper "No More Excuses" and follows a principle of the three R's; Responsibility, Restoration and Reintegration. One of the vital areas is to get offenders to engage with services and to come to terms with what they have done and face the

  1. Assessment is particularly important as it creates the foundations of a social workers work ...

    In many cases these systems are in place to benefit the agency more so than the service user. This form of gathering information can lead to alienating the service user being assessed and puts a lot of emphasis on the administrative side of social worker?s duties.

  2. To what extent is main stream sport an effective vehicle for contemporary youth work? ...

    The Princes Trust was founded in 1976 by the Prince of Wales after completing his duty in the royal navy. The trust runs support programmes to give young people practical and financial support need it most. The aim of the programmes is to encourage young people to take on responsibility

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work