Sussex Doctoral Conference 2012

Jane Melvin

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Due to a lack of current studies relating to youth workers ‘ use of digital tools within their work with young people , the research focuses on where digital tools fit within the UK youth work curriculum, taking into account core values and underpinning philosophies such as empowerment, equality, participation and voluntary engagement.
    Drawing on both Dewey’s pragmatism and Vygotsky’s cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), that of “knowledge as something that is accessed and developed in joint work on a potentially shared object of activity” (Ellis, 2010: 97), the focus is on the interface of youth workers with young people as mediated by the use of tools or instruments.
    The research looks at the work of 10 youth workers working within the statutory and voluntary youth work sectors, chosen because they are already using digital media within their work. CHAT enables the researcher to look at the influences on a youth worker’s choice of digital tool, and how these might support or restrain the intended outputs and wider outcomes for young people. Often the tool is chosen for a specific purpose (output), for example to publicise events, but is then influenced by how young people and others interpret its use or engage with it. In this way, youth workers can construct meaning with and for young people, facilitating wider outcomes than originally planned.

    The research is not seeking to promote specific tools or ways of working, nor to state that digital media should be the tools of choice for youth workers. Rather it aims to contribute to current debate around the changing role of youth work, and to provide insight into the role of the digital youth worker and the inter-related systems and networks that they work within.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
    EventSussex Doctoral Conference 2012 - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Jan 2012 → …


    ConferenceSussex Doctoral Conference 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Period6/01/12 → …


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