n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Ideologies and theories for youth practice work




There are many youth workers who continue to design their interventions without any theoretical basis, despite a long history of youth work as a field of practice. The aim of this article is to present selected ideologies and theoretical frameworks underpinning youth work practice. These ideologies and theories, although predominantly borrowed from other disciplines, provide insight on how youth work should be practised.

Based on a thorough literature review, the authors have selected different theories and ideologies that youth workers, like other professionals, are expected to know, understand and to adapt to youth work practice. These theories are important and would serve as theoretical frameworks on which youth work interventions will be based and, thereby, provide youth workers with the means to predict and analyse the situations of young people from different viewpoints to enable the development of different strategies to address relevant problems.
The article concludes that theories and ideologies should be used as reference points, and youth workers mix and match different theories and ideologies depending on the nature of problem they are addressing at that particular time.


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