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bernard davies

Over the next few months we will be publishing a number of seminal pieces by Bernard Davies.  

Bernard Davies in 1983Bernard Davies is a, perhaps the, key figure in the development of thinking about youth work in Britain in the last forty years of the twentieth century. His work, initially with Alan Gibson, was central to social education becoming a defining feature of youth work in the 1960s and 1970s. He made a significant contribution to thinking about groupwork (from an interactional perspective) and, in a series of books, pamphlets and articles, made a lasting contribution to our appreciation of youth work as area of social policy. His recent historical analysis of youth work has continued his seminal contribution and allowed workers to develop a more critical social and historical understanding of practice. 

links: Bernard Davies, social education and youth work

Bernard Davies (1976) Part-time youth work in an industrial community. Subtitled 'an analysis of some underlying assumptions and theoretical and political implications', this booklet provides a wonderful exploration of youth work - and the impact it had upon its practitioners. It reveals youth work as a deeply personal and political experience and practice.

Bernard Davies (1979) In Whose Interests: from social education to social and life skills training. This landmark pamphlet was the first sustained exploration of the impact of the state concern with skilling (and associated currents) on youth work in England and Wales. It provides a significant insight into the drift/shift into narrow outcome focus of the Connexions strategy and Youth Matters, and the reason why many state-sponsored services and agencies found it so easy to fall in line with state requirements.

Bernard Davies (2005) Threatening Youth revisited - youth polices under New Labour. Bernard Davies revisits Threatening Youth and its thesis that during the late 1970s and 1980s ‘a coherent and centrally controlled youth policy’ had ’gradually but in many respects knowingly been developed. He concludes that the original aim remained relevant and indeed that it and the commitments to human rights and civil liberties on which the analysis rested need more than ever to be asserted and defended.