“I needed to go backwards before going forwards”: A psychosocial case study exploring the interweaving of desistance and professional youth worker identity formation.

Harris, Pete (2020) “I needed to go backwards before going forwards”: A psychosocial case study exploring the interweaving of desistance and professional youth worker identity formation. Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 13 (2). pp. 193-208. ISSN 1478-6737

[img] Text
NU0117.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 July 2021.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (905kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

This paper seeks to illuminate some implications of the promotion of men with their own history of violence as role models to young men involved in violence by exploring the interweaving of desistance and professional youth worker identity formation. It does this via an in-depth, longitudinal case study of a man (Mark) undergoing professional youth work training in the UK. It follows Mark for 5 years as he attempts to leave his violent offending as a football hooligan behind him and construct a new non-violent professional identity as a youth worker. A psychosocial reading of Mark’s story explores the psychic and social forces that drove his violent behaviour; how removing one-self permanently from violent social milieus can be difficult for men like Mark, and the challenges of moving into a professional youth worker role. I argue that the case study exemplifies how other trainee youth professionals like Mark may struggle to meet the demands inherent in professional roles such as youth work. If not given the time and space to “go backwards before going forwards” and build high levels of reflexive awareness, there is a risk that their practice may have limited desistance promoting potential and even that they may return to the more troubling aspects of their former selves. The paper concludes that training and continuing professional development regimes, when designed with men like Mark in mind, might benefit from the distinctive perspectives on violence, identity formation and desistance that psychosocial analysis can offer.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Journal of Psychosocial Studies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Harris, P. (2020) ‘”I needed to go backwards before going forwards”: A psychosocial case study exploring the interweaving of desistance and professional youth worker identity formation’, Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 13 (2), pp.193-208 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1332/147867320X15907719497742
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Social Science and Business
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2020 19:13
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2020 14:59
URI: https://newman.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17288

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item