Aristotle’s Phronesis and Youth Work: Beyond Instrumentality

Ord, Jon (2014) Aristotle’s Phronesis and Youth Work: Beyond Instrumentality. Youth & Policy (112). pp. 56-73. ISSN 0262-9798

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This paper attempts to address some of the fundamental problems which underlie current attempts to bring youth work to account. Firstly it is argued that the accountability agenda with its emphasis upon outcomes and outputs misunderstands the process by which they emerge. Rather than youth work being portrayed as a linear process it will be proposed that there is an indirect ‘incidental’ relationship between what youth workers do and the outcomes that emerge out of a process of engagement; such that simplistic accountability measures are inadequate. Secondly it is argued that given the essentially ‘moral’ nature of youth work interventions and the resulting outcomes, ie. whether their decisions and actions enable young people to live ‘good’ lives. We need to develop a methodology for youth work evaluation which reflects this. It will be suggested that much can be gained from an application of Aristotle’s concept of Phronesis, not least because of the importance placed on ‘context’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue containing article is available open access through the link provided.
Keywords: Youth Work, Phronesis, Outcomes, Process, Context
Divisions: Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Alice Primmer
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 11:37
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2020 15:25

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