Youth Work with Boys and Young Men as a Means to Prevent Violence in Everyday Life

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This publication is intended as an awareness-raising report, and as such poses a couple of immediate questions. Whose awareness is in focus, and awareness of what exactly? To deal with the first part first, it would seem as if young men and violence are rarely out of a certain kind of awareness. As I wrote this report, I became conscious of the news stories that constantly featured in my chosen channels and newspapers; a tense public discussion of immigrant youth in urban France and proposed new criminal legislation, ongoing concerns in Irish cities arising from increased alcohol abuse and violence among young people during a prolonged period of economic boom, and the spectre of fan violence returning to football stadiums in the UK. And beyond the news headlines, engaging with these issues over a sustained period of time re-directed my eye to images and representations that had become to a large extent taken-for-granted. In these contexts known to me, young men are regularly discussed in the public sphere as a category, and any cross-section of the images that swirl around many contemporary societies propose particular relationships between men and violence, masculinity and action. Prevalence and visibility then is clearly not the same as awareness. Violence is all around; while I have mentioned only mediated experiences, many of the people who gathered in Budapest for this seminar know only too well the realities of violence as victim and perpetrator. This seminar aimed to explore the dimensions of young men's involvement in violence, the reasons and factors that motivate it, and the actuality of many young men as not just actual or potential perpetrators of violence, but as victims of many types of violence themselves.


Gavan Titley

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