“Autonomy through Dependency - Histories of co-operation, conflict and innovation in youth work”

8-10 June 2014 in Helsinki

The previous history conferences identified youth work through its positioning in the space between private (life worlds of youth) and public (society). There is shared understanding that the core identity of youth work must be about capacity to operate between private and public with a sufficient degree of autonomy - but definitely not without links to both private and public - hence the oxymorons (both features present but incompatible) autonomous dependency or dependent autonomy. This has proven to be a useful framework to understand the pursuit of identity of youth work, or to understand how easily youth work becomes an instrument to the ongoing political concerns.

The choice of “Autonomy Through Dependency: Histories of Cooperation, Conflict and Innovation in Youth Work” is intended to open up a space where both seemingly contradictory features of youth work might indeed coexist.