If researchers are sympathetic to the view that young people take an active part in creating their histories, they have to be vigilant to not only what young people say, but also to the resources they employ in constructing their narratives. This paper considers the implications of former service users of a youth work organisation unexpectedly employing objects on display in the organisation’s meeting room to tell stories of transformative youth work encounters. These objects were pictures of young people receiving a civic award and candles co-created by young people and youth workers. The paper explores the practical and symbolic functions of these objects in the lives of young people. The paper also considers how a meeting room changes its meaning as a result of social professionals displaying service user related objects. Specifically, the meeting room may become a kind of liminal place where young people can reflect on their past, present and future lives. The paper concludes by reflecting on the choices which social professionals can make in an era of austerity to create an evocative sense of place for service users.
"Objects, Places and Stories of Transformative Youth Work,"
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijass/vol17/iss1/3