All times are times of transition. Although it is possible to identify continuities within youth work, for example the focus on conversation and relationships, the need for relevance and the centrality of voluntary affiliation, social and political changes have unceasingly restructured the work since its beginnings in the early years of industrialisation. Unending adaptation will be a feature of practice in the decades to come, just as in the past. As society changes and the experiences of young people simultaneously alter, youth work must re-order itself to avoid marginalisation and irrelevance. For the informal educational core to endure it is always necessary for the periphery to be in a permanent state of flux.
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Mark K. Smith
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