This chapter examines the potential benefits of group life and association within youth work. In doing so Gill Patton looks briefly at the history of group work with its emphasis on voluntary associations and communities organising themselves for their own benefit. The encouragement of groups and associational life can be seen as a foundation for democratic ways of life and holds the potential for engaging with wider political processes. From there she turns to recent research highlighting individual and civic benefits of belonging to groups and then on to some practice issues.
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