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Communities for Social Change

Practicing Equality and Social Justice in Youth and Community Work


Annette Coburn and Sinéad Gormally

Communities for Social Change: Practicing Equality and Social Justice in Youth and Community Work examines core ideas of social justice and equality that underpin community and youth work. It informs understanding of a range of community concepts and practices that are used to identify practical skills and characteristics that can help to promote equality by challenging injustice. Working with people in different types of community can bring the kind of social change that makes a real and lasting difference. Although justice is a contested notion, Annette Coburn and Sinéad Gormally assert that it is closely interlinked with human rights and equality. A critical examination of contemporary literature draws on educational, sociological, and psychological perspectives, to set community practices within a context for learning that is conversational, critical and informal. Social justice is about identifying and seeking to address structural disadvantage, discrimination, and inequality. The authors assert that by refocusing on process, participation, and collective rights, it is possible to create and sustain social justice. Transformative research paradigms help to produce findings that inspire and underpin political social action, and an analysis of practice-based examples supports the promotion of increased critical consciousness. This makes Communities for Social Change a must-read for anyone studying or teaching community youth work or who is working in communities or with individuals who experience oppression or inequality. If you are committed to teaching and learning about theory and practice that promotes social change for equality and social justice, you will not be disappointed!

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Coburn, Annette, author. Gormally, Sinéad, author. Title: Communities for social change: practicing equality and social justice in youth and community work / Annette Coburn and Sinéad Gormally. Description: New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2017. Series: Counterpoints: studies in criticality; v. 483 | ISSN 1058-1634 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017015678 | ISBN 978-1-4331-2977-3 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-2976-6 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4440-0 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-4441-7 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4442-4 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Community education. | Community development. Youth—Counseling of. | Social justice. Classification: LCC LC1036 .C65 2017 | DDC 371.19—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11265

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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