Constructing the ideal youth recreation leader : A Foucault inspired analysis
Sammanfattning: Youth recreation centres in Sweden are significant venues for youth to engage in meaningful activities, as a way to counteract increased segregation and social tension. The professionals promoting young people’s social inclusion and fostering positive personal development in this context, are youth recreation leaders. Since young people’s informal learning is construed in relation to youth recreation centre attendance, a question of these leaders’ professionalism is actualized. What knowledge and competencies are needed - and valued as important - to be a ‘good’ youth recreation leader? The aim of this thesis is to explore how the youth recreation leader is shaped and governed through discourses on youth recreational work. How is the discourse shaped, and what kind of subjectivity emerges through it? Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concepts discourse, subjectivity, governmentality, and technologies of power and the self, the thesis analyses policy texts on youth recreation leader education and professional practice, as well as youth recreation leader educators’ talk about the youth recreation leader. The analysis illustrates how four subject positions emerge and are made possible through current discourses on youth recreational work - the democratic, relational, recreation-anchored, and reflective youth recreation leader. These subjectivities are enmeshed in power-relations through which they are fostered into governing themselves and others, i.e. the conduct of conduct. Government operates, for example, through students’ use of portfolios and personal reflection as confession.
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