A Genealogy of Youth Work’s Languages: Shapers

  • Allan Clyne PhD student at the University of Strathclyde


In this article I return to the work Bright (2015), Dawes (1975), Eagar (1953), Percival (1951), and Springhall (1977); to youth work’s second generation, born in or after 1856. I have named them youth work’s shapers: who translated youth work’s foundational Christian language beyond its initial tongue. Before providing a short biographical summary of these shapers I give a description of the most significant translations in youth work language; the move from its original Christian language into mono-theism and then into providential deism. I have called these, minor translations. Minor translations occur when a language’s motifs remain the same: ‘God’, ‘religion’, ‘spiritual’, ‘salvation’, ‘belief’, ‘worship’ but their application changes. The understanding of God, for example, extends beyond a Christian understanding, to an identifiable acknowledgement of a ‘deity’. Similarly, there remains a commitment to faith, but what faith means changes. I go on to show the nature of these translations before concluding that, despite these changes, youth work maintained differing forms of its foundational Christian language.

How to Cite
Clyne, A. (2017) “A Genealogy of Youth Work’s Languages: Shapers”, Concept, 8(2), p. 15. Available at: http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2462 (Accessed: 28February2021).