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YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY

YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Martin Mulholland. Originally submitted for BSc (hons) Community Youth Work at University of Ulster, with lecturer Susan Morgan in the category of Social Studies
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Martin Mulholland. Originally submitted for BSc (hons) Community Youth Work at University of Ulster, with lecturer Susan Morgan in the category of Social Studies

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
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 YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY 
Abstract
 As a professional youth worker, especially here in Northern Ireland, I will work in many types of communities centered around division of one sort or another. The ‘Troubles’ may be over, butthe tensions within communities will always be a factor in the day-to-day work undertaken byas the professionally graduated youth worker.I got to investigate more about the community I live and work in and how as members of society we all carry some sort of prejudices towards our ‘neighbour’. Looking at how easy it isto hold onto these stereotypes and how well we really know the person behind the thought.The question set was… ‘We carry prejudices and stereotypes about many different groups. Theless familiar we are with a particular group, the easier it is to carry a stereotype. Discuss thisstatement in relation to minority ethnic communities in Northern Ireland drawing from theoryand research. Conclude with the relevance to Community Youth Work practice.’ I began with, as you do with any assignment, with an introduction on how this statement couldor could not be true, taking into account how as members of society and community, wesometime, in fact more often than not, judge people on the ‘colour of their skin, their languageand accents, to what you have heard or seen either in the mass media, from family or friendsor from a past experience with another member of whatever the particular group may be’  Also in the introduction, I questioned the fact that we all have stereotypes, even when we saywe might not or that we are open minded and accept everyone for who they are.In the following section, I investigated more and asked myself the question ‘What do theseterms really mean, stereotypes and prejudices?’ And sought to develop my understanding and
 
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 YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY 
learning curve with this section and what the terms really mean. And I also discovered thatthey can be positive as well as negative, something that before this assignment, I personallyhad never thought about.The following section, looked at the term ‘Racist’ and what it means to be a person who wouldfall under this category. This led onto looking at the ethnic groups that would be in NorthernIreland and backing up research with published documents such as the ‘Section 75 of theNorthern Ireland Act 1998’ and how this “placed a statutory obligation on public authorities incarrying out their various functions relating to Northern Ireland, to have regard to the need topromote equality of opportunity…” I finished this off with looking how relevant this was to Community Youth Work, and in theconclusion how ‘It is a wide topic of discussion and it is evident that although there is somework taking place, a lot more work will have to happen, and we as youth workers should be atthe forefront about educating others, as well as ourselves, on the many different groups thatare present in our communities and society.’ 
YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY ASSIGNMENT
 
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 YOUTH WORK IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY 
We carry prejudices and stereotypes about many different groups. The lessfamiliar we are with a particular group, the easier it is to carry a stereotype.Discuss this statement in relation to minority ethnic communities in NorthernIreland drawing from theory and research.Conclude with the relevance to Community Youth Work practice.(3000-3500 words)------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Introduction
It is easy to assume what a person is like by just looking at them, taking into accountmany different factors to come to a conclusion in your own mind who that person is.Things like the fashion they decide to wear can give you a thinking that you know thisperson, but when it comes to ethnic communities, it is often many things that gives usthoughts on who this person or group is from the colour of their skin, their languageand accents, to what you have heard or seen either in the mass media, from family orfriends or from a past experience with another member of whatever the particulargroup may be. Almost everyone, if not everyone, has some prejudices and stereotype thoughtstowards a certain group, even if we say we don’t, to others or ourselves. But is it truethat the less we know about or familiar with a particular group, the easier it is to carry astereotype or a prejudice or do other factors come into play? With the world being a ‘small place’, do we still have small minds?This assignment will answer this question and others that might arise from looking intothis topic, using evidence, research and theory and how relevant it is to the work we doas youth workers, and the practice that may, or may not take place. Also firstly lookingat the definitions of Stereotypes and Prejudices and then the background to what is aminority ethnic group and which of these communities are in Northern Ireland.
Prejudices and Stereotypes

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