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(Re)Assembling Anti-Oppressive Practice Teachings in Youth and Community Work through Collective Biography (2)

Bowler, Rick; Green, Steph; Smith, Christine; Woolley, Liz


Rick Bowler

Steph Green

Liz Woolley


This article draws on research undertaken as part of a Collective Biography project generated by a group of activists and lecturers teaching and researching in youth and community work (YCW). Collective Biography (CB) is an approach to research in which participants work productively with memory and writing to generate collective action orientated analysis. The emphasis on collectivized approaches to CB work acts as a potential strategy to disrupt and resist the reproduction of power in academic knowledge-making practices and the impact of powerful policy discourses in practice. The article explores the current context and contemporary challenges for teaching anti-oppressive practice in UK based universities before briefly scoping out the methodology of CB. Extracts from a memory story are used as an example of the process of collective analysis generated through the process of CB in relation to racism, the role of anti-oppressive practice, and as the basis for YCW educators to think collectively about implications for teaching going forward. The article goes on to explore the role of concepts that were worked with as part of the CB process and considers the potential significance for teaching anti-oppressive practice in YCW. The article concludes by starting to scope out key considerations relating to the potential role of CB as a grass roots strategy to open spaces of possibility alongside young people and communities in reassembling the teaching of anti-oppressive practice in YCW.


Bowler, R., Green, S., Smith, C., & Woolley, L. (2021). (Re)Assembling Anti-Oppressive Practice Teachings in Youth and Community Work through Collective Biography (2). Education Sciences, 11(9), Article 497.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 3, 2021
Publication Date 2021-09
Deposit Date May 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Education Sciences
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 9
Article Number 497
Keywords Youth and community work; Social justice; Anti-oppressive practice; Collective biography; Agential cuts; Memory; Diffraction
Public URL
Additional Information This journal article was part of the special issue of Educating Informal Educators


Published article (233 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

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