Sacred Building, Secular Club

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Sacred Building, Secular Club. Understanding the youth club as a contested space. Overview. Describe the history and present situation at a youth café attached to a church Consider the youth café as a ‘contested space’. Methodology. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Sacred Building, Secular Club

Sacred Building, Secular ClubUnderstanding the youth club as a contested space.Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubPeter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubOverviewDescribe the history and present situation at a youth caf attached to a churchConsider the youth caf as a contested space

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubMethodology4 organisations: Church, Church-based youth caf, Community centre, Local Authority centre.Ethnographic study:~90 observations~8 focus groups with young people~25 interviews with youth workers and managersPart of a wider PhD considering how professional boundaries are negotiated between workers and young people in practice.

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubSacred Building?Opened 2003 with EU funding.Attached to a Baptist church (literally).Evangelical church. Implicit evangelistic aims.The hope of discipleshipDifferences between formal, espoused and operant theology (Cameron et al. 2010, Gallagher 2005). Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubSecular club?Current workers are not practicing Christians.Typical cycle followed:

(For example, Goode 2006)Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubConflictYoure only here because youre a ChristianThey dont care about the kids. They just care about the building and the billsThey want Christian workers, but you cant get funding for thatThis isnt how it was supposed to be. This is a place of discipleshipIf we get a playstation, they cant use it. Theyll break it[The youth workers] are lone rangersIf we cant use the playstation, Ill put a cover on the pool tableChurch members and leadersYouth workers, management committee, and young peoplePeter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubPeter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubContest spacesSchmelzkopf (1995) & New York Community Gardens, and Valentine (2001):Differing ideologies on the purpose of the space.Negotiations over resources and threats of the removal of privileges.Conflict over control.Removal of groups of people from the space.Spaces of apprehension and insecurity.Aesthetics mirror uncertainty and fear.

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubYouth caf as a contested space?Differing ideologies on the purpose of the space.Negotiations over resources and threats of the removal of privileges.Conflict over control.

Removal of groups of people from the space.Spaces of apprehension and insecurity.Aesthetics mirror uncertainty and fear.

A space for young people to drop in versus a space of active discipleship and evangelismTension over use of shared resources. Some groups of young people prevented from using church resources.Conflict over who applies for funding and who attends funding meetings.Church members and leaders having greater sanctions than youth workers.Lack of funding, very low numbers of young people.Badly maintained building, broken equipment and resources.

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubConclusionIs the youth caf best conceived of as a contested space?Yes.What are the implications of this on the youth club and the young people?Not sure but it seems an important stage in, or possibly cause of, the process of movement from church ownership to estrangement in community projects.

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubReferencesCameron, H, Bhatti, D, Duce, C, Sweeney, J and Watkins, C (2010) Talking about God in Practice Norwich: SCM pressGallagher, S. K. (2005) 'Building Traditions: Comparing Space, Ritual, and Community in Three Congregations', Review of Religious Research, 47(1), 70-85.Goode, J. (2006) 'Faith-based organizations in Philadelphia: Neoliberal ideology and the decline of political activism', Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, 203-236Schmelzkopf, K. (1995) 'Urban community gardens as contested space', Geographical Review, 85(3), 364-381Valentine, G. (2001) Social geographies: space and society, Pearson College Division

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubSacred Building, Secular Club:

Understanding the youth club as a contested space.

Peter.hart@dur.ac.uk

www.dur.ac.uk/peter.hart

@youthworkerpete

Peter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular ClubPeter Hart School of Applied Social SciencesSacred Building, Secular Club