‘Empowerment’ and ‘Participation’ Have Become Widely Used Terms in the Field of Community & Youth Work. Discuss Your Understanding of the Varied Meanings Attached to These Terms and How These Might Inform Your Practice’

Topics: Empowerment, Community, Youth Pages: 5 (2001 words) Published: October 31, 2012
Looking at the two words empowerment and participations, it can touch many different aspects within the youth and the community work profession. Firstly, it is seen that their are many areas of the community that need to be empowered. Empowerment has not one definition but it means many different things to different people and organisations. The Youth Justice Board (n.d) is seen to indentify empowerment within the youth work practise to be giving the power and courage to young people to be involved and have there say. Whereby giving young people the opportunity to be more engaged in activities by doing there best. Which then links in to participation, which is another concept or a ‘buzz word’ that is used within a community setting. Just like empowerment it has many different definitions, one meaning enabling young people to take control and to make decisions in their own lives. Within this essay it will look at the definitions of empowerment and participation, also looking at the different meanings that are attached to the two words. Also, aiming to look at the reasons it enables and aids youth workers in their practise. Firstly looking at different theories such as the processes in which these two phrases can take place. Next looking at examples of areas within communities that can be empowered and have been empowered. Firstly looking at the concept empowerment, which is used widely within the community setting. There are many different understandings of what empowerment is for different types of people. Many people have been empowered and have their own types experiences, in which they can use to empower other people around them. Therefore the definition is not the same for every individual. Empowerment is used in every day life and to help gain an understanding of peoples lives, therefore to make their own decisions and to have authority to implement change in their own lives (Freechild, 2006). This notion is also a path to which people within the community can develop an understanding of what their lives. Also, describing empowerment to aid people to take control of their own lives. Another discription of the term empowerment is seen to build individuals up, by sharing power between peers, that being young people and adults that are around them (Batsleer and Davis, 2010). It can also be argued that the idea of power is seen to be given to individuals through empowering one another, which can be passed on to the individuals within a community. This can result in communities to work together by introducing empowerment to help and aid each other’s lives. Moreover, the process of empowerment may be able to reduce the amount of discrimination and oppression (Davies, 2008). This can happen through individuals taking control and understanding the power given to them, and using it to help others come in to the community. Through this there is community cohesion to bring give strength to other communities and people. Looking at the understanding of empowerment, it suggests that projects can also build bridges between different communities. It has been suggested that empowerment is key to bring similar people together who have the same problems and concerns, and on the other hand, strengths. Therefore, building a collective approach within society (Thompson, 2005). This then brings a development within a community to help people within the community. In essence, by working together to bring inclusion within individuals in certain oppressed communities. Communities such as women, disabled people and black communities. Within the disabled young people, empowerment is key within the community. It is seen that particular young people can feel excluded from society, therefore empowering these individuals can help them feel more engaged within society. An example of empowerment within disabled people is a project called ‘Person centre’. This is a scheme helps to empower these people, which involves supporting disabled people by...
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