• Heidi Schrøder Hindsgavl
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In this master thesis I will examine how three different agents interpret a youth club in Northwest of Copenhagen, Ydre Nørrebro, as meaningful social facility. The three agents are the highest level of municipal decision making, the street-level employees and the ethnic minority youth for whom the facility is made. I will show how the agents operate on three diverse levels in the munici-pality (on makro, meso and micro-level). I will show how these agents interpret the youth club as meaningful in different ways. The interest for this theme was gained through previous work experience. In my work as a social worker in the municipality I repeatedly observed, how different staff members interpret the purpose of the social work in significantly different ways. From this empirical background it was my experience and assumption that there would be discrep-ancies in the way the different agents interpret and understand the social work.
The thesis is contextualized through an analysis of current legislation and statistics about the user group. Existing research shows there is limited available research about youth clubs as particular arenas for ethnic youth and thus em-pasize the importance of studies like this.

The Master’s Thesis builds on an ethnographic fieldwork which I conducted over a period of three weeks in a Danish youth club. The aim of the fieldwork was to gain knowledge about how the staff and the ethnic minority youth inter-pret and behave the club as a meaningful social space. Data gathered from the fieldwork consisted of observations and interviews, through which I sought to qualify subjective observations of agents with explanations and narratives. As it proved difficult to participants for interviews, only one semi-structured inter-view was conducted, which will be supplemented by narratives from conversa-tions with youth and staff during participant observation in the club.

The theoretical framework of the thesis is a synthesis of concepts from dif-ferent paradigms. Organisational analysis builds on the works of Jacobsen and Thorsvik. Lipsky’s concepts are used to analyse staff’s interpretation of the club as meaningful. Lastly the findings about youth arenas are discussed in relation to other empirical studies of different youth arenas by Rasmussen, Røgilds, Johansen and Illeris et al. In this discussion the sparetime arena (fritidslivsarena) appeared especially significant for the analysis.
By applying these different theoretical contributions analysis shows that the three agents interpret the meaning of the youth club differently. The analysis shows, that the youth club is functions as a drop-in centre for the ethnic minor-ities which they perceive as meaningful. In contrast, the highest level of munci-pal decision making does not perceive it as meaningful when the ethnic youth use the youth clubs as drop in centres but instead aim for youth clubs which can help young people with their problems such as delinquency.
Publication date19 Sep 2014
Number of pages134
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 204320470