What’s the Story? 
Narrative in youth work and youth studies 

4th Maynooth International Youth Studies Conference 


Thursday 24 June 09.00-18.00 
Friday 25 June 09.00-14.30 

Conference Organised by the Maynooth University Department of Applied Social Studies with the Support of Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute
Presentations, panel discussions, workshops, readings and screenings: 

Themes include... 

  • Stories of the pandemic...A year in the life of young people and youth work 
  • Youth policy moving forward...building back better? 
  • International youth work – launch of new interactive online module & resource 
  • Student experiences and professional formation 
  • Stories of youth research - past, present and future 


Thursday 24th June Conference outline

Time Title
09.00 - 10.45 “If you’re not dead and this is still your number, call me back” – half a century of hearing stories from The Milltown Boys 
Prof Howard Williamson, University of South Wales 
Keynote presentation, interview and Q&A with the author of the unique “Milltown Boys” longitudinal study: Five Years (1981), The Milltown Boys Revisited (2004), The Milltown Boys at Sixty (2021). 
11.00 - 12.30  ‘Becoming youth workers’: narratives of professional formation 
“A journey, not a destination”: Emerging professional narratives of community & youth workers
Ciara Bradley and Jamie Gorman (Maynooth University, Ireland)
“There’s no place like home”: Youth work process in a formal learning environment
Emma Johnston and Elaine Lavery (YouthAction Northern Ireland)
Telling stories of identity development through youth work education in Australia
Jane Hickey (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
13.30 - 14.45  ‘Being youth workers’: narratives of professional practice 
“Let's not lose the plot”: reflections from a life in youth work
Eddie Darcy (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland and youth work practitioner)
Assessing value? Considering the “value” in youth workers’ stories
Sasha Noonan (Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland)
Career narratives: the stories of long-term youth workers
John Sutcliffe and Trudi Cooper (Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)
15.00 - 16.30  Narratives in contemporary international youth research: case studies in media, policy and politics 
“We don’t only drive cars, we also drive change in society”: Young people’s perspectives on empowerment in Saudi Arabia
Awadh Alotaibi (University of Leeds, UK)
Youth political narratives in the age of social networks: Analysis of Facebook pages of left-wing groups in Italy
Carlo Genova (University of Turin, Italy)

Whose story? Beyond public narratives in England and Sweden: LGBT+ young people resisting dominant narratives
Jo Woodiwiss (University of Huddersfield, UK) and Eleanor Formby (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

16.45 -17.45    MU CYW Student Film Showcase   

MU Pilot Artist in Residence Scheme with Young Irish Filmmakers (YIFM)  
Sponsored by NYCI National Youth Arts Programme and Kildare County Council Arts Service and supported by the Arts Council. 
18.30-20.30     ‘10 shot wonder’   

Film-making workshop with Young Irish Filmmakers (YIFM) - Please note this will be a limited access workshop on a first come, first served basis. Please contact us here to register your interest
*A device to stream the workshop and another device to use to film on are a requirement.


Friday 25th June Conference outline

Time Title
09.00 - 10.30  Crisis, what crisis? Young people, youth work, Covid and beyond 
“LGBTI+ Life in Lockdown”: The impact of COVID-19 restrictions on LGBTI+ young people in Ireland one year later
Matt Kennedy (BeLonG To Youth Services and University College Dublin, Ireland)
Youth workers’ narratives about adaptation and continuity in youth work during Covid-19: some preliminary findings
Trudi Cooper, John Sutcliffe, Adeline Georges and Ophir Wende (Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)
Youth work in times of Corona: What are we doing and how is narrative part of it?
Andrea Horta Herranz, Andreas Karsten, Ashley Pitschmann, Cara Lee Roth, Sümeyra Akarçeşme and Tanja Conni Strecker (Ray Network/Youth Policy Labs and Ray Network/Genesis Institute)
10.45 - 11.15 International Youth Work: ‘Creating positive social change in the world’

Launch of new interactive online module within the youthworkandyou.org website and resource

In partnership with National Youth Council of Ireland and Léargas 

11.30 - 13.30   Governance is Good for You! Youth Work and Community Development in the Neoliberal Age 

A performative reading and panel discussion by Red Wheelbarrow Productions 

Participants include:

John Bissett (Chairman, Rialto Youth Project Management Committee)

Jim Lawlor (Athrulann)

Tony MacCarthaigh (Management Committee, Rialto Youth Project)

Dannielle McKenna (Project Leader, Rialto Youth Project)

Sinead McMahon (Department of Applied Social Sciences, LIT Tipperary)

Kate O’Shea (Artist)

Tania de St Croix (Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Youth and Childhood, King’s College London)

Ciaran Smyth (Vagabond Reviews)

Anna Quigley (CityWide)

Watch back on these events Below or on the  MUSSI Facebook page where some were also live streamed.
Any queries please contact mussi@mu.ie

Watch back on these events below