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Youth Empowerment and Human Service Institutions

Constance M. Yowell and Edmund W. Gordon
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Winter, 1996), pp. 19-29
DOI: 10.2307/2967365
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2967365
Page Count: 11
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Youth Empowerment and Human Service Institutions
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Abstract

This article critiques recent efforts to improve the capacity of human service institutions to meet the needs of urban youth. It identifies as an important risk factor the dissonance between these youth's cultural identities and the norms of the social institutions serving them. The authors suggest that efforts to overcome this dissonance focus on a reconceptualization of professionalism among youth services providers, whereupon the primary goals of service delivery become the empowerment of urban youth and the enablement of a defiant adaptation among them; emphasize strong youth-professional relationships; and utilize existing social networks of community organizations and social institutions.

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