Hidden Fruits, Youth Workers & ‘Take The Lead’

We tell children fairy tales not to encourage wishful thinking. But to forge a strength in them to contribute to a better world. Wherever there are monsters, we understand that they are an extended version of ourselves, a vehicle to help us propel towards change. Existence is predicated on our growth towards these challenges and monsters, and our learning never ends.

Take the Lead follows a ballroom dancing teacher who takes the detention class for troubled students. He believes that teaching them dance may help provide them moral direction and connection of the strengths that they hold despite the awry world of crime and low school attainment in their environment.

Benefits and the OH-SO-ROMANTIC

What recipe combination do you get by establishing a leisure activity, towards high school children struggling amidst relative poverty and breakdown in social structure?

Well you get many things like:
increase in social and cultural capital to help them to be employed
Cooperativeness towards others
Better connection with peers
To secure their needs to find their role in society [reduces crime]
Stronger initiative
Higher emotional intelligence

but the less often explored are the negatives [put your negative glasses on because this is what will be mostly focused on XD I’m so sorry Antonio Banderas. That does not mean there should be no leisure activities for all young people. This is just an exploration of the weaknesses]

Despite the efforts of youth workers and social workers, the systemic oppression still remains under the guise of public relations

Too often does poverty porn manifest and a tourist gaze of the poverty happens.[and we live in a society where disciplines become specialised and have their own slang or words, that pokes irony at Durkheim’s ‘organic’ solidarity, the isolation between disciplines also builds stagnancy because disciplines may be ignorant of each other’s skills, and less organic, and they may collapse unless they implement those skills that can help them extend their purpose and are beneficial to the environment that everyone lives in. Hello economics and social work majors who ignore each other, and financial crises RISING HOMELESSNESS. Not for profit industrial complex. AUSTRALIA YES I AM LOOKING AT YOU.]

And where youth workers and social workers are drivers of change, relying on funding solely to run programs, make the industry less about helping people and more about decisions being made by the invisible municipal powers. These decisions echo an exclusion or oppression towards young people.


I mean we’ve all been there walking past a homeless person on the streets without helping. We feel sympathy, and the mechanisms in place make the likelihood of interacting with a homeless person less. Which is like the tourist gaze [where what we see or gain from the experience of travelling is vastly different from the people living there] , we gain inspiration from people’s hardships towards success, and do not acknowledge that their strength that is being regarded is the process of assimilation into society of owning capital. The romanticisation of the poor serves to quell the public psyche’s fears about our economic system. And if one can attain societal merit, through hardship, this stabilises the social order.
[But obviously one has to make do with the society they live in for survival, I’m not saying go live in a cave].

A magnifying glass must be held to these mechanisms that makes our interactions with a homeless person more likely, because these unwritten axioms really affect our interactions and connections with other people. Take a look at Zimbardo’s prison experiment, Milgram’s obedience experiment. The environment and our roles plays a big part in how we act.

The romanticisation to be an instagram star, a rapper, a pop artist, a footballer, a soccer player is being promoted to young people by youth workers.

These identities are a part of counter-culture perhaps, they possess characteristics of the working class, much like rock and AC/DC characterised the white working class of Australia/

We need to understand our weaknesses as much as our strengths and weaknesses aren’t something to frown upon, than they are much of something to pivot and grow from.


Legends that are known are miracles, and there are many unknown legends too underground.
The failing that we don’t regard is that there are more losers than winners in the promotion of these counter-culture identities within youth work spaces, sometimes even in high school with professions with little entry admittance. [But we must balance high aspiration with realism].
The promotion does not change the mechanisms that to have a populace that adores you, that is success. Which also is a stepping land mine for social media and mental health.

Or in a profession, to have people who you know in industry intimately, or to understand what recruiters are looking for [maybe] in terms of mannerisms, background postcode[that we may refer to as habitus], that may mean success [not true on all occasions, and this success is inferred by sociology].

And with the school curriculum centred among essays and tests, rather than physical and kinaesthetic aptitude, this may make students who know how to talk the talk than walk the walk. Something resembling like the Heian period, where the upper class were good with linguistics but not resource making and they were eventually overthrown by those who reap wealth from their labor on land. Cue the Samurai.

But also the question remains who are these spaces actually are for in youth work, if it is hidden knowledge needed. Can this deter people from different backgrounds to participate in.

Hidden Curricullum. Hidden Fruits

Once again this falls under the hidden curriculum or hidden knowledge beyond the written content.

Something that perhaps bypasses people in the justice department, like teachers, youth workers, caring professions, lawyers, is the hidden curriculum or knowledge of social life necessary for advocacy.

The hidden curriculum may not be attended to [but this can be argued where youth workers help young people to participate in capital they do not have access to already, or teachers arranging free outings to theatres] because it is not readily apparent.

What may be normal for discussions at dinner tables like talking about management consulting with your parents, or morality may be different from talking about making money for car paint jobs with your parents to your adherence to a higher power.
They may constitute different habitus in different values.
We impart values to the young but it is not homogenous, in a pattern they are reflective of the social economic background one is situated in.

To go back on how the hidden curriculum can deter than encourage, activities that are planned for the youth needs to meet funding obligations. Some of these requirements may commit systemic oppression. For instance, a funding requirement that during an event, a young person who is intoxicated must be handed over to the police than the medics immediately. This contributes to the policing of young people, which is the anti-thesis of youth work.

Take the red or blue pill

Matrix is like a metaphor for realising these mechanisms that make us who we are, that add to stagnation or growth and discrimination and nationalism, or strong affiliation.

Referral services, temporary housing, food aid, all combine towards a palliative of social problems. To live independently you must individually hold capital and ownership. And we do not have another mechanism in place to establish living, than sole ownership.

History in the making. Safe spaces commodified

Whilst tango is viewed as perhaps a highbrow culture leisure, it has its roots in lowbrow culture.

So it is quite interesting to see that contrast in ‘Take the Lead’ with the history of lowbrow tango.

Tango may have been born from the 1880’s Argentine Bueno’s Aires. It possessed elements from, Cuban, African, European influences. And the term was coined in 1890’s.

It may also be said that Tango is linked to the experiences of slaves, who created these dances as safe spaces, much like the capoeira created by the enslaved in Brazil.


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