Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities x
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This chapter looks at advanced community work practice, defined as community work activities within wider approaches to resolving the sociopolitical complexities of communities scarred by long-term division, hostility, conflict and oppression. The chapter draws on the experiences of people involved in peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and in anti-discriminatory community cohesion activities. The chapter invites White community workers to begin to decolonise their practice and consider the privileges they enjoy due to being white in comparison to people of colour.

The chapter also looks at the role of community work within community economic development and in particular the development and support of different forms of social enterprise. Lastly, it introduces some contemporary economic concepts, such as the foundational economy, which are potentially sympathetic and complementary to community work.

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The various chapters in this book have explored the development and consolidation of the concept and practice of creating age-friendly cities and communities. There seems little doubt that a substantial movement has now emerged (albeit principally across the Global North), with the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities claiming a membership of around 1,500 by 2024. Yet, as also highlighted by various contributors, the context for this work has been challenging to say the least.

Open access

How can we design, develop and adapt urban environments to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse ageing population?

This edited collection develops an exciting new approach to understanding the potential and challenges of creating ‘age-friendly’ communities in the context of urban change. Drawing together insights from leading voices across a range of disciplines, the book stresses the pressing need to better understand and attend to the inequalities that shape the experience of ageing in place in urban environments. The book combines a focus on equity and social justice issues with considerations of diversity and co-production to foster a better quality of urban life. Exploring a range of age-friendly community projects and interventions, it shows that despite structural obstacles, meaningful social change can be achieved at a local level.

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This chapter examines experiences of precarity among diverse groups of older people who are facing various forms of discrimination and injustices. It starts by outlining experiences of risk and insecurity in later life as defined by the concept of ‘precarity’. The analysis then explores the extent of precarity facing three contrasting groups of older people in urban areas: the Chinese community in the UK; older refugees and asylum seekers; and older people living in areas undergoing gentrification. Through an examination of the relevant research literature for each group, the specific insecurities created by contrasting life course trajectories are illustrated, focusing on three markers of precarity facing older people within these groups: uncertainty; barriers to accessing appropriate services; and financial exclusion. The chapter concludes by highlighting how emancipatory methods, such as co-production and creative methodologies embedded in a precarity perspective, can amplify the voices and serve the needs of those experiencing forms of economic and social exclusion.

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How can we design, develop and adapt urban environments to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse ageing population?

This edited collection develops an exciting new approach to understanding the potential and challenges of creating ‘age-friendly’ communities in the context of urban change. Drawing together insights from leading voices across a range of disciplines, the book stresses the pressing need to better understand and attend to the inequalities that shape the experience of ageing in place in urban environments. The book combines a focus on equity and social justice issues with considerations of diversity and co-production to foster a better quality of urban life. Exploring a range of age-friendly community projects and interventions, it shows that despite structural obstacles, meaningful social change can be achieved at a local level.

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This chapter by the late Neil Jameson provides an overview of broad-based organising, or community organising, in the UK, including the origins of the concept that Jameson and Alan Twelvetrees first encountered in the US. The chapter provides an account of the formation and development of Citizens UK and the methodology that individual Citizens groups and organisers employ: from how they identify a campaign to undertake, to how they build alliances around that issue with other organisations and interest groups. Jameson provides several examples of local and national successes that broad-based organisation have achieved. The chapter also explains how learning is at the heart of all that Citizens UK does with an emphasis on praxis and experiential learning.

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This chapter examines the possibilities of applying the Village model in two neighbourhoods with significant levels of economic deprivation in Manchester in the UK. The Village model is a community-based initiative developed in the US which is seen as an innovative approach to addressing complex health and social care needs, but which has rarely been tested in low-income neighbourhoods characterised by high levels of social exclusion among older residents. This chapter reports on the participatory action research project ‘Urban Villages’, which aimed to develop new approaches to applying the Village model. Results offer insights into the use of co-production methods with older people; the role of capacities of individuals, communities and places; and the importance of flexibility, continuity and leadership.

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The book is a thorough exploration of practical aspects of community work and the related practices of social action and social planning. It is primarily for trainee and new community workers. Drawing on some of the best writers and thinkers in community work and community development, including Paulo Freire, Alison Gilchrist, Marilyn Taylor, Saul Alinsky, Jack Rothman, Margaret Ledwith and Gabriel Chanan, the book explores the theories that underpin community work. It sees community development, social action and social planning as the three main approaches for bringing about change in society. At the heart of all of these approaches is the community worker – working alone or as part of a team, and part of wider networks. The book helps the community worker consider their own development and self-care within the wider context of their work, which no doubt invites scrutiny from political figures, funders, managers and the community itself as well as bringing challenges in terms of knowing whether one is making a difference or not. The authors add a plethora of anecdotes and recollections from their own practice to help illustrate specific points and ideas. These also show the range of emotions that are encountered when working in a community.

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A Practical Guide

The sixth, fully updated edition of this bestselling guide links the theory and practice of community work in an insightful and relatable read for students and practitioners alike. With an accessible style, experienced author Alan Twelvetrees sets out the realities of practice in everyday community development (CD) work.

With a much-expanded section on specialist community work, the guide also features brand new sections on work in health, housing, with children, young people and those with disabilities and the changing role of IT, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition features:

• clear ‘how to’ guides for a variety of CD-related practice;

• case studies;

• end of chapter discussion points;

• signposts to digital resources;

• glossary.

This classic text provides a comprehensive overview of the knowledge required to work in community practice in the UK and is essential for anyone studying or working in the field.

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This chapter summarises the main themes of the book, calling on future urban ageing research to reimagine age-friendly communities through a spatial justice lens. It argues that a spatial justice perspective in urban ageing research, policy, and practice is achieved by embracing diversity, maintaining a focus on equity and centring older people through the use of co-production, and this perspective allows us to start reimagining age-friendly cities and communities. The chapter concludes by challenging urban ageing researchers to centre inequalities, meaningfully engage with urban theory and adopt epistemological positions that open up new ways of collectively creating inclusive urban environments for all ages.

Open access