Research Staff Interests

 Janet  Batsleer


Janet Batsleer studied English at Cambridge and was a research student at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, when Professor Stuart Hall was Director. She worked as a youth and community worker for ten years before taking up a post as Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at Manchester Polytechnic in 1986. She has taught and conducted research in youth and community work since then, and was part of the team which established a Women's Studies M.A. at MMU,which ran successfully during the 1990's.

Her research has focussed on anti-racist and feminist approaches to youth work; on the theory and practice of informal education in youth work settings; on alternative education traditions and the resources they offer to people whose lives are conducted at the margins of the mainstream. So,she has published on informal groupwork responses to young people who self-harm; on groupwork with South Asian women survivors of domestic violence; on arts-based practice with young men who are on the edge of the sex industry; as well as on lesbian,gay,queer and trans youth work. She is currently working on a new edition of 'Working with Girls and Young Women in Community Settings' (Ashgate 1996) which presents a feminist-inspired community-based approach to informal education for and with girls, linked to the Feminist Webs oral history initiative. She has completed project evaluations with The Blue Room, on the place of creativity in responses to young men who sell sex, and with Groundwork UK on developing strategies to increase the diversity of groups with whom they engage, including offering resources to people with long-term mental health difficulties, lesbian and gay communities, and to small minority ethnic communities in predominantly white areas.

She is interested in how the education system could change in response to understanding the experiences of people who do not do well in it currently. She is very interested in the resources offered by critical social and cultural theory and research to this project of understanding and change.

Research Interests

Current research project is 'Alternatives?: exploring the long genealogies of alternative education in youth work' with Diane Watt and Alison Ronan.


Batsleer, J. (2013 2nd edition) Youth Working with Girls and Young Women in Community Settings. Ashgate

Batsleer, J. And Davies, B. (eds 2010) What is Youth Work? Sage: Learning Matters

Batsleer, J. (2008) Informal Learning in Youth Work. Sage

Batsleer, J. and Humphries, B. (eds1999) Welfare, Exclusion and Political Agency. Routledge, London & New York

Batsleer, J. (1996) Working with Girls and Young Women in Community Settings. Ashgate Arena

Batsleer, J., Davies, O'Rourke & Weedon, C. (1985) Rewriting English. Methuen

Refereed Journal Articles

Batsleer, J. (2012) 'Dangerous spaces, dangerous memories, dangerous emotions: informal education and heteronormativity – a Manchester UK Youth Work vignette.' Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 33(3) pp345-360 online here

Batsleer, J. (2011) 'Voices from an Edge. Unsettling The Practices of Youth Voice and Participation: arts-based practice in The Blue Room, Manchester.' Pedagogy, Culture and Society 19(3) pp419-434 online here

Batsleer, J. (2006) 'Peace within her Borders. Inter-cultural Groupwork with women survivors of domestic violence.' Groupwork vol 15(3)

Batsleer, J. (2006) 'Every Girl Matters! Young Women Matter! A feminist comment.' Youth and Policy 90 Winter pp59-63

Batsleer, J., Chantler, K. & Burman, E. (2003) 'Responses of Health and Social Care staff to South Asian women who attempt suicide or self-harm.' Journal of Social Work Practice 17(1) pp103-114 online here

Chantler, K., Burman, E., Batsleer, J. & Bashir, C. (2003) 'South Asian Women: Systemic Inequalities in Service Responses to Attempted Suicide and Self-Harm.' European Journal of Social Work vol 6(1) issn 0265-0533 *

Batsleer, J. & Ronan, A. (2002) 'Dissing: The Politics of Inclusion: youth work practice in a project for young people excluded from school.' Scottish Youth Issues Journal 5 (Winter) pp107-125

Burman, E., Chantler, K. & Batsleer, J. (2002) 'Service responses to South Asian Women who attempt suicide or self-harm: challenges for service commissioning and delivery.' Critical Social Policy vol 22(4) pp641-699

Batsleer, J., Nelson, C., Dickinson, S. and Beetham, M. (2000) 'Border Crossings/Translations: resources of hope in community work with women in Greater Manchester.' Community Work and Family vol 3(3) pp349-362

Batsleer, J. (1996) 'It's alright fBatsleer,J. or you to talk: lesbian identification in feminist theory and youthwork practice.' Youth and Policy vol 52, pp12-21

Batsleer, J. (1994) 'Silence in working across difference: Groupwork in youth and community work training context.' Groupwork vol 7(3) pp197-209

Batsleer, J. (1992) 'Telling Tales.' Youth and Policy vol 46 pp40-42

Batsleer, J. (1987) 'The Viraj Mendis Defence Campaign Struggles and Experiences.' Critical Social Policy Vol 21

Batsleer, J. (1987) 'Daughters of Uneducated Men.' in Studies in Sexual Politics (ed) Liz Stanley and Sue Scott

Batsleer, J. (1985) 'Life Skills or Social Education?' Youth and Policy vol 27 pp3-7

Book Chapters

Batsleer, J. (2010) 'Youth Work Prospects: Back to the Future?' in (eds)Batsleer, J. and Davies, B. What is Youth Work? Sage: Learning Matters

Batsleer, J. (2010) 'Youth Workers as Researchers: ethical issues in practitioner and participatory research' in Banks, S.J. (ed) Ethical Issues in Youth Work. (2nd edition) London, Routledge

Batsleer, J. (2010) 'Feminist Webs: A Case Study of the Personal, Professional and Political in Youth Work' in Robb, M. & Thomson, R.(eds) Critical practice with children and young people The Policy Press

Batsleer, J. (2007) 'Sex Work and the Politics of Rescue' in Milbank, A.(ed) Beating the Traffic Josephine Butler and Anglican Social Action on Prostitution Today.

Batsleer, J. (2003) 'Practices of Friendship: work with girls and young women in the Manchester University Settlement' in Jeffs, T. and Gilchrist, R .(eds) The History of Youth and Community Work vol 2, The Youth Work Press

Batsleer, J. (2000) Introduction to Batsleer, J. and Humphries, B.(eds) Welfare, Exclusion and Political Agency Routledge

Batsleer, J. & Spandler, H. (2000)'Sparring Partners: Dilemmas in responses to self-harm' in Batsleer, J. & Humphries (eds) Welfare, Exclusion and Political Agency Routledge

Batsleer, J. (2000) 'Hidden from History, the Case of Passionate Friendship' in Humphries (ed) Research in Applied Social Studies Jessica Kingsley, London

Research Reports

Groundwork Trust UK 'Inclusionworking' (2007) An evaluation of Groundwork's positive action work with people with mental health difficulties, particularly from minoritised communities, and a Manchester-based evaluation of The Blue Room Evaluation (2009), an arts project working with young men vulnerable to sexual exploitation.(ongoing)

(2002) Janet Batsleer, Erica Burman, Chatidja Chantler, Hindene Shirley McIntosh, Kamal Pantling, Sophie Smailes & Sam Warner Domestic Violence and Minoritisation - supporting women to independence. Women's Studies Research Centre, MMU

(2001) Khatidja Chantler, Erica Burman, Janet Batsleer & Colsom Bashir Attempted Suicide and Self Harm(South Asian Women). MMU and MST Health Action Zone. ISBN 0-9541550-0-9

Chair of the QAA Subject Benchmarking Group for Youth and Community Work.


link to eSpace publications

Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership

I am series editor, with Professor Keith Popple, of the Learning Matters series. Transforming Youth Work.

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

Recent Professional Keynotes include a contribution to the four nations youth work conference 'Where do I belong?' in Corrymeela, Northern Ireland on issues of faith and sexuality.

And a forthcoming contribution at the European History of Youth Work Conference, Ghent, July 2010: The History of Youth Work with Young Women.

Ruskin College, March 2010. The Women's Liberation Movement and Feminist Youth Work. (with Sue Robertson and Steph Green)

Conference Papers

Youth and Policy Seminar, Leeds (March 2010) 'From Feminism to Queer and Back Again: Gender Theory in Youth Work with Girls.'

BERA, Manchester (September 2009) 'Dangerous spaces, dangerous memories, dangerous emotions: informal education and heteronormativity.'

And numerous earlier papers at youth and community and women's studies conferences and seminars.

Teaching Interests

All aspects of youth and community work.

Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

Political strategies in a feminist organisation: Rape Crisis.

Would be interested in further supervision in areas of critical pedagogy, informal education and community development.


Position/Post: Principal Lecturer Youth and Community Work
Responsibilities: Responsible for the development of BA and MA Programmes in youth and community work and for the research projects in this field. The staff group at MMU have a particular focus on young people and informal education, critical pedagogy, active citizenship and community development.
Tel: 0161-247-2130