Affective spaces, humour and power in 24-hour care institutions for young people in vulnerable positions

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This article examines humour and its connectedness to spatiality in social work by drawing on examples from fieldwork involving vulnerable young people. The article argues that the relationship between a spatial perspective and humour as a phenomenon in social work is an underdeveloped area of social work research. The article draws on De Certeau’s concepts of tactical behaviour and strategically defined spaces, both of which involve a dynamic spatial approach. Connecting these concepts to humour, the article concludes that applying a humour-affective spatial theoretical approach to social work research greatly aids the identification of power dynamics and the tensions that can arise in social situations. In short, the article offers another way of conceptualising the production of the spatial dynamics of power, inclusion and exclusion. The empirical basis for the article is a comprehensive field study carried out at a 24-hour residential institution for children and youth in vulnerable positions
TidsskriftQualitative Social Work
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)501-514
StatusUdgivet - 11 maj 2020


  • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold