Seeking the "C" in the "Y". Discerning the meaning of the Christian basis in the English YMCA

Sargent, David I. (2013) Seeking the "C" in the "Y". Discerning the meaning of the Christian basis in the English YMCA. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This research has identified meanings attached by participants to the YMCA’s Christian basis within the context of volatile environments by engaging with voices in a qualitative, inductive, small-scale research project within the English YMCA. My proposition was that people working in the YMCA were appointed on the understanding that it was Christian-based, that the corporate and collective agreed means of association were located primarily in the Christian basis and that the YMCA attached significant meaning to its Christian basis whilst operating within an inclusive environment. Thematic descriptions of voices in communication were identified using a mixed set of research methods. The data were analysed in a between-method triangulation to produce adialectic towards meaning. Methods included: a literature review, interviews in a pilot study, a comparative historical review, facilitated groups, field visits and website surveys. I engaged various literary sources for interpretative perspectives on voices to differentiate participant’s relationships with the Christian basis in terms of audibility, affinity and attitude. The majority of participants felt that they had been appointed on the understanding that the YMCA is Christian-based, but very few had actually been given an opportunity, or felt it necessary, to make sense of it in their work. The Christian basis did not command a universally accepted meaning amongst participants. Instead, it was often perceived to have limited meaning, but with a degree of historical status attached to it. For the majority of participants, the actual corporate and collective agreed means of motivation was defined as care for young people within an inclusive environment and without any overt reference to the Christian basis and its meaning. However, where the Christian basis did feature locally it elicited communication that was complex, layered and variable in its nature. In these circumstances it produced powerful models of inclusive Christian service. The research identified three implications for further consideration: (a) ineffective communication between member YMCAs resulting in; (b) the creation of disjointed and remote islands of understanding about the Christian basis; and (c) in turn generating informal disassociations as a key factor in diminishing the value of the Christian basis within local member YMCAs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Christian basis, meaning, YMCA, inclusivity, association, communication, voices
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2014 11:25
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:02

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