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Migration and Home Affairs

Acceptance-based youth work with right wing youth groups

Target Audience
Youth/pupils/studentsEducators/academicsLocal community organisations/NGOs
key themes association
Community engagement/civil societyViolent right-wing extremism




Street-based work is a key component of detached youth work and involves meeting young people in their own environment. On the one hand, this means seeking them out at their chosen meeting places in the public sphere, and also working with them on site (usually on the street). On the other hand, it also means meeting the young people in their own 'comfort zone' in terms of attitudes and behavioural patterns, and not requiring them to change their attitudes or behaviour in order to receive assistance from social work services.

Clique work, individual aid and parental involvement
The professional basis for working successfully with cliques is to create an overarching, strong working relationship with the recipients. As a form of self-organised youth contact, the clique is not sacrosanct, from an educational perspective. With regard to influencing membership, educational ideas can — in consultation with the clique — instead allow new members to be recruited, or support individuals' wishes to leave. When this happens, the clique becomes a group, preventing the formation of a regressive, hermetically sealed environment, and facilitating connections with other social networks — an option which, when it comes to tendencies towards right-wing extremism and other group-oriented enmity, is essential for creating opportunities to leave and switch groups democratically, by experiencing social integration, participation and recognition.

Distancing potentials are rarely consolidated and distancing processes rarely introduced simultaneously and in the same way for all clique/group members. This is why individual aid is an important task area, which often develops as a result of working with cliques, groups and scenes. The processes for changing or re-orientating individual youths towards new coping mechanisms, integration methods, memberships and recognitions can be individually accompanied or prompted through this work.

Individual aid also enables personal problems and needs to be addressed in more detail, providing professional advice for the affected youths, and if necessary, for their parents or other important figures in their social environment.

Project work:

Project services are special measures that supplement the everyday socio-pedagogical work performed in the aforementioned task areas. They are generally activities such as sport- and exercise-based, youth cultural, education-oriented or interactive educational measures and programmes. Elements of mediation, anti-racist and intercultural training, anti-violence training, and training in social and personal skills are applied insofar as they are deemed as having a sufficiently positive impact on the work, particularly in terms of reducing extremist/misanthropic attitudes and violence. Last but not least, projects fulfil the role of using common interests to bring together members of extreme-right/misanthropic cliques and scenes and persons from outside (extreme) right-wing/misanthropic environments.

Community work:

Community work is an important part of our strategy, as it is safe to assume that the problems caused by young people are largely related to their own existing issues. Misanthropic, extremist and violent attitudes and behaviours displayed by young people cannot simply be viewed as individual misconduct, but rather result from socialisation contexts presented to the new generation by the adult community. That's why, in addition to family, school and other important socialisation authorities and institutions, responsibility must also be shown by the community as a whole. Associations, clubs, societies, trade unions, churches and other socially relevant groups form what is known as a local civil society, i.e. in the district, suburb and neighbourhood. These groups must also get involved, and be supported, when it comes to combating extreme right/misanthropic attitudes in the social environment.

Biographical work:

This assistance, consisting primarily of clique work, aims to achieve more cases of individual aid through social educational processes involving increased contact and trust. The focus areas here include the individual biographical and life-related aspects of various clique members, which can be identified by staff as critical elements of right-extremist orientation. Where possible for the respective educators, these past, present and future aspects are either addressed based on discussions, activities and needs (e.g. through flow charts) or are pursued further through mediation and assistance with other services, e.g. therapeutic work.

Type of Organisation: Other

Project description

The target group of this deradicalisation work is young people who identify as extreme or radical right-wing and/or who distinguish themselves by extremely intolerant behaviour in terms of group-focused enmity.


2018: Aits, Wiebke/Jakobs, Jens/Rosenbaum, Dennis/Taubert, André: KISSeS für Jugendliche – Erfahrungen aus der aufsuchenden, akzeptierenden Jugendarbeit im Hinblick auf den Abbau von Pauschalisierenden Ablehnungskonstruktionen. In: Möller/Neuscheler (Hrsg.): 'Wer will die hier schon haben?' Ablehnungshaltungen und Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Stuttgart 2018. Verlag W. Kohlhammer.

2017: Rosenbaum, Dennis: Pädagogischer Dreiklang auf der Straße: Cliquenbegleitung, Einzelfallhilfe, Projektarbeit. Was aufsuchende Jugendarbeit zur Prävention von rechtsextremen Orientierungen bei Jugendlichen beitragen kann. In: 'Extrem … Radikal … Orientierungslos !? Religiöse und politische Radikalisierung' der Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Kinder und Jugendschutz. Berlin 2017.

2016: Müller, Annika/Rosenbaum, Dennis/Schaller, Jens Kristoff/Völkel, Ole: Hetzt mich nicht! Online- und Offline-Praxis der Rechtsextremismusprävention im Kontext der Flüchtlingsdebatte. In: FORUM Jugendhilfe 03/2016 der AGJ – Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kinder und Jugendhilfe.

2015: 'VAJA' App; available for Android and iOS at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

2014: Rosenbaum, Dennis/Stewen, Isabell: Aufsuchende Jugendarbeit mit rechtsextrem und menschenfeindlich orientierten Jugendlichen im urbanen Raum. In: Baer, Silke/Möller, Kurt/Wiechmann, Peer (Hg.): Verantwortlich Handeln: Praxis der Sozialen Arbeit mit rechtsextrem orientierten und gefährdeten Jugendlichen. Opladen, Berlin, Toronto 2014.

2013: Rosenbaum, Dennis: Bildung als Schutz vor Rechtsextremismus? In: BLZ - Zeitschrift der Gewerkschaft für Erziehung und Wissenschaft Bremen, März/April 2013.

Several other publications are available here.

Contact details


Hinter der Mauer 9,
28195, Bremen,

Contact person: Dennis Rosenbaum

Contact person: Jens Kristoff Schaller
Telephone: (+49) 421/76266
Email | Website

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Acceptance-based youth work with right wing youth groups
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