Work, work, doing the reading and writing the blog!
Well last week I sort of avoided the ‘what is a blog’ reading by trying to find blogs in education. This week I am again challenged by the reading as I am not quite sure where it is going. The reading I looked at was ‘Young women, late modern politics, and the participatory possibilities of online cultures’ by Anita Harris. We are looking at young women in politics and I wonder when the golden age of participation was. Young people are more isolated from politics, seems to be the thesis. Than when? Was there strong involvement in politics when university education was free so there was time to be more involved in ideas, whereas today education is a stepping stone to a career and money. Do we know there was more involvement and especially from young women. I am reminded of a vicar’s comment on the ‘How many practicing Christians in the UK today’ question. He always said; as many ‘believe’ now as is the ‘golden’ past, it is just that today society doesn’t expect everyone to be in church on Sunday. Today society is different and political involvement is different. If young people were in work and unionised at 16 they were exposed to politics, today these young people are encouraged to continue in vocational training. Does this result in a loss of connection with politics?
If we look more closely at the premis that young women use new technology to investigate and participate in politics then I suggest it is not just young women who can become empowered by the internet. As I speak it is the opposition leader in Iran’s wife, has been leaving messages on Facebook. I would say women are good at networking. Setting up groups and discussing what is important to them. ‘Moms’ groups in the US found they gained power and commercial influence by working together. These groups were often started as discussion groups for those who felt isolated by motherhood. I sometimes feel that you can take your turn and express an opinion on line whereas in real life some young women find it difficult to butt in and argue or discuss.
I wonder if it is not just young women but young people who find it difficult to see why formal politic is so removed from reality. And it is often the need to feel that actions can create change that leads people especially women to take part in ‘action’ politics rather than formal politics.
All this leaves me with questions such as ‘What is politics’, do women see politics as different? I often see women leading great campaigns but not necessarily becoming great leaders. Does the internet create campaigns but not make political decisions?
My response….. much less formal as I am blogging BUT in asking questions I am leaving the way open for others to respond.