On the blog this week, I’m joined by Dr. Philippa Collin, a Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society. Philippa is a social scientist who previously worked at www.reachout.com, the world’s first online suicide prevention initiative aimed at young people. She researches the role of digital technology and media in young people’s lives, including a focus on political participation, identity, and exclusion.
I hear a lot of concern from public institutions about the notion of “making better citizens” right now. Political upsets, fear of ‘fake news’: the powers that be are concerned about the nature of citizenship in the digital age.
Institutions could adapt their structures to meet the needs of people they perceive as “disengaged”. Or, instead of the institution adapting, they might try to help people develop the skills & capacity to engage with existing structures.
What pitfalls are there for organisations seeking to engage the (apparently) disengaged?
I come from a community of scholars who have actively argued against the normative framing of ‘politics’ and ‘participation’. For example ‘politics is about what happens in parliament’ and the ‘good’ forms of participation are to vote, join a party or get involved with set activities or processes – usually all designed by adults! Read more