As we have discussed in previous chapters, there are a wide variety of opportunities to communicate with publics, but beyond these exist other scenarios for engagement, including engagement with policy frameworks, which can also have their challenges. As with communication with a public audience, doubts can arise as to how to access, convey and work with stakeholders who are focused on political issues of governance; but just as in work with publics, increasing awareness of policymakers’ needs, operational practices and access routes can assist
– most obviously, print and television news. A growing body of research has helped
to sustain the belief that these genres have an important role to play in
democratic culture (e.g. Scheufele 2002; Prior 2005).
Our own research is a response to our dissatisfaction with this pattern
of research in which popular culture is condemned, and only news
and current affairs condoned. For us, the problem lies in conception
of politics and civic engagement that fails to encompass the contribution that popular culture can make to democracy and citizen engagement. We suggest that
conversations about the
conventions of cultural production, they assumed a position of critical
distance from the meanings they had encountered in cultural texts.
However, seriousness was not the only tone of conversation. There
was a lot of giggling, and our respondents often laughed as they
described the television programmes, songs or video games that they
liked. Participants also described to us how they sometimes used
popular culture to help them relax or to cheer themselves up. These
are not the forms of engagement that one might typically associate
Irish women writers entered the international publishing scene in unprecedented numbers in the period between 1878 and 1922. This collection of new essays explores how Irish women, officially disenfranchised through much of that era, felt inclined and at liberty to exercise their political influence through the unofficial channels of their literary output. By challenging existing and often narrowly-defined conceptions of what constitutes ‘politics’, the chapters investigate Irish women writers’ responses to, expressions of, and dialogue with a contemporary political landscape that included not only the debates surrounding nationalism and unionism, but also those concerning education, cosmopolitanism, language, Empire, economics, philanthropy, socialism, the marriage ‘market’, the publishing industry, the commercial market, and employment. The volume demonstrates how women from a variety of religious, social, and regional backgrounds – including Emily Lawless, L. T. Meade, Katharine Tynan, Lady Gregory, Rosa Mulholland, and the Ulster writers Ella Young, Beatrice Grimshaw, and F. E. Crichton – used their work to advance their own private and public political concerns through astute manoeuvrings both in the expanding publishing industry and against the partisan expectations of an ever-growing readership. Close readings of individual texts are framed by new archival research and detailed historical contextualisation. Offering fresh critical perspectives by internationally-renowned scholars including Lauren Arrington, Heidi Hansson, Margaret Kelleher, Patrick Maume, James H. Murphy, and Eve Patten, Irish Women’s Writing, 1878-1922: Advancing the Cause of Liberty is an innovative and essential contribution to the study of Irish literature as well as women’s writing at the turn of the twentieth century.
Internationally, public engagement and communication has become an important aspect of research and policymaking, allowing research establishments, and their researchers, to explore public perspectives on their work as well as providing access to research findings to wider publics. Alongside this, a considerable research communication and public engagement community has emerged, who are interested not only in the design, techniques and methods for research communication and engagement but also approaches to communicating creatively and evaluating the
our respondents felt was ‘for them’.
Central to our approach in this book is the argument that citizen
engagement requires a connection with communities of interest. It is a
precondition from which civic action follows. In this chapter we explore
the potential of popular culture to create or represent the social ties that
are an important dimension of citizen engagement. We suggest that,
for our respondents, the potential to connect with others is one of the
pleasures of popular culture. This connection was valued for the social
interaction it offered, but it was
Researching young people, politics and
The previous chapters have set the context for our investigation into
the relationship between popular culture and political engagement.
This chapter explains our methodology. It begins with a critical review
of the dominant, political communication methodologies whose ‘topdown’ approach, we argue, makes unwarranted assumptions about
the habits and tastes of young people and about what does and does not
constitute political engagement. We review a number of alternative,
‘bottom-up’ approaches that have
University/HE LLL and the community
niversity LLL has always presented opportunities for community engagement. The activities involved can be carried out via departments and centres
or individuals/teams of people connected with them, people in full-time or part-
time employment. In this chapter, I will propose –drawing on insights from
key educators, such as Paulo Freire, Jane Vella, Lorenzo Milani and Ivan Illich –
signposts for a critical engagement between universities or educators connected
with them and the surrounding communities. I
This is a book about local democracy, about community and civic engagement in Britain. It was conceived as a counterweight to the many negative
accounts that seek to dominate our political discourse with their talk of
political apathy and selfish individualism.
Barack Obama made the point effectively in the American context long
before his successful bid for the Presidency. In an interview given to the
Chicago Reader newspaper on 8 December 1995 he set out his now wellrehearsed argument about the need for change in the way the USA does its
constellation and complexion of the institutional treatment regimes afforded to the dependent sick poor, the triggers for seeking institutional sojourns, pauper and parochial attitudes
towards such care and its place in a life-cycle of responses to illness,
remain issues in need of substantial empirical exploration.
Institutions and the sick poor253
This chapter will thus provide an overview of the constellation of
institutional engagement, drawing on key lessons from Figures 4.5 and
4.8. It will contend that for the period as a whole the workhouse was
the single most