Pia Rowe, Ph.D.
University of Canberra
Gender and Politics
Text as Data
Qualitative Research Design
The narratives about the decline in political participation are as frequent as they are familiar. The great irony of these narratives, however, is that they occur at a time when citizens have more avenues to voice their opinions than ever before. This article uses a coding framework to analyze political talk occurring on the Facebook page of an Australian community group, MamaBake. It highlights two important but often overlooked trends: political talk can take place in various forums, which do not necessarily have any links to the formal political sphere; and these discussions enrich the everyday politics of the private sphere. However, these new forms of enacting politics usually go unrecognized, reinforcing the dominant narrative of passive, disinterested citizens. Overall, it argues that contemporary research should be sensitive to alternative understanding of politics, to construct a more accurate picture of how politics is enacted in both online and off-line spheres.
While Wood and Flinders’ work to broaden the scope of what counts as “politics” in political science is a needed adjustment to conventional theory, it skirts an important relationship between society, the protopolitical sphere, and arena politics. We contend, in particular, that the language of everyday people articulates tensions in society, that such tensions are particularly observable online, and that this language can constitute the beginning of political action. Language can be protopolitical and should, therefore, be included in the authors’ revised theory of what counts as political participation.
The growing collaborative consumption movement has evolved significantly in the age of Web 2.0. While much of the research has focused on its economic aspects, there are also practices that have gone largely unnoticed. This article illustrates the range of these practices by proposing a typology that accounts for the various currencies exchanged and digital technologies used to promote sharing of goods and services. This article focuses on the social aspects of the collaborative consumption movement to construct a full picture of the concept. It presents a case study of an Australian grassroots community group, MamaBake, which promotes the communal cooking and sharing of meals between mothers, and shows that even non-monetary currencies, such as the shared norms of reciprocity used by MamaBake, can be stigmatizing under certain circumstances. In doing so, it imagines alternative manifestations of the collaborative consumption movement that go beyond market orientation and instead focuses on promoting soft, non-economic values.
From Girls to Men: Social attitudes to gender equality in Australia is a research program hosted by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra. The research program is distinctive in at least four ways. Firstly, it is the first research program in Australia to combine a large-scale national quantitative survey with nation-wide focus groups and big data analysis of social media activity on gender equality issues. Secondly, it studies the attitudes of boys and girls, men and women to gender issues relating to equality and empowerment. Thirdly, it investigates attitudinal patterns by generational, mainstream and diversity groups. And, fourthly, particular attention is paid to the relationship between sexual politics and gender attitudes and the role of social media in promoting gender attitudes. Stage 1 report presents our quantitative findings derived from a national survey of 2,122 Australians about their attitudes to issues of sexism and gender inequality. The survey was conducted online by Ipsos in March 2018, with participants recruited from a combination of online panels and via social media advertising. The survey aimed to explore: 1) the attitudes of boys, girls, men and women to equality and empowerment; 2) attitudinal differences by generation; and, 3) the relationship between online activity (social media browsing, game playing and recreational browsing) and attitudes to gender equality.
News Media on launch of 'From Girls to Men - Social Attitudes to Gender Equality in Australia' report
Why Saying No To "Thankless Tasks" Can Close The Gender Gap
Are Most Men Sexist? Not if You Ask Them (but Yes). The vast majority of men say they believe in gender equality, but what we think we believe and what we actually believe aren't always the same thing.
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