Responding to a differentiated public

Marian Barnes, Janet Newman and Helen Sullivan

in Power, participation and political renewal

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9781861346681
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303053 | DOI:
Responding to a differentiated public

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This chapter considers five case studies, i.e. two senior citizens' forums, a women's centre, a youth forum, and a lesbian and gay forum. Each of the case studies focuses on a particular category of public, differentiated from others in terms of presumed commonalities of interest or identity; that is, they required people to claim a particular social identity based on age, gender, sexuality, or other characteristics. The senior citizens' forums were part of a strong tradition of organization around issues of importance to older people, including the retired members' sections of trades unions, National Pensioners Convention and organisations such as Age Concern. The women's centre was initially set up as a collective women's centre, but later, to secure funding, narrowed its aims to focus on the provision of advice and information to women in City A. The lesbian and gay forum focuses on policy involvement alone rather than advice or support to individuals. The forum had a formal membership of police officers, voluntary workers and members of the gay and lesbian community. For the youth forum, the officers and members live locally and demonstrate a high level of commitment to the young people with whom they worked, both by getting them involved in sports and other activities and by supporting them in representing their interests to official bodies.

Keywords: senior citizens; women; young people; identity; gay community; police; differentiation; forums

Chapter.  12626 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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