Gaps that have opened up in between posts

There has been a bit of a gap in between posts possibly because I have taken a break from more serious consideration of my project. This is not the same thing as taking a break from my project, the participant observation part of my project is certainly running my schedule at the moment.

While I am feeling a much more sure of what my project is about, I am steadily getting worse at discussing it with other people. The gap between what I think and what I can express does worry me a little, but I am clutching to the excuse that I feel rather run down at the moment and that eventually my energy levels will pick up and pull along my powers of communication.

A gap I am starting to worry about is the one that is opening up between groups and activities in the community I am getting to know a bit about and those I really am not. Unsurprisingly, this is largely between groups that view themselves as being about community and those that are formed around services that people pay for. While I accept this gap will be there, and my use of a number of methodologies is partly a way to deal with such gaps, it is one I would like to be able to shrink. Can I shrink it by becoming better at communicating? Would I have better luck if I was more charismatic? After all, I am not interested in the services as much as what the social contact that occurs in such groups is like and perhaps what people want out of their participation.

 

When it comes to what I am reading at the moment, there is certainly a massive gap between the amount I could be reading and what I am actually making my way through. I have slowly been making my way through Jock Young’s (2007) The Vertigo of Late Mordernity. Young’s The Exclusive Society sat on my bedside table for quite a while last year, although I cannot remember reading much, and I am kicking myself for not reaching out to consider some more of his work. Young unpacks what he sees as a problematic gap between cultural inclusion and structural inclusion. He draws quite a lot on the ethnographic of others and undertakes quite a bit of discourse analysis to argue that it is not so much social exclusion that we should be worrying about but the violence that comes when people experience cultural inclusion (i.e. they want to be able to participate democratically and own lots of consumer goods) while they are structurally excluded (i.e. they are beaten by the police and cannot earn enough money to buy things). The copy from my university library also has this flashy red cover, although I’m not so sold on the angle of the print.

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