Seeking Justice for All

By Fairholm, Jacinda | Alternatives Journal, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview

Seeking Justice for All


Fairholm, Jacinda, Alternatives Journal


A recent subject on the CBC radio programme Ideas was the year 1848 - a year of revolutions across Europe that toppled dozens of monarchies and laid the constitutional foundations of modern states. The discussion touched upon the similarities between the political revolutions of 1848 and the cultural revolutions of 1968. Both movements were characterized by euphoria, unbridled optimism, and an overwhelming confidence in the capacity of young people to bring about social change.

The programme led me to ponder the potential for significant change in the current political climate, and in particular, the role of youth to enact such change. Unlike youth of previous generations, who were rallying either for political values or against events such as war, current "youth" activists tend to rally around the very fact that they are young, and as such, are discriminated against. Such discrimination is manifested in lack of power - economic, social and political - that young people hold in comparison to the "baby-boomer" generation. This is a significant point of convergence for young people, but is it an adequate platform for promoting substantial social change?

Young activists have been successful in creating political space for the "youth voice". They are often courted to represent "youth" on the board of directors of private foundations, on government advisory bodies such as Environment Canada's Youth Round Table, and as official delegates to United Nations conferences. There is also a growing demand for "youth" activists to educate the public on strategies for youth inclusion and "youth-friendly" processes in NGO, governmental and business structures. The emergence of visible and credible roles for youth within the political arena points to the success of operating as an identity group.

This process of recognizing collective disadvantage, organizing around a primary identity, and demanding representation strikes a familiar chord. "Youth" activism is following in the footsteps of feminism and other identity-based social movements. However, a platform based on issues of "youth" representation, voice, processes and identity has created its own problems.

The premise of such social movements is that "the personal is political." With day-to-day aspects of life representing a microcosm of larger oppressive forces, the power to make choices and changes resides in the hands of each individual activist. This moves the locus of political activism from challenging traditional political structures, such as the state, to the personal level. The result is a more fragmented, individualistic and dispersed movement for social change.

An identity-based approach calls on individuals to constitute their actions around a particular aspect of the self. The activist may be required to claim one aspect of her or his identity over another, such as race or gender, as a vehicle for action. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Seeking Justice for All
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.