Abstract - The Information Society 32(5)

Participant or Zombie? Exploring the Limits of the Participatory Politics Framework through a Failed Youth Participatory Action Project

Lynn Schofield Clark

This paper explores how “real life” stories of heroic participation might conform to, or challenge, hero myths. It involved engaging students of an urban high school in critiquing the hero myths of popular culture while also inviting them to tell and re-tell their own stories of participatory politics. The students’ activities were followed over a period of an academic year as they worked through different ways of thinking about stories of heroic action and also created their own messages, reflecting their views, to motivate others to engage in action. Over that period, the stories they told deepened and developed. Ultimately, the political action in which the students chose to engage was frustrated, which provided an opportunity to explore the limits of the participatory politics framework.

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