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July 18, 2005

Comments

Phil

I like Gaby Hinsliff.

Some critics will view the scheme as 'bribing' children to behave

Some people are such cynics.

More seriously, "the creation of social capital as a form of labour" nails it, I think. Mapping the basic Marxist categories onto this scheme - the wage, the surplus value, the accumulation of capital - also suggests that the kids won't own the social capital they produce through voluntary work & 'helping their community': they'll make our communities run more easily, and we'll pat them on the head and send them down the leisure centre. (It's a good thing we've got leisure centres these days, instead of those big green spaces where anybody could go and kick a ball around.)

Thanks for the pointer, anyway. This is so wrong - and so strange - and yet in some ways so very New Labour. I feel a blog post coming on.

Phil

Forgot to mention - 'banzai' means 'ten thousand years'; you're thinking of 'bonsai' ('tray gardening').

Will Davies

Ah, yes, of course, bonsai. I think I was actually getting confused by the Channel 4 programme, home to Mr Shakey Handy et al.

jamie

Phil & Will - there's a challenge pointed to here that seems to me to be around what can be charachterised the creeping commercialisation of everyday (postmodern) life. I'm reminded of Leyotard's dictum that in a post-modern world there is nowhere to go but the shops.

Part of the reason that young people don't use parks is precisely becuase they are free. I went to a really good ESRC seminar last week on young people's consumption habits and this was one of the findings that really interested me. For the YPs in the study free = bad. The principle being that you pay for what you get. Even worse was being seen by your peer group to be doing free/cheap things. So state provided services are seen to be the equivalent of getting your clothes from charity shops (this is bad BTW). So you could argue that this is a way of engaging with their mindset.

My question would be is this a recognition of the new mentalite of the young and a sensible response or does it risk exacerbating consumerist consumption habits that are part of the problem?

Good post BTW.

simon roberts

Jamie. Any references / papers / resources you can share on this research about the young and free culture? It seems to me interesting that some classes of goods are devalued by being free but many others, and music is the obvious example, are valuable because they are free. Some things that are free in monetary sense are easier to exchange within peer groups which gives them a social value or at least currency. (Here, as Malinowski demonstrated for the kula ring in the Trobriand Islands, it is not so much what is exchanged but the practice of, and discourse about, the exchange that is where the value lies - a red herring perhaps with respect to this post but something I'm currently thinking about with reference to something else entirely).

jamie

Simon

Christine Griffin at Bath Uni did part of the study. She kindly sent me some papers. Worth getting in contact.

BTW - I'm not sure that I would use the word "free" to apply to music in this case. Stolen would be more appropriate. And so we get back to ASB...

Hope you enjoy the study.
Jamie

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