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Power, participation and political renewalCase studies in public participation$
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Marian Barnes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346681

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346681.001.0001

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Responding to a differentiated public

Responding to a differentiated public

(p.135) Seven Responding to a differentiated public
Power, participation and political renewal

Marian Barnes

Janet Newman

Helen Sullivan

Policy Press

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

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