let the conversation begin!

Hi everyone! Thanks to Katherine for inviting me back to blog a bit on Do-It-Yourself Democracy, Democratizing Inequalities, and other projects on my plate. I promise I won’t bring up federal agency mascots this time.

A little bit about me:

My #sociologicaldesk is currently covered in okra and tomato seedlings but my couch has books on it. My research interests lie at the intersection of movements, business, and democracy in American political development– otherwise known as “how did we get here?” For the purposes of orgtheory folks, I’m interested in politics and culture in organizations, especially the folks left holding the bag when organizational ideals meet everyday realities.

In Do-It-Yourself Democracy, I study the growing field of public engagement consultants. This book and my edited volume with Edward Walker and Michael McQuarrie focus on the causes and consequences of the dramatic expansion of participation in organizations during a time of increasing inequality. My new project focuses on civic engagement initiatives in higher education. Side interests include the use of art in organizations and movements. Sometimes these interests all come together.

As someone who studies the “new public participation,” I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask readers at the start what intrigues you about the forms participation takes today, whether in electoral campaigning, workplaces, health care, houses of worship, or community groups? What memorable experiences have you had in engagement facilitated from the top down, whether inside or outside of higher education, online or off? “Join the discussion!” and “Have your say!” below. Or, as Hillary said a campaign ago, “Let the conversation begin!

Written by carolinewlee

April 12, 2015 at 4:34 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Personally, I’ve stopped waiting for government and business to do what’s right and started transforming my own life in sustainable ways. I’m making sustainability my religion, basically. I still vote, and I will work toward changing/enacting laws, but I don’t have much faith that it will count. I feel like a great transformative movement among certain people is underway toward a sustainable future, and I am doing my part to contribute to it. This movement is mostly not supported political and commercial ideologies, which I’m not happy about. It will change though if enough people start living more intentionally and knowledgably in relation to the environment and an equitable society. I’m documenting my journey on my blog, which is continually inspired by this community of bloggers and others I meet who carry similar beliefs.


    April Mwf

    April 13, 2015 at 1:07 am

  2. In respect to public participation, I think you may find this research useful and interesting in respect to the Crowd side of things:



    April 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm

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