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Final Project Reflection

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Within all of the movements addressed within a 'Feminist Critique of Priorities in Academia', social media often played a larger role in publicity and mobilization of the projects. As was made evident within the Put This On The Map project, the Whose University project, and the Campaign for Non-Violent Schools these movements have made use of video footage, blogging, Facebook, texting and Twitter. All of these social media outlets have been used to spread awareness about issues concerning who's knowledge is valued, who is supported within academia and the ways in which funding reflects who/what is prioritized. Not only were these organizations creating their own social media projects by creating Facebook, Twitter and You Tube accounts, but their movements also were further publicized by the media through such means.
While these social media outlets are very beneficial to these movements, when looking at accessibility it's important to remember that these movements were focused around academia. Because of the location of these movements within university and high school systems the populations mobilizing within these movements were all likely to have equal access to the necessary technology. Given the priority of internet access within academia as a whole, we must remember that social media is accessible to these specific populations but still remains limited to the larger world.
In this sense we can understand social media as being beneficial within academic circles as it allows for a spread of consciousness and exchange of ideas surrounding feminist issues. Ideally when individuals develop awareness around issues, they and are provided with a critical exchange of feminist ideas which have the potential to spark feminist curiosity.

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Whose University Project Facebook Page Ana


The "Whose University" project (and web resources that the project has utilized) are hugely relevant to contemporary questions concerning who and what is privileged in academia and the University system itself. As this project is focusing on the demographic and ideological make up of the university's values, this project is dependent upon having information relevant to the ways in which certain systems and individuals are supported more than others within academia. For this reason, the information provided must be trustworthy- success of the movement depends on the accuracy of the information that is being problematized. The "Whose U" project works towards principles of feminist consciousness because it puts into question the privileging of certain bodies of knowledge over others, and certain populations over others. In looking at who is supported, and who's knowledge is valued, and who has access to the University system, "Whose U" solicits a feminist curiosity by causing us to critique the present values of the university system and the ways in which they will define the future generation of university students.
Accessibility:
When looking at the ways in which these various movements have utilized social media as a tool for publicity and movement building, it is important to recognize the ways in which social media is limited as a means for activism. Social media must be understood as a tool for mobilization of specific communities with access to technology, but cannot be relied on for the generation of knowledge and movement mobilization by itself. It is important to remember that one must take into account the scale of the population that is being reached through social media, with recognition of the ways in which access to technology can be not only location dependent but also class dependent. When social media is used as tool for outreach, it is important to acknowledge the fact that often times the communities most in need of outreach may not have access to social media due to factors such as socioeconomic status and location. Accessibility can be maximized by critically examining which populations are important to reach within different movements. Realistically, social media can be seen as tool for publicity in support of movements that will ultimately reach people in the streets and engage with people on an interpersonal level.


Media Mobilizing Project / Youth and Education
Iman

The "Media Mobilizing Project" looks at several different sections of activism and the ways in which blogs can mobilize communities. They divide the blog into specific sub-categories such as Youth and Education, Media Mobilizing, and Labor Blog. This is extremely helpful when it comes to finding current news in social justice work relating to education and literacy since they have a special section for this topic. I believe this blog is quiet relevant to the struggle for access to higher education since they continuously dedicate space to information including videos and images of the protests that have sprung up in most states surrounding education reform. The Philly Education Justice Union submitted several posts that talked about the campaign for Non-Violent schools asking for "More classmates and less inmates". Several marches were facilitated through this social media space. This blog is all about community journalism. At the heart of their mission statement one can find key mottos such as: "Movements begin with the telling of untold stories." I think this is very telling, since the emphasis definitely is put on trying to bring the voices of the underrepresented people into virtual spaces. The blog does a wonderful job starting to recognize that many people don't have access to naturalized spaces such as the Internet. While this blog doesn't have an exclusively feminist agenda, I would argue that their work is inherently feminist since it dedicates the space to communities to spread different strategies of community activism and how to take social actions against oppressive structures such as shortage in school funding. There are several posts that talk about mothers taking actions in order to create a better future for the students/children.

ABC's and PhD's: Gender Equity in Academic Science Colter

Despite being published in late 2008, I feel that this article carries heavy relevance within academia. It argues that Title IX should be extended further than the realm of sports and opportunity, and into the world of academia and brings in to focus the question of whether programs are getting funded equally or not. The article concludes that they are not, and in the past two years the funding crisis has only gotten worse, with budget cuts come tough decisions that have left liberal arts departments strapped for funding in comparison to other sciences. I feel that this article is fairly trustworthy, in that she cites a good deal of external sources, and her factual basis exists for her opinion and arguments. I feel that the information is both very provocative and valuable for spreading feminist ideas. The idea that Title IX should be spread to academia is a novel, and should be explored to a further level.

Saying that this resource is to everyone would be an ignorant statement, because it relies on the assumption that everyone has access to a computer, and that if they do they also have access to the internet, but granted those assumptions this article is exceptionally accessible. All sorts of individuals have access to this resource, feminists in academia including both teachers and students both would have access to this. Beyond that though, everyone else has access to it because there is no pay wall to grant access for the site, so financial resources bears no constraint if someone has a computer and a wi-fi signal to pick up. Barriers include:
Owning a computer
Having the Internet

I am rather short on ideas as to making it more accessible, but one possible solution could be a laptop guarantee as a part of our social welfare policy, this would guarantee a basic equal access to technology, while admittedly not granting an equal access to all technologies. Also, if more people were to share this sort of link on their facebooks and twitter, not only would accessibility increase, but so would awareness. The same affect would probably be had if this article was featured on the front page of Inside Higher Ed, or a new news story was published on Google News similar to this story.


One Dimensional Woman
Colter

I feel that this article is incredibly relevant (and not just because it was published 2 months ago) in the world of today's news media, filled with political punditry and theater where words are thrown out for the sake of scoring points and losing meaning day by day. Sian Norris argues that the word "feminism" and the identification of being a "feminist" may risk losing it's meaning. She worries that malleability of the word "feminism" brings the possibility of it being bent and shifted to fit nearly anyone that wants to tote the name, and that a somewhat universal definition must emerge in order for it to retain any real meaning. I feel that this information is quite trustworthy, because the author, Sian Norris is quite credible and writes frequently on the subject of feminism. I actually do think that this issue is incredibly relevant for the realm of academia, because their entire field is transversely under attack. In order for feminism to exist, let alone stay relevant in academia, there needs to be some sort of agreement on some principals within feminism in order to prevent it from being hijacked by the right.

This resource is readily available to anyone with a computer and the internet, but to say that these were the only ways in which one could measure access would be far short of examining the whole situation in the realms of accessibility. This article is most accessible to followers of The F-Word blog, it will show up in their RSS feeds and when they check up on the website, these followers are probably avid feminists, who enjoy keeping up on issues and understanding new perspectives. They themselves may be in academia already. Your causal feminist also has access to this, it is written, as not to be intimidatingly academic in nature, and the language in which they use in the blog post is mostly comprehendible by all. People with no interest in feminism whatsoever more than likely will never find this article, for it is buried away at the F-Word, so to increase accessibility, the article could first fall under a more specific category than "Reviews," also they could share a link to it on the front page of the website. This would also gain strong traction if it were to be hosted on another news site that would link people to the blog/post. All of these solutions, however, are contingent on people having a computer and access to the internet, a problem more prevalent than most may think. While a readily alternative in the status quo would be access at public libraries, even they have their limits, like "who can be a member" "who much does it cost to get a card" and other blocks that would keep disadvantaged individuals and populations from getting access to this blog. A solution may be to provide laptops as a part of one of the Federal Government's social services programs.


"When 'feminist' and 'gender' become embarrassing dirty words in acedamia" Hana

This article is very relevant today because most people in general society still have the wrong idea of what the word feminism means or encompasses. In academia one would expect people to have a higher understanding and knowledge, but feminism seems to be just as misunderstood. In academia, according to this article, it seems to mainly be mocked, the reason for this being a twisted misconception of what the media and folk discourse have created and falsely represented feminism and gender to be. This blog source is very reliable; it is a well-known feminist blog from the UK. This article definitely touches on some very prevalent problems that have always been present in feminism, mainly that people have misconstrued ideas of what it really is. This is coming from a feminist blog, meaning that only readers of such interest would stumble upon this. It is a very accessible article though, that language is not hard to understand and it brings up some interesting points.


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politicizing of feminism in academia:

The F-Word, When 'feminist' and 'gender' become embarrassing dirty words in academia
• This article argues that feminism is losing prestige and legitimacy in academia, because it is being depoliticized. People no longer think about the feminist perspective that brought about change to the way we view the world because it has become normalized, so progress and attribution is not given to feminism.
• The F-Word is an online magazine dedicated to talking about and sharing ideas on contemporary UK feminism. The webzine exists to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here, today, now - and is as relevant to the lives of the younger generation as it was to those in the 60s and 70s.
• The primary audience for this source is feminists involved in the blogosphere and social media, as it is a feminist blog.

The F-Word, One Dimensional Woman
• Argues that feminism risks becoming a meaningless word, utilized by politicians and pundits to score political points, because it's true meaning has been forgotten/taken away/less understood.
• The F-Word is an online magazine dedicated to talking about and sharing ideas on contemporary UK feminism. The webzine exists to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here, today, now - and is as relevant to the lives of the younger generation as it was to those in the 60s and 70s.
• The primary audience for this source is feminists involved in the blogosphere and social media, as it is a feminist blog.


Defunding of humanities research in the UK:

Clarissa's Blog - UK's David Cameron Pushes for the Destruction of Academia
• The higher levels of UK government are cutting funding to humanities research that is not consistent with the idea of "big society" one of the most at risk being that of feminism research.
• Clarissa's Blog is an academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.
• The primary audience for this source is feminists involved in the blogosphere and social media, as it is a feminist blog.


Educational Values:
Mary Churchill in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "How Our Educational Values Reveal Attitudes About Class"
• This article provides a reference to a shift in the value in a better investment in our knowledge-based economy over the past few years, and now that the goal is to prepare ALL students for college.
• The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents.
Mary Churchill identifies as a feminist & a fighter. She is a higher education administrator who wants change NOW!
• The Primary audience would be individuals interested in issues of higher education, as it is an online publication on the subject of Higher Education

Feminists in Academia:
Mary Churchill's Twitter-feed
• This is the twitter feed, of a feminist in academia, her tweets provide incite into issues concerning higher education and feminism as her unique experience as an administrator. It also provides links to each of the platforms in which she blogs.
• Mary Churchill identifies as a feminist & a fighter. She is a higher education administrator who wants change NOW!
• The primary audience for this would be Mary Churchill's twitter followers

Women's Centers- blog, debate.
The Chronicle - Why Women's Centers matter
• Provides a debate over the legitimacy and value of Women's Centers. The defense is overwhelming in comparison to the attack on women's centers.
• The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents
• The Primary audience would be individuals interested in issues of higher education, as it is an online publication on the subject of Higher Education

Gender equity in Academia:
Inside Higher Ed - ABC's and PhD's: Gender Equity in Academic Science?
• Argues that Title IX should have the same implications for academics as it does for sports, and highlights inequity broken down by gender in academia.
• Susan Bassow earned her PhD in Biology from Harvard University. She is now a writer for Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed is the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education.
• The Primary audience would be individuals interested in issues of higher education, as it is an online publication on the subject of Higher Education

Whose University? The Campaign's Facebook Page

Whose University? - Introduction Video
• The Whose University? Campaign is an autonomous student-led initiative that has charged itself with the duty of organizing students, educators, workers, and community members to challenge the University of Minnesota's priorities in equal access and resources for underrepresented groups. The Whose University initiative serves to challenge the current paradigm at the university of Minnesota. Questions: Who's admitted? Whose knowledge is valued? And Who's supported?
• The primary audience for this would be people interested in Social Justice and exploring funding and representation, especially at the University of Minnesota


http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/why-womens-centers-matter-hint-it-isnt-all-about-sex/33408