The participatory handbook edited by aaron delwiche and jennifer jacobs henderson - ch 23
The Participatory Cultures Handbook discusses a lot of ideas about what participatory culture is and ways people can be a part of it. The ideas shared in chapter 23 were particularly interesting to me because they were an example of using participatory culture to help everyone benefit--being a democratic tool and not leaving certain people out. Chapter 23 discusses programs constructed to benefit and educate incarcerated youth. This is important because it exposes ways in which education is not democratic in our society. Because free education is available, on the surface it seems that education is a system that is beneficial to everyone. But this idea does not critique the fact that not everyone is given equal educational opportunities, nor does is acknowledge that some people are left out of the equation in general. A huge part of this is lack of resources available to some people, which explains the digital divide. Incarcerated youth, and people in general, are commonly viewed as unworthy of the expected benefits and treatment of people in society, including opportunities for education and jobs/careers. But the project discussed in chapter 23 aims to fix this problem to an extent. By using digital media to provide an educational setting for incarcerated youth, participatory culture is being used to close the digital divide and the participation gap, as well as creating a democratic space within our education system. By becoming available to and benefiting those who had previously been excluded from participating, the digital media described in chapter 23 displays an example to true participatory culture.