Concept 2021-03-08T13:20:44+00:00 Gary Fraser Open Journal Systems <p>The Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory. Concept offers a lively independent forum for critical debate and exchange of ideas in contemporary Community Education. Community Education is seen in the broadest sense to include community work, adult education and youth work and takes place in a range of settings and agencies. We see the concept of community education as dynamic and diverse and do not seek to reflect a fixed view.</p> 'Slamdance the cosmopolis': Political Discourses around Drugs and Alcohol 2021-03-08T13:20:43+00:00 John Player <p>My name is John Player, like the cigarettes. Some readers won’t have heard of these odious cigarettes. My grandfather, also called John Player, died of lung cancer and is buried in a grave in Glasgow. His gravestone looks like the John Player Special (JPS) packet - gold lettering on a matte black background. He died of lung cancer at 55. This was, and remains, around the age that so many men die in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. I never met him, so this is personal.</p> <p>The tobacco companies knew they were using the most addictive substance known to humankind to create one of the most successful capitalist commodities. They were also well aware, from the 1960s on, of the causality between smoking and early deaths due to lung cancer though this knowledge was suppressed for decades. In turns out that the tobacco companies were experts in semiotics: the study of signs deployed in advertising, for instance. The John Player Navy Cut signage of the dependable sailor was 'interpellated' (see Althusser 2001) in my grandfather's consciousness. He was 'hailed' by the tobacco companies shouting 'Hey, you there!' My grandfather turned around answered the call! Like so many others, he became their addicted 'subject'. </p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## A Chatter That Matters: A Conversation About Severe and Multiple Disadvantage 2021-03-08T13:20:43+00:00 Lorina Gilroy <p>Health Opportunities Team (HOT) are a community-based charity committed to improving the health and wellbeing of young people (aged 12-25). HOT received funding by Lankelly Chase to facilitate a conversation about severe and multiple disadvantage. This came following a report by Hard Edges Scotland which highlighted the complexity of the lives of people facing severe and multiple disadvantage in Scotland, and how this impacts public and voluntary services. Severe and multiple disadvantage can be described as any person with two or more of the following issues: homelessness, offending, substance misuse, mental health issues and poverty (Fisher, 2015). <br>In 2019 HOT facilitated an after-school workshop where young people from the local areas of Craigmillar, Portobello, Liberton and Gilmerton shared their experiences and views on severe and multiple disadvantage, specifically around health and poverty. The aim of this was to explore how young people feel severe and multiple disadvantage impacts upon their lives and families, especially in relation to health and wellbeing, and to explore how organisations like the Health Opportunities Team can develop services that mitigate the impacts of severe and multiple disadvantage.</p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Making Connections 2021-03-08T13:20:43+00:00 Mae Shaw Louise Kelly Jemma Eveleigh <p>Not long into the first UK lockdown in 2020, Edinburgh Recovery Activities (ERA) decided to offer an online creative writing course. What emerged was Making Connections, a 6-week zoom programme run over June and July, with around 10 participants. The purpose was to give people the opportunity to express themselves, develop their writing and meet with others.<br> <br>Creative writing can be a means through which we examine our experience of ourselves, the world around us and the relationship between the two. From the beginning, the course did not make assumptions about whether people wrote already, or what they might want to write, but hoped to offer the opportunity to develop their writing, to explore different types of writing if that was of interest and, most importantly, to be creative and expressive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## More letters from lockdown...Creative responses to Covid-19 2021-03-08T13:20:44+00:00 Jane Meagher Jo McFarlane Rosie R Meade <p>Covid 19: Dilemmas for a Developing country<br>Coming out of Dar es Salaam airport into a hot, humid night in October 2020, I was relieved to have taken off the mask I had compulsorily worn since I had left Edinburgh in the early hours of the morning. I had had my temperature checked when we landed and filled in a form to say where I would be staying. That was the end of any restrictions or checks, despite the fact that the world was in the middle of a pandemic which had claimed so many lives and destroyed livelihoods.</p> <p>When I got back home to Edinburgh, people asked questions about Covid restrictions in Tanzania and were clearly surprised and even shocked to hear that there were none. Why would a country not protect its citizens from this disease? Why would its President encourage people to pray together in crowded churches? Why not impose lockdowns and restrictions for their safety?</p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Jorge Tamames (2020) For the People: Left Populism in Spain and the US 2021-03-08T13:20:43+00:00 Nigel Hewlett <p>There are three sections to this book, each of which contains three chapters, each of which begins with three quotations. This is a systematic author. The clear structure makes the text easy to navigate and a useful index makes it easier still. The third section fulfils the promise of the title, with analyses of the rise and considerable fall of the Podemos movement in Spain and Bernie Sanders’ promising but ultimately unsuccessful 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in America. The second section lays the ground for these two analyses, with accounts of the political economies of Spain and America, respectively, over the 35 years or so up to the recent financial crash; a major part of the argument of the book is that the current 'populist moment' can only be properly understood by locating it in its historical context, which dates back to the neoliberal turn of the late 1970s. </p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Edinburgh Recovery Activities (2020) Letters from Lockdown, PDF available from Concept website 2021-03-08T13:20:43+00:00 Lyn Tett <p>A lot has been written about the impact of Covid19 but much of it relies on a ‘stock of ready narratives’ (Kehily, 1995 p. 28) that we draw on when we are telling stories about our lives. We both forge our individual narratives and take part in public narratives where the themes to be drawn on, the facts and circumstances that are considered important and the information that advances the story, can form an ideological straitjacket within which we conform. This means that the majority of narratives about the impact of the Covid19 pandemic emphasise the individual and not the structures within which we are embedded. The stories told are about how individual behaviour - mixing in crowds, not wearing masks, failing to socially distance - causes the spread of the virus but the alternative narrative - that living in poverty in poor housing increases the likelihood of catching the virus - is supressed. In my view, the great strength of this short collection is that the authors have broken out of this straitjacket and told stories that create new narratives about the experiences of lockdown that are not focused on individual behaviour alone. </p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Edinburgh Recovery Activities (2020) Letters from Lockdown, PDF available from Concept website 2021-03-08T13:20:44+00:00 Jo McFarlane <p><em>Letters from Lockdown&nbsp;</em>is proof that even the ominous cloud of Covid has a silver lining. Six writers were asked to respond to the theme in a creative way, and they have risen ably and admirably to the challenge with a collection that is, by turns, prophetic, wise, clever, funny, poignant, prescient and vital.</p> 2021-03-08T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Trust and Political Life: the need to transform our democracy 2021-03-08T13:20:42+00:00 Keith Popple <p>One of the major concerns of contemporary public life centres on how much we can trust our politicians and the public institutions and services that they, with civil servants and political aides, are responsible for. This of course is not a new concern as, ever since we have had a system of representative parliamentary democracy, we have needed to trust our elected representatives and those they appoint, to undertake good governance on our behalf. However, in more recent years trust in UK national politicians and political life has been put under considerable stress. A 2011 Europe-wide Guardian/ICM opinion poll found that only 12% of those polled in the UK said they trusted politicians to ‘act with honesty and integrity’. Further, 66% stated they did not trust the UK government ‘to deal with the country’s problems’ (Glover, 2011). Political trust is central to democratic rule, and any decline in this can reduce the quality and stability of our democracy. Importantly, a reduction of trust in government and confidence in political institutions can damage the vitality of our democracy. </p> 2021-03-06T15:03:53+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##