Let’s Give a Shit

In this chapter, Henry Jenkins et al. recaps all of the previous chapters by discussing ideology, and activist groups discussing their success by keeping politics separate.

Case Study: the chapter looks at why youths do not partake in political action and discussion on social media in fear of judgement or backlash especially via Twitter and Facebook. They also do attempt to partake in activism but leave politics out of it.


Activism: The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. (254)

Giving a Shit: Taking action and partaking in politics along with social movements in hopes to making a difference especially something you care about.

Michelangelo Signorile– Queer activist talk show host on SiriusXM discussed the success and limits of a grassroot effort to call out the Chick-fil-a support of homophobic organizations. He is also the autho of Queer in America which is a book that focuses in on gays and lesbians and the negative outlook given. Chick-fil-a is a Christian business.(262)

Political Engagement: Fundamentally a social act based on human communication and contingent on sociality.(265)

Civic Pathways: A plan articulated by a person to help shape and guide how they will develop as an informed, active and engaged community member.(258)


Michelangelo Signorile jokingly tweets about same-sex in Chick-fil-a after they made it clear they we not supportive of same-sex relationships. This was a form of protest against the Catholic fast-food chain by creating a fake activist movement at the restaurant after they admitted to sending money to organizations who oppose same-sex marriage. Signorile claims their approach made it easy to join but difficult to control its message because it was driven by blogs and social media.


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Media platforms play a participatory role but rather with the recognition that many key dimensions of young people’s social lives get conducted through various social media platforms: an easy way to meet their peers and it is natural they act politically and share their views the way they share pictures, videos, and life updates.

Black Youth project is a safe place where young black millennials can discuss politics, knowledge, and social issues in light of helping other black youths across the country.

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Image from the Black Youth Project website.

“According to Vox, eight players from the Ole Miss men’s basketball program knelt during the national anthem in protest of a rally on campus in support of Confederate monuments. After the game was over, Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree, who is also the 2018-2019 Chair of the SEC Leadership Council, told reporters at a press conference, “We’re just tired of these hate groups coming to our school and portraying our campus like we have these hate groups in our actual school.” – Daniel Johnson

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you post about politics on your own social media? Why or why not?
  2. Why did the authors introduce the idea that activism could be considered a “dirty word?”

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