Hear hear Paul! A terrific argument for revisioning how services and service providers see and define people in our communities.
The deficit model is particularly pernicious for young people who are stigmatised, even demonised, by a range of sectors, not least the media. Therefore it was refreshing immediately prior to reading this to read an update on Cardiff University’s Community Journalism project which aims “to develop understanding, engagement and participation [so] that citizens get news and information about their own communities and are able to play a part in creating and influencing content and comment.” I am interested in the potential for hyper-local journalism to help residents re-interpret and re-present their communities by reclaiming the means of production of narratives, thereby not relying on external, unaccountable means.
“It’s so tempting for those of us who provide services….support workers, housing providers, social workers, community workers, health visitors, GPs…to see ourselves as the ones with the gifts. The ones with the solutions. The superheroes ready to fly in and save people.
Maybe there is already a superhero living on their street” –John Wade
The typical story arc of the superhero is fairly predictable.
The journey to greatness begins with a background rooted in tragedy or potentially limiting life events:
- The sudden death of family members (For example, Batman or Spiderman).
- Being cast out alone into an unknown world where you are markedly different from everyone else (Superman or Thor).
- Troubled or abusive families triggering low self-esteem or even mental illness (Wonder Woman or Bruce Banner/The Hulk).
Having got us firmly rooting for the underdog the story unfolds, telling of the discovery of a hidden power or talent , and the difficulties…
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