Silly Citizenship

The reading by John Hartley called ‘Silly Citizenship’ talks about how citizenship has changed over the years and how children are now involved.

At the beginning of the reading, Citizenship is defined as “a term of association among strangers.” (Hartley, 2010. p233) However, Citizenship has developed over time and now has multiple meanings.

When I first started reading this, I was a bit confused and couldn’t really take it all in. So I spoke to several different people about it, including my grandparents, who were very helpful.

My Grandpa remembers his childhood as if it was yesterday. He’s always saying about how children nowadays don’t have the same experiences when growing up. He mainly puts this down to technology and how Social Media has taken over. ‘2 year olds with ipads, it’s crazy’ he says! But, the growth of Social Media has meant that the majority of people can now access news, entertainment, adverts and brands online with just the click of the button.

At 10’0clock every night my grandparents will be watching the news. For me, I find watching the News boring and prefer to find out about major events in other ways. Twitter is my main source of news. If something happens that is serious enough to know about, I will see it trending on Twitter or someone on my Facebook will have posted about it.

“As the internet has prospered, an important change has to be recorded in the representative status of popular media. Throughout the twentieth century, the press, cinema, radio and television operated as if their audiences were coterminous with ‘the nation’. The ‘mass’ media felt they could speak both to and for the entire citizenry, and media theory followed suit. However, that long-assumed status can no longer be claimed.” (Hartley, 2010. p240)

Hartley then goes on to discuss how ‘Media Citizenship’ has changed so “much smaller groups can self-organise and self-represent, and act both culturally and politically, without bearing the weight of ‘standing for’ the whole society.” (Hartley, 2010. p240)

As individual media-content platforms are becoming less popular, DIY Citizenship is becoming more democratic. DIY Citizenship is what Hartley refers to as ‘Silly Citizenship’. People are making their own content which can be seen as funny and silly (depending on the audience!) The first suggestion that comes up when you type ‘Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’ into Google is this:


Many newspapers have commented on the video of a parody someone made which looks like Trump and Clinton are singing ‘The time of my life’ together. These videos appear more and more every day and there are even apps to do it now. (Dubsmash)

These types of videos are going to keep appearing every day, alongside parody TV shows like ‘Newzoids’. They allow people to find out about the news in light-hearted ways rather than having to watch the News which can be pretty depressing at times.

So, that is my take on Citizenship! I decided to go down the route of how children and adults both find out the same information, just through different ways. I’m still unsure whether what I have written completely relates to the reading, but that was my take on it!

Sian 🙂


John Hartley (2010) Silly citizenship, Critical Discourse Studies, 7:4, 233-248, DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2010.511826



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s