Roundtable

Canaries in the Coal Mine: On the Political Representation and Participation of Social Groups

Author
  • Petra Meier orcid logo

Abstract

Canaries used to be taken into the coal mines to warn miners for danger to come. Nowadays,  the phrase is still used as an idiom describing a warning sign. Diversity and gender studies scholars resemble these canaries in some respects. They are occasionally put in cages, where they may even die, but where they can also sing. Contrary to those of the canaries, their songs are in themselves warning signs, underlining political and societal problems, and often danger to come. Many diversity and gender studies scholars are driven by a concern about structural inequalities, marginalization, and exclusion which certain social groups face in politics and society. The more they sing, the more danger there seems to be, whereas – for what I know – the silence of the canaries represents the danger. Note that a sudden silence of diversity and gender studies scholars represents a similar imminent danger, as we have unfortunately witnessed over the last couple of years. But the question here is what diversity and gender studies scholars are concerned about and warning for nowadays, more particularly when it comes to the political representation and participation of social groups.

How to Cite:

Meier, P., (2024) “Canaries in the Coal Mine: On the Political Representation and Participation of Social Groups”, DiGeSt - Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 11(1), 9-13. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/digest.90459

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Published on
24 Jun 2024