Just Stories For The Young: The Boyyer Series
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There's no denying Downton 's place in 21st-century pop culture. The show is enormously popular! There have been many spoofs and parodies, including this perfectly adorable Sesame Street spoof, called Upside Downton Abbey. Bowyer thinks the show's popularity also shows that TV audiences want political and ideological diversity in their programming: "there is no inherent need for good TV to be left of center.
Stories sympathetic to virtue, preservation of property, and admiration of nobility and of wealth can be told beautifully and to wide audiences. David Kamp, for Vanity Fair, suggests a simple explanation for why we're so drawn to the series, in spite and perhaps because of its melodramatic flair:. The show is welcome counter-programming to the slow-burning despair and moral ambiguity of most quality drama on television right now.
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When the first season opens, Lord Robert Grantham learns that the heir of his estate has died aboard the Titanic. Robert has three daughters, and the law of the land dictates Robert pass Downton to a male relative — which means he can either pass off his wealth to a male he barely knows, or have his eldest daughter, Mary, wed a distant male relative, ensuring his fortune stays in his immediate family.
The male relative's name is Matthew, and his working-class tendencies — he's a lawyer — at first rub the Granthams the wrong way. Mary's two sisters, Sybil and Edith, look for love of their own, with the former beginning to warm up to Tom Branson, the family's chauffer.
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Several servants pursue love, too, the most notable being housemaid Anna and valet Mr. After Mary admits to herself that she's in love with Matthew, the season ends with Lord Grantham announcing that England is at war with Germany. The backdrop for season two is WWI, which has affected Downton substantially. Matthew, as well as house staffers Thomas and William, are enlisted to fight, and the Granthams agree to turn Downton into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers.
Matthew's mother, Isobel, who has training as a nurse, clashes with Lady Grantham over how Downton's hospital should be run. Matthew returns to Downton on leave to visit everyone — and to introduce them to his new fiancee, Lavinia Swire. But though Mary's romantic dreams are dashed, Anna's are poised to come true, after Bates proposes to her. However, the elation is short-lived because his ex, Vera, shows up. Meanwhile, Sir Richard Carlisle, a rich newspaperman, has his eye on Mary, but she doesn't return his fawning.
But when she learns that Bates's ex is planning on leaking a story of a great Downton scandal, Mary offers Richard her hand in exchange for his help in silencing Vera. Matthew, meanwhile, returns to war with William, and the two are badly wounded in battle: William dies, and Matthew is crippled from the waist down, rendering him unable to produce any children for Lavinia. He calls off the engagement. But this being Downton Abbey , Matthew ends up getting back his mobility and falling in love with Mary, just as Lavinia dies of the Spanish flu.
Sybil decides she's in love with Tom, the chauffeur, and Bates's wife curiously dies in an alleged suicide. Mary breaks up with Richard. Matthew proposes to her. It snows. They kiss. It's perfect. The war is over, but Downton's troubles are just beginning. Robert discovers a major investment has failed, and his family is now close to bankruptcy.
Mary and Matthew's wedding will be the last hurrah at Downton. But happily, Matthew has been left a fortune from Lavinia's father, and uses it to save Downton from financial ruin. He then becomes a co-master of the estate. Sybil and Tom Branson come back from Ireland, even more politically vocal than they were before they left. Branson helps run the house, and Sybil becomes pregnant, eventually dying in childbirth. Edith finally thinks she's found marital love, only to become stranded at the altar.
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This season isn't a total bust for her, as she becomes a newspaper columnist and writes about women's rights. The servants, too, continue to find themselves in dramatic situations: Bates goes to jail and is released; Thomas and Daisy crush on the same new servant; O'Brien is bitchy to everyone. The season ends with Mary giving birth to Matthew's child.
They're one big happy family. Until Matthew dies suddenly in a car accident. Merry Christmas. Season four begins six months after Matthew's tragic crash. Mary, of course, is mourning her late husband, and to raise their child, George, as best she can. After realizing she's "spent too long in the land of the dead," she decides to pick herself up, and is ready to move on.
As Matthew's widow, Robert informs her she owns half of Downton, and so she begins to involve herself in the financial goings-on of the estate. She has two new suitors — Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake. Edith becomes smitten with a married man, Gregson, and ends up having his child, but not before he flees the country, which results in Edith giving up her child, Marigold, to be raised by farmers.
Downstairs, servants are affected by Matthew's death, as well. His valet, Molesley, takes a demotion to footman. Anna is raped, and Bates vows to avenge her. Curiously, Anna's rapist winds up dead, but the jury's still out on whether or not Bates killed him. Other servants crush on each other.
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Carson and Mrs. Hughes walk into the ocean. They hold hands. They approached me, now a little over 10 years ago, about the creation of something that they call a research network. The MacArthur Foundation research networks are networks of leading scholars and often also activists in a given space, who spend about 8 years together studying and working on projects related to an area where they believe multi-disciplinary approaches are necessary.
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And we were very lucky to get support to form a research network focused on what we came to call participatory politics. And the focus on participatory politics came in part from a framework that Henry Jenkins at the University of Southern California, had created around a notion of participatory culture.
KR: A participatory culture is one in which individual members of the public act as contributors or producers within that culture, rather than simply consuming what is produced by others.
Today the idea is most commonly connected with published media and journalism. Audiences are able to play a role in the collecting, reporting and sharing of content — whether through the writing of their own blogs, sharing on social media, or participating in online forum discussion. Henry Jenkins, who Joe mentioned, is a scholar of media and communication, and defines participatory culture as:.
JK: We think a similar set of dynamics is going on when it comes to the practice of politics. JK: We were confident, and of course this was hardly news to anyone, that young people spend an enormous amount of time on social media and that much of that time is not focused on politics. In other words, for most young people, politics is not a central focus and their time on social media is largely socializing with friends, pursuing interests and the like.
But if our theory was correct, those modes of participation and the kind of cultural norms that develop around online participation, might well be related to their political participation and indeed, we hypothesized might form a pathway, so that people would move from what we might think of as cultural participation to political participation. KR: And so Joe had his research hypothesis: that everyday interactions by young people on social media do have political significance. But how would he find out if this was the case?
KR: In this podcast we explore the multitude of ways that research impacts the world, from the influence on political discussions, to how it can revolutionize practices within a field such as healthcare, to how it can shape public opinion and worldviews. We believe that every researcher has the power to change the world in some way — and we want to help make this happen for you.
For mid-career researchers, our second learning program is the go-to guide for managing mid-career challenges, boosting the impact of your published work, and enhancing your research profile. Plus, you can save the chapters and return to them throughout your research career. KR: Before the break we were about to find out how Joe would go about uncovering the role of social media in the political engagement of young people.
JK: So what we did in our paper, was we surveyed a nationally representative group of young people, ages 15 to 25, and asked them about the degree to which they were engaged online but in particular, about the degree to which they were engaged in friendship-driven communities, places where they socialized largely with friends and family and how much online time they spent in what we might think of as interest—driven communities, where young people pursue a given hobby or interest that they have.
KR: Joe thought that there was likely to be a difference in how friendship-driven activity such as Whatsapping friends and family and interest-driven activity such as engaging in a Twitter conversation about a football match impacted the political activity of young people. This is why he used this distinction in his research.