Abstract 16- Volume 1, Number 3, Summer 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006



Why Vote? Whose Voice Is Viable, and Who Is Vulnerable?

Lois McFadyen Christensen
The University of Alabama at Birmingham


Just as the fall of the year itself undergoes a transformation, frequently the season conjures up the notion of new beginnings—of change. Besides the detaching, accumulating, and blowing of autumn’s multi-colored leaves, the ripe and over-ripe bounty of summer’s growth is ready to harvest. A shift of the November wind’s flow, too, stirs a sense of readiness for change. November evokes a time for deliberation about voting that sometimes signifies change and new beginnings or perhaps signals transformation. A desire for change is often the catalyst for casting a ballot. Voting is repeatedly upheld as a privilege and a right of people living in freedom within a democracy. Is it really? What is freedom exactly? Where did the idea of voting begin?

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About the Author(s)…

Lois McFadyen Christensen, associate professor of elementary social studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, teaches and researches issues concerning learning elementary social studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She facilitates learning in critical pedagogy and qualitative research methods. Each summer she team-teaches a civil rights movement course accompanied by the city schools and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. She served on the PBS Advisory Board for TeacherSource. http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/. Contact information: lmchrist@uab.edu, the University of Alabama in Birmingham.