Entering the list: campaigning for bilingual education on the NET.
Language and Education, 17(4) pp. 281–302.
This paper describes and explores the activities of members of a listserv group in their efforts to defend bilingual education in Arizona. Their anonymity has to be preserved as this is a politically sensitive issue and they might be professionally compromised by publishing any identifying details. During the period under discussion they were campaigning against the inclusion of a proposition (Proposition 203) on an electoral ballot to outlaw bilingual education. The ballot was sponsored by the millionaire computer entrepreneur Ron Unz, who had successfully financed a similar move in California – the infamous 'Proposition 227'. The paper attempts to delineate the ways in which such a 'virtual' group develops the cohesion it requires in order to sustain its activities in the absence of direct, face-to-face contact. It reports on a survey carried out amongst its members to discover their diverse reasons for joining and remaining in such a group and the level of their active involvement within it. In seeking to document the motivations and activities of a listserv it inevitably sets up a model for others to examine and, possibly, emulate.
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