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Woke Or Not: Understanding Woke for Older Generations

Woke or not? Do you understand the term? Do you know what it's talking about?

In these days of fast-changing terminology, a common work can change its meaning, and whether it's a compliment or an insult, in an instant. "Woke" is a classic example of that.

Nina Thom, author of “Woke or Not: A Guide to Woke for Older People,” joins Karen O’Connor to discuss the concept of “woke”. Nina explains that her book is a reference guide for those who are unfamiliar with the term woke and want to understand its origins and meanings. She shares her personal journey of curiosity about the term and her desire to bridge the gap between generations in understanding social justice issues. 

Nina explores the historical context of Woke and highlights the importance of understanding the nuances and complexities of the term. She also discusses the emergence of anti-woke movements and the challenges of cancel culture. This is about giving older people a comprehensive understanding of woke culture and its impact on society.

Key Takeaways:

  • Woke culture is not a new phenomenon but has evolved over time to encompass awareness of social justice issues.
  • The term woke refers to being aware of and actively engaged in addressing social justice issues.
  • Woke culture has its roots in historical movements such as civil rights and women’s liberation.
  • There are different perspectives and interpretations of woke culture, and it is important to have open and respectful dialogue to bridge the gap between generations.
  • Cancel culture and calling out problematic behavior can be both positive and negative, depending on the context and intent.

Key Points:

0:01:09  Explanation the concept of “woke”
0:04:14  The confusion and terminology surrounding “woke”
0:05:33  The historical context of social justice issues
0:08:24  The anti-woke movement and its origins
0:10:50  Reactionary politics and fear surrounding progressive reforms
0:13:00  Cancel culture and the impact of social media
0:17:26  Is calling out a tool for accountability or a punishment?
0:21:15  Miscommunication and lack of understanding of terminology
0:22:07  Need for clarity and understanding of woke culture
0:23:44  The danger of othering and labeling as extreme or abnormal
0:26:48  Flipping racism and the manipulation of societal viewpoints

"Woke is simply a word, and it does have many meanings and nuances, but it's important for you to decide for yourself what it is and how you want to perceive it. Take it as an insult or take it as a compliment. It's your choice."

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About Nina Thom

BSc. BArch MCH (Master of Cultural Heritage), Psychotherapist, Diploma of Counselling

Author, advocate for cultural heritage, heritage professional

Nicole is the author of the newly released book Woke or Not? The Guide to Woke for Older People, released under the pen name Nina Thom.

She has long been a social justice advocate and turned her interest, education, and passion into a resource for others to navigate the “world of wokeness” and especially for older people to relate to their millennial children or grandchildren.

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