Different Class

BBC research: new UK “class” system Our traditional three classes are now seven. A research unit within the BBC, BBC Lab UK, has conducted a study delving into class identity in Britain to come up with a more meaningful, contemporary sets of groupings. Prof Mike Savage of the London School of Economics and Prof FionaContinue reading “Different Class”

A Dickensian Present

Theatre Alibi: The Curiosity Shop Sometimes you get a serendipitous coming together of your work with something in the culture. This week I’ve been clocking up the miles doing social research in some of the less frequented corners of the land, interviewing financially vulnerable people at home; and last night, the smell of second-hand roll-upContinue reading “A Dickensian Present”

Scarfolk: beautiful (and very funny) images of a bewitched 70s Middle England dystopia

Occasionally something pops into my view on twitter that’s worth a read and very occasionally I make a real discovery – or rather various illustrious twitterati have. I came across Scarfolk last night via a recommendation from Caitlin Moran‘s twitter feed, started exploring it and, well, it is just a delight: Scarfolk website. The conceitContinue reading “Scarfolk: beautiful (and very funny) images of a bewitched 70s Middle England dystopia”

A place where demographics are politics

Expect plenty about N. Ireland identity issues in 2013, as Derry/Londonderry is the new UK City of Culture this year. William Crawley from my neck of the woods has made an interesting programme for Radio 4 on the rise of a specifically Northern Irish identity (vs solely British or solely Irish) in the 2011 census.Continue reading “A place where demographics are politics”

Scrimping on incentives and other false economies

Reading Michael Sandel‘s What Money Can’t Buy – subtitled The Moral Limits of Markets –  has made me reflect on researchers‘ attitudes to the ‘incentives‘, as we call them in the UK, that we pay to research participants. At the risk of now being bombarded by offers of participation in my projects from the entireContinue reading “Scrimping on incentives and other false economies”

Culture on Radio 4; Kulturkampf in Ulster

Melvyn Bragg on the Value of Culture Happy New Year! Caught some of this Melvyn Bragg series yesterday (link above for those in the UK) and today while dragging myself up from hibernatory winter sleep, exploring the history of debates over the last century and a half about ‘culture‘ – what the word means andContinue reading “Culture on Radio 4; Kulturkampf in Ulster”

How We Took Control Over Our Stiff Upper Lips

Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip – An Emotional History of Britain I never tire of watching Peter Cook‘s WW2 officer announcing to valiant subordinate Jonathan Miller in Beyond The Fringe: Perkins, I want you to lay down your life. We need a futile gesture at this stage … Miller as Perkins accepts his fate withContinue reading “How We Took Control Over Our Stiff Upper Lips”

Olympic Britain: Substance 2012

So I’ve waved goodbye to this phenomenon that breezed into my life, swept me off my feet for two weeks and now leaves me pining at the airport, watching the vapour trail. No, I’m not having an affair with a wayward airline pilot, I meant the Olympics. (I hear the Olympic village usually turns intoContinue reading “Olympic Britain: Substance 2012”

The Glorious Land: TomTom Club On Tour

So, I’ve negotiated the straits between Scylla and Charybdis and my sat nav is raring to go. On the off-chance a random client strays by mistake onto my onanistic blog, this is a public service announcement (without guitars). I’ve been on a break for the last few weeks, yesterday was my first proper day backContinue reading “The Glorious Land: TomTom Club On Tour”

Olympics 2012: Good Time For Fieldwork Outside South-East

A bit of self-promotion here, but hopefully a useful tip too. It’s to flag that, this summer, there’s a particularly strong reason to base your qualitative fieldwork in the Midlands or North, rather than the South-East region. And get me to do it, obviously. Many of us will have received another Transport for London emailContinue reading “Olympics 2012: Good Time For Fieldwork Outside South-East”