The sociologist, Ulrich Beck, famously described social class as a ‘zombie category’, suggesting that thinking in terms of social class was blinding academic researchers to the real experiences and ambiguities of modern life. And yet, inequalities in the UK not only persist, but are in fact growing. The UK ‘suffers from high levels of relative poverty and the poor in Britain are substantially poorer than the worst off in more equal industrialised societies’ (Diamond & Giddens, 2005, p. 102). Continue reading “The C Word – children, TV and social class”
For an early childhood and television researcher based in Sheffield, July brings with it the promise of two very different (but equally enticing) children’s conferences.
The Children’s Media Conference (CMC) is a national conference for the children’s media industry, taking place every year in Sheffield. Meanwhile, the University of Sheffield’s Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (CSCY), hosts a biennial academic conference in July, also in Sheffield. This year, for the first time, the two were scheduled slap-bang, one on top of the other.
Following a busy start to 2016, 2015 now seems like another lifetime. However, having been asked to write a reflection on my travels for my grant awarders at the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre has jogged a lot of happy memories of my time ‘Down Under’.
My trip to Australia came at exactly the right time in my PhD journey. I had been extremely busy with data collection and teaching. I actually spent the day before my flight with one of my wonderful research families, rather than packing my oversized suitcase (a constant companion on my trip and affectionately nicknamed ‘Big Yella’).
I was delighted that my ESRC-funded trip to Oz afforded me the opportunity to attend the very first Early Start Conference at The University of Wollongong‘s new $44M Early Start research, teaching and community engagement facility. The conference’s friendly, mixed delegate population of academics, practitioners and students certainly seemd to reflect the centre’s aspiration to engage and influence at a broader level.