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Archive for October, 2014

The Saints and the Roughnecks: labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

William Chambliss’ (1973) seminal essay about two rival high school gangs is rightly seen as a contemporary classic that explores, over a few short pages, the consequences of labelling processes and the development of self-fulfilling prophecies.

While it’s a useful primary resource for A-level discussions about the perceived relationship between class, age, gender, ethnicity and deviance it also serves as a context-piece for more contemporary examples of this phenomenon that students can research and explore – such as Keene State College in America or, closer to home, the behaviour portrayed in The Riot Club – a film based on the activities of Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club.

Methods and Methodology

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Jurgenson’s essay “On the cultural ideology of Big Data” will probably need some decoding for A-level students but it’s a worthwhile thing to do because it will:

  1. Give students a contemporary insight to (neo)positivist tendencies in data science.
  2. Provide some contemporary examples of positivism in the shape of “Big Data”.
  3. Introduce students to the concept of large data sets and the analysis of network relationships facilitated by new technologies.

The Bailey Report

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

The Bailey Report (Letting Children Be Children, 2014) highlights a range of issues (and moral concerns bordering on panics) around families, children, childhood and the media that form the basis for interesting discussions around both contemporary family life and wider social developments.

The research methodology – particularly the use of online parental surveys – is also a fruitful area for more general discussions about the reliability and validity of particular research methods.

The Independent has a short report that raises some broad questions about family, children and media (including the perennial “influence of sex and violence” on child development).

Alternatively, you can download the full report (that includes a handy summary).

And if you want to add a visual dimension to the subject Bailey’s report features in our short film “The End of Childhood?” available on DVD and On-Demand.