Author Archive

Archiving data: ethics, practicalities and dilemmas

Written by Laura (Researcher). Posted in News

Our project aims to collect and catalogue an archive of data on the role of celebrity in young people’s aspirations. The archive will include data from group and individual interviews, online discussion data and celebrity case studies. Data archiving is prioritised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council raises a number of ethical and practical questions. Archiving enables the sharing of anonymised data with other researchers, creating the possibility of comparative studies and additional analysis of the data. From an ethical perspective, enabling other researchers to analyse existing data sets makes good use of the time and energy that research participants put in to taking part in research projects, encourages rich interpretations of our data and transparency of data analysis.

Reflections: conducting ‘youth-centred’ research

Written by Laura (Researcher). Posted in News

In this post I discuss some of our dilemmas in designing youth-centred research about celebrity using offline and online methods.

The project team will start fieldwork in schools this month. In our first stage of data collection we will explore how young people collectively talk about celebrities and celebrity culture. We are interested in how our participants find out about celebrities, how they make sense of the stories they hear about them and how they relate these to their own lives.

Building an ‘aspiration nation': David Cameron’s Conservative party speech 2012

Written by Laura (Researcher). Posted in News

Aspiration is the engine of progress. Countries rise when they allow their people to rise. In this world where brains matter more, where technologies shape our lives, where no-one is owed a living: the most powerful natural resource we have is our people. -David Cameron

In this post I take a critical eye to the use of ‘aspiration’ in David Cameron’s speech yesterday. What does he mean when he talks about aspiration? And what is left out?

David Cameron

David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday focused strongly on the topic of aspiration, positioned as the solution to economic crisis and the tool to ‘meet the challenges our country faces’.

Language is not a transparent thing. The words that we use and how we define particular terms construct certain versions of the world; what gets to count as ‘true’ in any given moment – what Foucault referred to as ‘truth effects’.

Cameron’s speech is a fascinating text to examine the construction of the notion of ‘aspiration’.


  • School of Sport and Education, Brunel University
    Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH


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