As 2014 began we looked back on our top posts of 2013. As it ends, we look back on the top posts of 2014. So below we’ve collected together the 10 blogs that we’ve published this year which have accumulated the most unique visitors according to Google Analytics. It’s great to see that this Top 10, captures the CelebYouth mix of our own blogs and guest posts, covering the findings of the project, reflections on our methodology and on the experience of doing a research project more broadly, and discussions of education policy and celebrity culture.
In 10th place we have… The SLOW University? A seminar series, a guest blog by Durham University’s Maggie O’Neill that overviews the two seminars she organised exploring whether the slow movement can help us to intervene in the acceleration of working life in higher education. We’ve been delighted to publish a range of insights into the pace of academic life, with Heather collaborating with with Maggie, Luke Martell and Ruth Mueller on a collection of online papers: Slow Movement/Slow University: Critical Engagements.
In 9th place we have a seasonal offering from Steve Roberts (Kent University). This is the most recent post to make the top 10. In it, Steve takes apart this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert showing how it sentimentally narrates a disturbing case of penguin sex trafficking ‘Real love?’: Unpacking John Lewis’s festive gift.
In 8th place we have the last post that Laura wrote before moving from CelebYouth researcher to lecturer at University of Surrey: Performing ‘ordinary’: Prince Harry, charity and military masculinity. In this she explores the media representation of Prince Harry alongside some of the things young people said about him in our research. She asks: How can someone who has such a wealthy privileged life, come across as ordinary? And what ideological work does this do?
In 7th place is another guest blog: Is it really so hard to work out why some young people are having their aspirations frustrated? In this, Tristram Hooley, from the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby, explores why careers education is so important for supporting young people in realising their aspirations, particularly those with less financial, social and educational capital. As careers education continues to be subject to ‘austerity’ cuts, this post is even more relevant than when it was published in January.
In 6th place we have “Middle class universities must learn to become more working class” . The title refers to comments made by Peter Brant, head of policy at the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. In this guest post, Cardiff University doctoral student Jessie Abrahams – a ‘working class’ student who attended an elite university and has researched social class and belonging – offers an alternative perspective.
In 4th and 5th place we have the most recent in our series What Do Young People Think about…? First up is Heather’s What Do Young People Think about Beyoncé?; but just in front is Kim’s What Do Young People Think about Will Smith?. It seems that more people google Will Smith than Queen Bey, although both lose out to Bill Gates, who featured in last year’s top 10 list.
In 3rd place is Heather’s critique of the way the Teach First scheme of teacher training is depicted in a recent BBC Reality Television Show. In Celebrity Teachers? Tough Young Teachers, social class and inspiration, she focuses on how the scheme reproduces social class distinctions and dismisses the efforts of those teachers who did not train via Teach First.
Just missing out on the top spot, in 2nd place we have Pharrell’s ‘new black’ : on racism, happiness and not being a ‘sore point’ . In this post, Kim looks at how recent comments by the musician deny the ongoing realities of racism.
And taking the top spot is Character, Values and Celebrity Culture. In this, guest blogger, Gary Walsh from the charity Character Scotland, explores the relationship between young people, celebrity culture and character education. This was part of a blog swap we did with Character Scotland – our contribution to their site was a discussion of celebrity philanthropy and gender.
Although the project ended in July we’re still loving blogging and are excited by all the people who’ve offer to write for us. Massive thanks to them and to everyone who reads our site. As last year, we’d be delighted to get offers of guest posts – see the Write for Us page for guidance.
Have a happy xmas and new year and see you in 2015.
Kim and Heather
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