Back in December, I was interviewed on Radio 5 Live about my opposition to Syrian air strikes. The interviewer clearly had doubts about my politics but also about my job, evident when she introduced me in a sceptical tone as “Heather Mendick, who describes herself on Twitter as a freelance academic”. The idea of working as a freelance academic is unfamiliar, even to many university-based academics. The most common question I get asked by them is “What do you do?” In this blog I answer that question.
Posts Tagged ‘research’
Most of us see the mass media as something from which other people need protecting. We, in contrast, view ourselves as having the strength to withstand its influence and the insight to see through its lies. Usually these other people are younger than us and they’re more likely to be male than female, and more likely to be working class than middle class. This tendency to see other people as vulnerable to media corruption has been found so often in research studies that it’s become called ‘the third-person effect’. In this post Heather looks briefly at how far this came through in our group interview data.
Our intention for this project is that it has genuine relevence beyond our academic communities; that the findings can be useful to those people working with young people or on issues that affect their lives – from education policymakers to youth and education practitioners. As a team, we’ve written critically about how we are positioned in relation to the ‘impact agenda’ and the challenges we’ve encountered in communicating our research to the media and policy communities. However, we have enjoyed and benefited from productive and generative conversations with practitioners who have engaged with the research – from teachers who have supported us on Twitter and came to hear our talk at the Media Education Association, to careers educators who attended our workshop at the CDI conference, and the many practitioners from across teaching, careers and youth work who came along to our interim workshop in October. One participant at the workshop was Tania de St Croix – a researcher, campaigner and youth worker. In this guest blog post, Tania shares her thoughts on our emerging findings and the challenges in making these meaningful and useful to those working with youth in times that are challenging for both young people and the sector itself.