One of the many pleasures of this year’s British Educational Research Association Conference was collaborating on the Aspiration Nation? Symposium not just with Kim and Laura, my CelebYouth colleagues, but also with the wonderful Louise Archer from the Aspires Project, Graham Crow from the Living and Working on Sheppey Project and Becky Francis. Graham’s research involves asking young people to write essays in the voice of their older selves looking back on their lives, replicating an earlier study by Ray Pahl in the 1970s. In exploring the archived 1970s essays, Graham was surprised to find that Pahl had scribbled ‘Total Fantasy’ on some. This remark from Graham provoked me to reflect on how we judge young people’s aspirations. How do some come to appear realistic and some fantastic, and with what consequences?
Posts Tagged ‘Sheppey’
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.