Tag Archives: Research

Site of the Week: Demos – a UK think tank

Demos is “a London-based think tank. We generate ideas to improve politics and policy, and give people more power over their lives. Our vision is a society of free and powerful citizens.”

“A multi-dimensional measure of poverty will give a more complete picture of poverty in modern Britain…”

What does it mean to live in poverty? For decades, politicians and policymakers have tended to go straight to the most common definition of poverty: households that live below 60 per cent of median equivalised income. But this definition of relative income poverty has an arbitrary nature (why not 50 per cent or 70 per cent of median income?) – and leaves a host of questions unanswered.

In 2010, Demos is launching a flagship programme of work to develop a new, multi-dimensional measure of poverty that will take into account the full range of factors that affect quality of life and wellbeing.

The idea of poverty is widely seen as living below a standard below which nobody – or children, at least – should be expected to live. But a family’s living standard is affected by much more than their income, or whether they are experiencing material deprivation. It is affected by levels of access to health and education services, including their access to a GP or a dentist, to high-quality hospitals and to good schools, and by factors such as quality of housing.

(via Demos | Projects.)

FOUR YEARS. GO., part 2 – Show Me the Money


In a previous post, I discussed some of the guiding philosophy behind the new, buzz-worthy organization/website FOUR YEARS. GO. (4YG). In particular, I tried to highlight their lack of focus on structural causes of the present crisis, the limitations of calls to individual action, and the relative poverty of creating a social media platform as a response to this moment of crisis.

I now want to begin looking at the groups behind 4YG, and the money and interests that support and influence these groups.

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Critical Media Literacy: Watching the Reporters

(with apologies to Elvis Costello)

In a couple of recent posts, I’ve contrasted the coverage of a story in The New York Times with that of The Guardian (UK).

Comparing the different ways that the same story is presented in different newspapers is a good way to develop a critical media literacy approach to the news. (You can do it with news in any media, or across media – for instance comparing newspaper coverage with that of the TV news – but obviously it is easiest to do with online versions of newspapers. In the discussion that follows, I will stick to that for simplicity’s sake.) Continue reading

Documents of Social Revolution

The Modern Records Center at the University of Warwick (in the UK) was founded in 1973 with the goal of preserving primary sources (ie, original texts and other material) for modern British social, political and economic history. A number of influential organisations and individuals have housed their archives at the Centre, including key British labour organisations, the left-wing publisher Victor Gollancz, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Amnesty International. Continue reading

Some Notes on Research

Some of the factoids I used in the second “Kids and Kommercialism” post were lifted from the website of the National Institute on Media and the Family. As with other borrowings here, that shouldn’t be taken as any kind of endorsement. They seem basically okay if you scan quickly through their website, but things look at bit different when you look at their board of directors. If you aren’t already hip to this tactic, it often pays to check out the board of a nonprofit, or even a for-profit, to get more insight into where their real priorities and values lie.
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