Lifestyle choice does not explain a 17-year life expectancy gap

By Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, Birmingham Fellow Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham When a researcher at BBC’s Panorama got in touch with me to say they were making a programme about health inequalities in Stockton, I had mixed feelings. Just three years before, the second series of the popular ‘poverty porn’ … Continue reading “Lifestyle choice does not explain a 17-year life expectancy gap”

Can Adversaries Become Friends?

By Nicholas Wheeler, Professor of International Relations Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham ‘The past does not have to define the future. Yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war. As history has proved over and over, adversaries can become friends’. US President Donald Trump spoke these words after his … Continue reading “Can Adversaries Become Friends?”

Friendship in the age of social media: Friend-collectors and well-wishers

By Dr Katy Dineen, Research Fellow Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham What does friendship mean in a world of clicks, likes, emojis and pokes? The idea of a ‘friend’ is becoming increasingly unrecognizable; from a noun denoting some form of sanctuary, sympathy and simpatico to a verb conferring social status (or, … Continue reading “Friendship in the age of social media: Friend-collectors and well-wishers”

Should we still ‘marvel’ at comic book heroes?

By Michael Fullard, Research Fellow Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham I can only hope that the thousands of fans attending the current Comic-Con convention, and the millions of other fans around the world, ‘marvel’ at these superheroes not only because of their extraordinarily feats of strength or speed, but because of … Continue reading “Should we still ‘marvel’ at comic book heroes?”

Trumpian Diplomacy and UK-US Relations

By David Dunn, Professor of International Politics Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham For Trump, however, both at the NATO summit in Brussels and in his criticism of the May government in The Sun, the apparent intention was to challenge the value of continued partnership; to chastise allies for their alleged … Continue reading “Trumpian Diplomacy and UK-US Relations”

Volcano eruption in Guatemala – a tale of natural and political disasters

By Dr Sanne Weber,  Research Fellow International Development Department, University of Birmingham The eruption of the volcano ‘Fuego’ (Fire) in Guatemala last Sunday and the government’s response to it laid bare once again the severe social and political crisis in the country, the result of years of corruption, social and political conflict. The eruption flooded … Continue reading “Volcano eruption in Guatemala – a tale of natural and political disasters”

Good Girls VS Bad Girls: exploring the representations of female sexuality on ITV’s Love Island

By Amelia Morris,  Doctoral Researcher Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Birmingham Overall, it is important to analyse reality TV’s representations of femininity and sexuality; shows such as Love Island exist within the mainstream and draw in large audiences.  Thus, conversations surrounding gender and sexuality can be amplified through such shows in a … Continue reading “Good Girls VS Bad Girls: exploring the representations of female sexuality on ITV’s Love Island”

What do World Hunger Day, immigration control and a former national airline have in common?

By Andrew Jolly, Doctoral Researcher School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham Food poverty is a pressing global issue, there are an estimated 815 million people in the world today who are chronically undernourished and eradicating the issue of world hunger is one of the UN sustainable development goals. The Food Standards Agency estimates that … Continue reading “What do World Hunger Day, immigration control and a former national airline have in common?”

School progress measures are a missed opportunity for a fairer and more informative approach

By Tom Perry, Teaching Fellow, ​ University of Birmingham,  MA School Improvement and Educational Leadership Research Manager, Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) The Progress 8 measures of school performance compare pupils’ GCSE results across 8 subjects to those of other pupils with the same primary school SATs results. There are many reasons … Continue reading “School progress measures are a missed opportunity for a fairer and more informative approach”

The persistence of white privilege in higher education: isn’t it time for radical change?

By Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice Centre for Research in Race and Education, University of Birmingham Yesterday it was reported in The Guardian that Oxford University has yet again failed to address issues of diversity and inclusion in terms of its student intake. The Guardian reports that one in four Oxford colleges … Continue reading “The persistence of white privilege in higher education: isn’t it time for radical change?”