Does your research involve working with young people? Are you interested in youth-led, creative or culturally-responsive methodologies?
The British Educational Research Association (BERA) special interest group for Youth Studies & Informal Education, is working in collaboration with the British Sociological Association (BSA)’s Youth Study Group and the Political Studies Association (PSA)’s Young People’s Politics Specialist Group to bring you a series of online methods seminars for Summer 2022.
Supporting cross-disciplinary dialogue in Youth Studies, these seminars will incorporate methods from Education, Sociology and Politics research with young people. Seminar topics include Talking and Listening approaches with young people, Creative Methods, Co-Production, Co-Design and Co-Authorship, Placemaking, exploring spaces and places with young people, Ethnography and Focus Groups. Whilst these seminars focus predominantly on qualitative methods, they will explore the application of several of these methods online.
There will also be a specialist seminar for PGRs and ECRs on adaptability, resilience, and career transitions. These seminars will follow an informal format, where following two or three short presentations, there will be space for event attendees to share questions, ideas and their own approaches.
These events are free for BERA, BSA or PSA members and £10 for non-members.
Exciting news about my research on drug use at parties at home! Recently I received funding from the QR Policy Fund for a brief policy-orientated research project on encouraging and supporting safer partying among young adults. As you will know I have long been thinking about partying ‘at home’ in domestic/private settings, with a particular interest in after-parties, a profoundly under-researched aspect of dance music cultures. I am very excited to be working on this. Watch this space for forthcoming events and outputs!
Brief project description
Safer Partying is a timely and significant study on ‘recreational’ drug use in leisure settings. It will produce and translate knowledge on young adult’s substance use at parties in private/domestic settings to policymakers, harm reduction and drug policy organisations, and party-goers themselves.
Safer Partying is a multi-method research and policy study that aims to illuminate substance use practices, meanings and motivations among young adults within ‘private’ or domestic ‘hidden’ spaces. It is timely given the prominent focus on recreational drug use in leisure settings in the recent 2021 UK Drug Strategy, coupled with the fact that the pandemic has reduced young people’s engagement with the night-time economy (NTE) and increased the use of private/domestic spaces to party. The pandemic has also reduced access to safe spaces for leisure for those experiencing intersections of multiple disadvantage (Woodrow and Moore 2021, Moore et al 2021).
Safer Partying will build a much-needed evidence base and expert network around substance use upon which public health and criminal justice policy responses can be developed. The focus is on translating findings on young adult’s alcohol and ‘recreational’ drug use in private/domestic settings to key stakeholders (local and national policymakers, harm reduction and drug policy organisations, and young adults). Currently, scholarly and policy attention in this area has focused on the NTE and music festivals, resulting in a knowledge gap in young adult’s substance use at parties in private/domestic spaces; including the longstanding practice within dance music cultures of ‘after-partying’, the continuation of substance use in private/domestic spaces after a main social event such as a club night or festival.
The project will work at both a local and national level. Research activities include focus groups with young adults in Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh; expert interviews with individuals at a range of organisations concerned with youth leisure and the health/wellbeing of young adults more generally; and a nationwide online targeted population survey on partying practices, including substance use. Project partners include Professor Rob Ralphs, Director of Greater Manchester: Testing and Research on Emergent and New Drugs (GMTRENDs) for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Kira Weir, Nightlife and Harm Reduction Co-ordinator of Crew 2000, a Scottish drug and alcohol charity based in Edinburgh.
So the pandemic brought lots of online activity around my research. This included a fab chat about undertaking illicit drug research through a Sociological lens, with the fantastic Matthew Wilkin of The Sociology Show.
We would like to invite you to participate in our new Virtual Summer Reading Group, with a focus on ‘utopian and dystopian worlds’ 😊
Our first reading is a short story by E.M Forster called The Machine Stops, first published in the Oxford and Cambridge Review, November 1909. Forster tells the tale of a mother (Vashti) and her son (Kuno) who live in small ‘isolated’ cells on a strange, possibly post-apocalyptic future Earth-world. Their needs – food, shelter, entertainment, even the artificial air they breathe – are provided by The Machine. The Machine is never fully explained, only hinted at. Kuno proves to have a rebellious spirit, venturing out to discover whether life (still) exists outside of The Machine. Will he survive, and what will he find out?
Interested? Try this!
i) Read: Read E.M. Forster’s short story The Machine Stops and note down a few of your thoughts. You can find the reading here: https://tinyurl.com/y8wwqh85 or here (direct link to the PDF)
ii) Think: You can use our “Things to think about” suggestions (below) as guidance when you read if you find them helpful. Otherwise ignore.
iii) Chat: Come along to our virtual meet up at 2 o’clock Thursday 16th July 2020to hear us discuss the reading. You can add your own thoughts (via chat text or verbally) to the discussion. You can also participate in the SRG forum online: https://tinyurl.com/ybvtvcht
Things to think about
We chose this story as it has some uncanny links to our present situation, the Covid crisis 2020. Have a think about some of these questions:
What aspects of contemporary life do you think are like the world depicted in the story?(e.g. the lockdown? the internet? university life?)
What do you think of technology as being sole mediator of social life/interaction? How does this resonate with today’s world? Do you miss “IRL”?!
“I want to see you not through the Machine” said Kuno. What is Kuno’s problem with virtual chats?!
“There were buttons and switches everywhere – buttons to call for food, for music, for clothing….” Human (over)reliance on technology? How does this resonate with today’s world?
What do YOU think would happen if ‘The Internet’ stopped working? (like The Machine in Forster’s story!)
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When: Every other Thursday at 2 o’clock starting on Thursday 16th July 2020
Roadmaps to Regulation: MDMA is an innovative report mapping how a strictly regulated legal market for MDMA products would work for both clinical and recreational use. It draws on decades of scientific evidence to closely details the risks and harms associated with MDMA use in the context of prohibition, whilst setting out the benefits of alternative policies for a safer future.
The UK’s relationship with our European neighbours is the topic of increasingly heated debate as Thursday 23rd of June looms. The UK “referendum on Europe” is at times even usurping our enduring preoccupation with the weather.
Whatever the outcome, I am sure we as drug researchers, practitioners and concerned others will continue to find ways to work collaboratively around shared concerns which transgress national borders and boundaries, such as the health and wellbeing of all.
In this positive spirit, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) today launches a new web survey for the UK.
The EMCDDA is developing estimates of the size of drug markets across the European Union based on data provided by National Focal Points, which in the UK is Public Health England. One way of estimating market size is to collect survey data on quantities of substances used by different groups of people who take drugs. The EMCDDA’s European Web Survey on Drugs focuses on seven countries across Europe, namely Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Latvia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Please spread the word, get involved, and make your views and experiences heard.