Response to NSPCC Porn Research

nspcc-logo-1024x485You know that the other week I responded to the NSPCC report on children and pornography (here and here), here’s an interesting response on the quality of the research:

The NSPCC has been accused of “deliberately whipping up a moral panic” with a study suggesting a tenth of all 12- to 13-year-olds fear they are “addicted” to pornography.

In an open letter to the child protection organisation’s chief executive Peter Wanless, a group of doctors, academics, journalists and campaigners criticised the NSPCC for “suggesting that pornography is causing harm to new generations of young people”.

Read full article.

[AUDIO] DANAH BOYD — Online Reflections of Our Offline Lives

This looks like an interestindanah_photog podcast to listen to:

Steeped in the cutting edge of research around the social lives of networked teens, danah boyd demystifies technology while being wise about the changes it’s making to life and relationship. She has intriguing advice on the technologically-fueled generation gaps of our age — that our children’s immersion in social media may offer a kind of respite from their over-structured, overscheduled analog lives. And that cyber-bullying is an online reflection of the offline world, and blaming technology is missing the point.

The Bishop of London Calls for Ordinary Heroes (@Tearfund) #OrdinaryHeroes

Politics needs big ideas and less short-term thinking, says the Bishop of London, who today (16th April) launches Tearfund’s  new report and campaign, calling for a restorative economy.

This is a campaign I can get behind. Watch the video, and see the rest of the press release below.

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres said:

We live in a century of mingled promise and peril. The decisions we take now and the way we live now will have an impact on our children and on generations to come – for good or ill. The scars visible on the earth are the accumulating signs of a world in crisis – conflict, corruption, climate change. Yet with these crises, we have made the mistake of concentrating only on short term issues.

The Bishop of London has written a foreword to Christian relief and development agency Tearfund’s ‘Restorative Economy’ discussion paper which suggests that the development success of the past fifty years will be jeopardised by increasing levels of consumption.

Paul Cook, Tearfund’s Advocacy Director, said:

We’ve come a long way. Globally, levels of poverty have halved in the last 25 years alone. Life expectancy, health and education indicators are better than ever before, and technology has helped save millions of lives and improve productivity, especially for smallholder farmers in poor countries.

But if we don’t fundamentally change the ways we produce wealth and create prosperity, we will undo all this progress and push millions of people back into poverty.

The report argues that high levels of consumption and carbon emissions have stretched the earth’s systems to breaking point, and that the impact – already being felt among some of the world’s poorest communities – is most likely to affect people in the UK who are currently children, as well as generations to come.

There is a scientific consensus that an increase in the earth’s temperature by more than 2 degrees will cause irreversible damage to our food and water systems, inequality and poverty levels. The latest data confirms that we are experiencing a mass extinction and that the world’s vertebrate species population has declined by 52 per cent  in the last 40 years.

Calling on Christians, among others, the Bishop of London will launch the Ordinary Heroes campaign to encourage people to make small but significant changes in their lifestyles.  As well as calling for policy change, the campaign seeks to encourage a grassroots movement of people to take responsibility for bringing about change.

Ordinary heroes are people who do simple but bold things to change their own economy, says Paul Cook.

Some people will fly less or consume only fairly traded products, others choose to use renewable energy in their homes or invest their savings in ways that avoid exploiting others.

Using our power as voters, campaigners and consumers is extremely important, and part of our calling to pray and work for the Kingdom of God on earth – a world of peace, justice and hope.

The campaign draws on the Biblical concept of Jubilee, which promotes a rhythm of productivity, rest and community to counter debt and exploitation.

Read more information about the Ordinary Heroes campaign.

30 tips for successful academic research and writing

Deborah-Lupton-2Helpful blog here re: choosing your research:

As part of preparing for a workshop on academic publishing for early career academics, I jotted down some ideas and tips to share with the group which I thought I would post here. In the process of writing 12 books and over 110 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters over a career which has mostly been part-time because of juggling the demands of motherhood with academic work, I have developed some approaches that seem to work well for me.

These tips are in no particular order, apart from number 1, which I consider to be the most important of all:

  1. Choose something to research/write about that you are passionately interested in. I find that most of my research and writing tends to spring from wanting to find out more or understand more about a particular phenomenon that intrigues me. In explaining it to myself I end up explaining it to others, hopefully in a new and interesting way that is worthy of publication.

Read full post on LSE site.

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 (Pew)

pew-research73% of teens have or have access to a smartphone; 91% of teens go online using a mobile device, and 24% of teens say they go online “almost constantly”

Fully 73% of American teens have, or have access to, a smartphone and 30% have a basic cell phone. Our survey of more than 1,000 teens finds that 92% of teens report going online daily – including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly.”

The study also finds that Facebook remains a dominant social media platform for the bulk of American teens, with 71% of all teens reporting use of the platform. Instagram and Snapchat are also quite popular with teens, especially girls. 61% of girls use Instagram compared with 44% of boys, and 51% of girls use Snapchat, compared with 31% of boys.

For more, read or download the full report.

Supporting @iRightsUK [#DigitalParenting]

iRights-Branding_colour-logoAfter my work with Girlguiding, I was pleased to be invited to support iRights, which introduces itself as “Enabling children and young people to access the Internet creatively, knowledegeably and fearlessly”, with more information as below:

The internet has become the decisive organising technology of our world. No child or young person should be left out of the huge opportunity it represents.

 

Children and young people are often presented as digital natives – with fast thumbs able to summon up the knowledge of the world in an instant, build a million dollar company from their bedroom, or topple a corrupt regime with a tweet. Yet the latest research shows that far from being at the forefront of the digital revolution, many young people remain on the lower ‘rungs’ of digital understanding. They lack the skills and knowledge necessary to benefit from the immense opportunities on offer as they move between spaces that are heavily limited and others where ‘anything goes’.

 

Our young people are poorly served by a public debate which is falsely polarised. We are told there is a stark choice to be made between freedom and protection. In the analogue world we balance this choice by giving children clear rights so that they can flourish in a safe and supportive environment. Twenty five years ago we recognised the human rights of all children and young people by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The iRights principles contextualise these rights for the digital world.

The five core iRights are:

  • The right to remove
  • The right to know
  • The right to safety and support
  • The right to make informed and conscious choices (the right to agency)
  • The right to digital literacy

These are certainly things I endorse, and that I hope Raising Children in a Digital Age helps to make happen!

#40acts challenge leads to over 2.9million acts of kindness over Lent

40acts-logo

Stewardship’s Lent challenge, 40acts, which launched on Ash Wednesday, has led to a wave of over 2.9million acts of generosity over 40 days.

The challenge, which comes to an end this Saturday, asks people to do one simple generous act each day over Lent.

This year it had 75,000 people taking part, making this year’s challenge the biggest in its five year history.

Over the last 40 days participants have cleaned graffiti off local buildings, left free chocolates in gym lockers, wrote letters of encouragement to those in prison, surprised strangers with flowers or bought coffee for them in cafes, and invited the neighbours around for ‘pudding parties’ in an attempt to ‘give out’ rather than just give something up for Lent.

One of the most popular challenges of this year’s 40acts was #chocolatetuesday, where thousands of people slipped chocolate bars into people’s handbags, gave out free chocolates on trains and buses, or bought in sweet treats for their class at school.

The challenge encourages people to make living generously a daily habit and gives participants the opportunity to be generous not just with their money, but also with their time, their words, their skills and their hugs!

40acts concluded on Holy Saturday, where those taking part were challenged to do one last anonymous blow-out act of generosity that stretched them beyond their comfort zones.

The award-winning 40acts challenge run by charity Stewardship provided tailored materials to ensure schools, churches, groups, students, families and individuals could take part.

Ruth Bartholomew, who took part in 40acts this year with her husband and three daughters said: “We chose to do 40acts as a family so that we would have activities that we could do together and to show kindness within our family and also to our community members.

“It has had a positive impact on us all. Through all the acts we have taken part and in particular by delivering flowers, cakes, and treats to our neighbours, we have positively influenced our community and opened doors to more meaningful relationships with those we share life with.”

40acts also has a huge following on social media where those taking part share their actions for each day and encourage each other. This year the 40acts Facebook group more than doubled in size from 12,000 to 25,000 and its Instagram community tripled from 900 to 2,700 sharing their photos online. 2000 new Twitter followers joined the conversation, creating a community that supported and encouraged each other.

Alexandra Khan, part of the 40acts team at Stewardship, said: “It’s been a phenomenal year. The 40acts community is an incredible mix of people from all over the world. We’ve loved hearing their stories, seeing new friendships forged, and watching a ripple of generosity happen throughout Lent. For the last 40 days, the motto was ‘do Lent generously’. But now? Now it’s time to ‘do Life generously’.”

You can view Stewardship’s video to conclude the challenge here

Taken from a Press Release