Category Archives: Academic research

Volunteering, social class and some other things

The NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference took place in London last week.  Many of the big names were there, but a lot of the stuff I found most interesting came from Jon Dean, a doctoral researcher at the University … Continue reading

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I’d almost forgotten about food banks…

I lived in the US for a couple of years and while I was there I worked for Generations United.  GU develops intergenerational policy and programmes (sorry, programs…) and campaigns to make things better for intergenerational (IG) families (aka grandfamilies).  … Continue reading

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Community activism and the democratic deficit

I branched out a little on the third day of the SPA conference – but only a little.  First up was three-paper symposium by the Coprodnet collective.  These guys are a multi-site academic, policy and practitioner unit looking at co-production.  … Continue reading

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How many sessions on the Big Society does it take to fill a conference?

One of the many joys of the Big Society is the lovely way it lends itself to any number of sets of paired opposites.  Today at the Social Policy Association Conference, I listened to  market liberalism vs. social value (Pete … Continue reading

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Not exactly blogging the SPA conference…

As a freshly established blogger, I had in mind to try my hand at ‘blogging a conference’ (the Social Policy Association Conference, to be precise).  I think a laptop the size of a planet may not be the best tool, … Continue reading

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Thinking out loud about differences between surveys

What with one thing (daughter’s chickpox) and other (holiday in the US) and all the stuff in between (more bank holidays than you can shake a stick at at), I haven’t been here for a while.  I’m rapidly rolling towards … Continue reading

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What is volunteering?

My supervisor has suggested that I leave this question alone for a little while, so of course I can’t…  (For those of you who can’t countenance studying something before defining it, please bear in mind that I pretty much have … Continue reading

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More infant feeding research

The Telegraph and Observer have both published articles based on Maria Iacovou’s research (presumably this working paper) on the cognitive effects of breastfeeding.  It’s based on data from ALSPAC, a detailed and interesting (if slightly flawed) longitudinal dataset from Bristol.  Once … Continue reading

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Reviewing peer review

Having never thought about peer review in much detail, I came across two independent articles on the subject today.  The first came courtesy of my friend Gill Norman who used it as light lunchtime reading before posting it on Facebook to … Continue reading

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A glimpse of what might have been

A fascinating seminar today on the Big Society – presented by Pete Alcock and Bernard Harris.  It made me think about what I would have been doing if I hadn’t e-mailed John Mohan and been sold on the idea of quantitative … Continue reading

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