This research was made possible by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (award number R00429634018). I also gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from the University of London Central Research Fund for fieldwork expenses. My sponsors may not, of course, be best pleased to hear that what I most appreciated about the wonderful gift of full-time education free from material need was the opportunity it offered for me to daydream, to bake my own bread, to conduct a community campaign and to spend hours writing my ‘relationship diaries’. What I gained from these diversions, however, I try to recognise in this thesis: the realisation that learning does not happen as, when and where we might expect it to.
I would like to thank: Dr. Debbie Epstein for supervision during David Buckingham’s absence, and Dr. Sally Munt and Dr. Chris Richards (who both survived reading the whole thing) for their helpful and constructive comments. All the teachers who assisted my ideas at training days and workshops throughout the process, and particularly Jenny Grahame at the English and Media Centre. Participants at the Institute of Education Cultural Studies Research Group: Chris Richards, Angela Devas, Lyn Thomas, Julian Sefton-Green, Pete Fraser, Muriel Robinson, Hyeon-Seon Jeong, Chris Fanthome, Liesbeth de Block, Keith Perera, Elizabeth Funge, Rebekah Willett, Paul Ward, Jon Swain, Sue Cranmer and Shereen Benjamin. My colleagues in Brighton Urban Design and Development played an indirect but significant role by helping me learn how to turn my ‘feelings’ about a place into political action. (Or perhaps I should thank instead the Sainsbury’s consortium and its allies in Brighton and Hove Council, for reminding me how it feels to be belittled and dismissed when you want to talk about something that matters to you…).
I am indebted to ‘Geoff’ and ‘Kate’ – most obviously for their tolerance of my repeated presence in their classrooms and persistent questioning, but more generally for their demonstration in action of the meaning of dedicated and all too frequently unsung pedagogical work. I would like to thank all students at all stages of my work, and to mention especially Guy Barton, Matt King, Gareth Ransome, Charlie Whitaker and the others from Sussex who got me started.
Special thanks go to Professor David Buckingham – perhaps just for having faith when I didn’t, but also for doing all the things an excellent supervisor should do. These included: making it safe to show him work by treating drafts as drafts and ‘reflecting back’ the worthwhile elements scattered within them; directing me towards just the reading that I needed to develop my thoughts; establishing structures I could cling to when I felt swamped; consistently failing to be stern, hypercritical and authoritarian when I expected it of him; and, ultimately, letting me take my own path, tortured and tortuous as it may have seemed to him. All of which means that – as in any successful pedagogical relationship – I have learnt more from him than I can possibly put into words.
Writing up felt like being lost in a long dark tunnel. I’d be there still if it weren’t for: Rowena Herdman-Smith, Deirdre Leask, Sally Munt, Elizabeth Draper, Sophie Powell, Rachel Cottam, Karen Adler, Margaretta Jolly, Ken Pringle, John Devine, Tom Shakespeare, amongst others. If love makes you think, then this thesis is entirely a group effort.
This is especially for Melita, who knows that it is not only Dracula who is invited to appear in girls’ bedrooms at night. For Kerry, for his tales from the outside world; Tina, for the knife; for Ben, who struggles over power with me despite himself. And finally, for Clare who is everywhere here, although only she will ever know quite how much.
Contributor: Sara Bragg
Source: Bragg, S (2000) Media Violence and Education: A Study of Youth Audiences and the Horror Genre, PhD, Institute of Education, London