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Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Karen Matthews and single mothers

In crime, individuals, issues, social groups on December 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Some more stuff on single mothers, linked to the Shannon Matthews’ case.

Daily Telegraph article defending single mothers (and lots of comments attacking the article).

Barbara Ellen in The Guardian on “why Karen Matthews really offended the middle classes”.

News of the World “Evil Karen Matthews two-timed pervert lover with sick kidnapper” (or something like that)

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Social workers and children’s services

In events, individuals, issues, social groups on December 3, 2008 at 6:04 am

Following the horrific Baby P story, the papers have been full of vitriolic attacks on social workers in Haringey (and in general). Here’s a taste of some of the ways in which this social group and individuals such as Sharon Shoesmith have been represented comments on The Sun’s message boards.

Sun letters and texts

Daily Mirror – view from a social worker

Daily Mail – “bungling social workers put children at risk”

Daily Mail – social workers criticised for “flimsy abuse claim”

You can’t win with the Daily Mail, can you?

As an ENGA1 mode exercise, you might find the comparisons between Sun letters and text messages useful too.

Single mothers

In institutions, social groups, teaching ideas on December 2, 2008 at 11:53 am

I’ve encouraged my students to google a phrase to get texts on a more specific topic.  Demonstrating it with “single mother”, some of the first-page hits I got were: this Guardian piece on J K Rowling and her rags-to-riches story (from July 1997); this Independent comment by Kate Saunders on her own experience (from Apr 2007) and this wonderful example from the Daily Mail about a single Nigerian mother who lives in a big house that – guess what – we the taxpayers are funding (from Nov 2008).  There’s clearly enough here for an investigation, but any of the texts could also be used as part of an ‘institution’ investigation into the idea of Family, or further texts about J K Rowling or Omowunmi Odia could be found for a piece on individuals.