Tuesday, April 08, 2008

But what does it mean?

I had a look at this site from the BBC following up their season of programmes on the 'white working classes'.

As always there's a lot to think about. Looking at the issues is thought provoking, but I can't help thinking that the debate is framed in slightly the wrong way. I don't want to get too deep into this (too much else on my plate at the moment...deadlines looming!) but I wonder how many people really have as part of their identity that they are 'white' or, indeed, working (or any other) class. I think our understanding of community is far richer than that. However, as with all market research, if you ask people if they are 'oppressed' or badly served, they'll construct appropriate answers.

Actually thing that most struck me about the site was the 'spectrum' gizmo you can see here. It's a strange old thing that allows you to explore the responses to some research on attitudes to race and immigration. The physics of the particles moving around is quite nicely done (I also like the brain and visual thesaurus which has a similar fluidity), but...and this is the thing that made me stop and wonder...what does it actually show that couldn't be shown in a less flashy format?

Aesthetically, I was drawn to it, but it just doesn't give me a better understanding of the issues. A pity.