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The Grundys are the alternative world of Ambridge. Invariably down on their luck, often portrayed as lazy if not feckless and usually incompetent. This chapter speaks up for the downtrodden of Borsetshire and in particular the Grundys. It looks at the development of the Grundy family in The Archers over almost 50 years now. It relates key elements in their lives, looking not just at the class struggle in the village but also the importance of gender in this. It draws on key players in the Grundy story from the 1970s including the late radio DJ John Peel who was for a time an enthusiast for The Archers and who played Eddie Grundy's records on his BBC Radio One show. It also looks at the views of key Archers figures such as Vanessa Whitburn and Keri Davies and how they have approached the Grundys. It uses the work of Marx and Engels to try to explain how it is that the Grundys moved from being small farmers to landless labourers. What the chapter doesn't do is to map out a strategy for the liberation of the Grundys from their oppression. It does however look forward to a world turned upside down when at 19.02 hours on a weekday evening on BBC Radio 4 we hear a programme called not The Archers, but The Grundys.
The parenting styles, or perhaps lack thereof, of Ambridge families is a much-talked about topic among The Archers listeners. This has been brought into keen focus…
The parenting styles, or perhaps lack thereof, of Ambridge families is a much-talked about topic among The Archers listeners. This has been brought into keen focus recently with the parental role in, and reaction to, Ed and Emma Grundy's separation, and the intra- and inter-family dynamics of the Archers clans brought about by Peggy Woolley's Ambridge Conservation Trust. This chapter presents an Archers Assembly, based on the Citizens’ Assembly model, to pass judgement on the parenting styles of the matriarchs and family heads of key Ambridge clans. The Archers Assembly crowdsourced (through the Academic Archers Facebook group) considerations on: The Matriarchs, Peggy and Gill Archer; David and Ruth Archer; Pat and Tony Archer; Susan and Neil Carter; Jenny and Brian Aldridge; and Clarrie and Eddy Grundy. The chapter offers the evidence on each set, with a list of ‘for’ and ‘against’ cases, and quotes, from respondents.
Families conduct their affairs through processes that are built upon those of previous generations and also social capacities such as culture, class, oppression and…
Families conduct their affairs through processes that are built upon those of previous generations and also social capacities such as culture, class, oppression and poverty. The media has played a part in stereotyping the lower classes through their portrayal on the television programmes such as Benefits Street and Jeremy Kyle and tabloid newspaper stories. This chapter is a case study of two families who are at the opposing ends of the social scale, the Horrobin/Carter and Aldridge families. The two families were chosen due to them being linked by marriage in the younger generation. Through the use of genograms, we explore how the families differ in their attitudes towards relationships within their individual families, and also how they relate to each other as separate family groups. Despite the many differences, there are also a number of key similarities, particularly regarding the key females in the families, in terms of family background and snobbery. We also show that there is little family loyalty in the more privileged family and a power differential between the two families (oppressors vs. oppressed) in terms of the crimes committed.
This chapter discusses portrayals of attitudes towards and experiences of gender and sexuality diversity in The Archers and discusses the role of media in shaping social…
This chapter discusses portrayals of attitudes towards and experiences of gender and sexuality diversity in The Archers and discusses the role of media in shaping social change. Using existing data on attitudes across the UK, a survey was developed for The Archers’ audience to measure listener perceptions of key character attitudes. The survey findings are compared against the UK data. Broadly, the audience perceived characters in The Archers as reflecting a similar attitudinal spread to the UK. However, irrespective of attitudes, within The Archers, there is a lack of representation of the experiences of gender diversity or alternative forms of sexuality. In conclusion, I argue The Archers could do more to drive social change by featuring a wider range of gender diversity and non-heteronormative queer experiences.
This chapter asks, how do the decisions made by Ambridge women compare to the rest of the UK when faced with an unexpected positive pregnancy test, and will explore the…
This chapter asks, how do the decisions made by Ambridge women compare to the rest of the UK when faced with an unexpected positive pregnancy test, and will explore the decisions made by four Ambridge women when faced with the question of their own pregnancies. It will firstly present the UK context of pregnancy and family composition and go on to examine four case studies of unplanned pregnancy, the decision-making process encountered and its outcomes in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers.
In March 2015, following unseasonable heavy precipitation, the River Am burst its banks flooding the village of Ambridge and causing one death and numerous injuries. The…
In March 2015, following unseasonable heavy precipitation, the River Am burst its banks flooding the village of Ambridge and causing one death and numerous injuries. The lines between fiction and reality became blurred when the BBC offered updates about the weather situation in Ambridge through social media. However, in fiction, as in reality, memories are short; recent village gossip in Ambridge has been dominated by other matters including a certain murder trial and the mix-up with Jill Archer’s chutney. The flood has come and gone.
In this chapter, I will examine the response to, and recovery from, the floods in Ambridge in order to ascertain what lessons have been learned, and whether enough has been done to make Ambridge more resilient to future floods events. I will show how the programme raised important issues in relation to flooding management in England today, and focus upon the increasing responsibilisation of citizens, the tension which exists between framing the flood response in terms of ‘resilience’ or ‘vulnerability’, and the need for people to find someone or something to blame for their misfortune. I conclude that The Archers could play a critical role in maintaining flood awareness in the future.
If you are running a rural business there are associated difficulties in reaching new customers, how can growth be sustained without spending huge amounts of time or money…
If you are running a rural business there are associated difficulties in reaching new customers, how can growth be sustained without spending huge amounts of time or money on marketing? Borsetshire needs more social media, and this chapter will illustrate how social media can help rural business. Looking at known online activity in Ambridge, it will highlight the perceived and potential social media practices of a variety of residents to give an example of what can be achieved, touching on the various networks and technology that can enhance the personal and professional lives of all, whether poultry smallholder or publican. The conclusion that social media can help foster feelings of community suggests that the Borsetshire populace should take immediate measures to advance their online activities.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the experiences of tertiary students learning oral presentation skills in a range of online and blended learning contexts across…
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the experiences of tertiary students learning oral presentation skills in a range of online and blended learning contexts across diverse disciplines.
The research was designed as a “federation” of trials of diverse online oral communications assessment tasks (OOCATs). Tasks were set in ten courses offered across all five faculties at University of Newcastle, Australia. The authors collected and analysed data about students’ experiences of tasks they completed through an anonymous online survey.
Students’ engagement with the task was extremely positive but also highly varied. This diversity of student experience can inform teaching, and in doing so, can support student equity. By understanding what students think hinders or facilitates their learning, and which students have these experiences, instructors are able to make adjustments to their teaching which address both real and perceived issues. Student experience in this study highlighted five very clear themes in relation to the student experience of undertaking online oral communications tasks which all benefit from nuanced responses by the instructor: relevance; capacity; technology; time; and support.
Using well-designed OOCATs that diverge from more traditional written assessments can help students successfully engage with course content and develop oral communication skills. The student experience can be used to inform teaching by catering for different student learning styles and experience. Student centred approaches such as this allows instructors to reflect upon the assumptions they hold about their students and how they learn. This understanding can help inform adjustments to teaching approaches to support improved student experience of learning oral communications tasks.
The importance of learning oral communication skills in tertiary education is widely acknowledged internationally, however, there is limited research on how to teach these skills online in a way that is student centred. This research makes a contribution toward addressing that gap.
This chapter explores the queasy relationship between food and sex on The Archers. For listeners, food provides an imaginative reference point; consumption of food hints…
This chapter explores the queasy relationship between food and sex on The Archers. For listeners, food provides an imaginative reference point; consumption of food hints towards characters embodiment and occupation of physical space. To the extent that these characters have boundaries, the way they approach and react to food reveals their rigidity or permeability, and the tones in which characters offer, provide, prepare, coax and force food upon one another tells us a lot about the sexual politics at play in Ambridge. In The Archers, women cook and men eat. Characters who rebel against this norm often subvert traditional masculinity in other ways.
Through close reading (and obsessive listening), this chapter analyses the ways in which food allows the relationships on The Archers to act as foils to one another. It also explores: food as metaphor; food used both to sustain and fortify the boundaries of the self and to besiege the ego boundaries of others; how characters are given weight in acoustic space; female emancipation; male helplessness; the hunger/satiety/aural claustrophobia of listeners.