Monday, 20 July 2009

Government Dealing Drugs

Most people are cynical of the Government. A large percentage of the working class think that the government feathers its own nests, that the government looks after its own interests, gives job to the boys etc however, most people believe that the Government operates, kind of, within the law as the following verbatim illustrates

“The Government and MP’s are all at it they just all look out for themselves”
“They are robbers and thieves but they operate within the law”

However, recent research with young Bangladeshi Youths in South East London has thrown up some interesting facts, this groups distrust of the government is so strong that they believe the government is dealing drugs as the following quotes illustrate.

“This country is swamped with drugs, it’s cause the government let’s them in”
“The government seizes drugs and re-sells them. The government is the middle man”
“The government sells drugs cause they want to keep people like us in our place”
“The politicians are the countries biggest drug dealers…they are growing fat on the misery of the people”

The crazy thing about this viewpoint is that it was not an isolated view point just coming from one focus group it is in fact much bigger than this – it is a common social myth amongst a very disfranchised minority group.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Where have all the women gone?

I have recently done some research with working class youths. One of the things that struck me is the fact that you always get big groups of guys hanging out on the street corner but no girls. I wanted to find out the answer to this so I investigated their hangouts.
Their hangouts seem to be as follows:

(1) Until the age of thirteen both boys and girls hang out on estates, where they can be closely watched by their parents.

(2) From the ages of thirteen, both boys and girls hang out in the parks, where they have their own space are rarely bothered and can do their own thing like drink and smoke spliffs.

(3) From the ages of sixteen, girls get picked up by the older boys and end up in clubs and pubs whilst the boys who can't get in the clubs hang around the streets. Which is why you get large groups of boys hanging out on street coroners.

Cocaine and the Lynx effect

Young guys love Lynx/Axe. Lynx is seen as being an enhancer to their ability to pull women. Guy's are motivated by the fact that Lynx = seduction. Seduction is good because if you can seduce then you can potentially get a shag.

Cocaine for some young guys can often fulfil a similar role. Cocaine is seen as being a tool of seduction. It is often used to pull women as the following quotes illustrate

"Some girls love Coke, you tell them you got some powder and your in"

"Coke is like a bargaining a girl a line and your sorted"

"You know at the end of the night some girls will be pissed and begging for a line up..that's when you have got them"

These guys believe that cocaine can be used as a seducer in order to pull the fit women.

Banks are all right but bankers are w***ers

Research with working class audiences suggests an interesting dichotomy in terms of the credit crunch.

These people clearly separate Banks from Bankers. In fact banks are seen as being nice, kind, helpful, they are often seen as being the victims of nasty corporate city guys as the following quotes illustrate

"I've always used my bank and they are really nice"

"My banks are great I know Silvia at the cash desk and she is great"

"It is not the banks fault..this crisis is due to them rich bastards"

However, bankers are seen to be b****s they are blamed for the credit crunch- and not many people make the connection that they work for the banks.

"Bankers are bastards...they have ripped off this country due to their greed"

"It's bankers in the city that have caused this mess"

These facts have big implications on how banks present themselves. Positioning themselves as nice, kind and helpful still seems to be the right approach.

Boys can multi task!

It is a fact that men can't multi task(well I can't). However, times are changing, young boys are starting to learn how to multi task. How come? Well it is all down to the utilisation of media, boys these days will listen to the radio, play their computer and talk on the phone all at the same time - they are multi tasking.
Yes, ladies, the glass ceiling is about to fall in.

Middle class Mums, researchers and recruiters

It sadness me but there are very few specialists in conducting research with 'hard to reach audiences' e.g. drug addicts, domestic abusers, children in homes etc. There are two main reasons for this:
(1) Most recruiters are nice 'middle class mums', they tend to recruit from their own network - e.g. people like them, this means that drug addicts, estate kids etc are not generally on their radar + they don't really want to recruit them, talk to them or have them in their own home.
(2) Most researchers are nice 'middle class mums', this means that when taking to 'hard to reach' audiences they are often outside of their comfort zone and therfore find it hard to really connect, probe or understand them. My favourite example is a research director who tried to convince a national bookmakers that they should not speak to DEs despite the fact that this constituted half the clients target audience!?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Happy Hooker

Qualitative research with working class guys indicates that there is a sea-change of attitudes towards prostitution. Visting a prostitute is no longer seen as the domain of old men in macks.

There are several reasons for this:

(1) Cocaine and drink: These guys report that when they mix drink and cocaine it makes them much more horny: However, because their wives don't like the fact that they do cocaine, they often stay out with their mates and when they get the horn they either book an escort, to come round, or they go to a local hooker.

As the following verbatims illustrate:

"I always feel horny when I have had a line up, so rather than disturb my misses I look for a good time girl"

"I have been in situations where I have been with my mates and we have been watching a bit of porn and doing a bit of coke. Then someone will say to us...let's get a girl round for a shag. Sometimes we will get a girl each but often we will just get one girl for all of us"

(2) Lad's holidays: The tradition of lad's holidays abroad e.g. stag parties: Often introduces these guys to prostitution:

"When you are with the lads in Tallinn or Prague you always have a few beers then go for a shag"

"When we went to Prague, there were loads of tarts offering sex, after a few beers you don't say no"

"We always have a boy's holiday to Thailand: When you are in Thailand you have got to have a shag"

(3) Cleaner prostitutes: There is a perception that the sex workers who are in flats are often much cleaner than girls who are working on the streets

"I would never shag a street girl..they should pay me"
"There is something nice about going to a flat. The places are clean and you get a nice cup of tea"
"The girl's that I use are clean there is no needle marks in their arms"

(4) Easy availability of prostitutes. These guys claim that getting a prostitute is very easy all you have to do is look in the local paper.

(5) Question of race: These guys claim that the girls they use are not English. The girls are mainly from Thailand or Eastern Europe. There is a perception often fuelled by the media that being a prostitute is part of these girls culture.

"In Thailand there are prostitutes but they like doing that job...they always smile."

"Russian girls come over here to make money. They can't do much so they lie on their backs..that is why they don't mind shagging anyone"

"Lip stick and short skirts that's the Eastern European girls for you..they are brought up to be slappers"

"They are not I don't care about shagging them"

"Eastern European girls learn to do blow jobs from an early age"

Because the girls are foreign, not English, they do not think that they are someone's daughter.
For them issues of sex trafficking are not on the radar, they don't believe it or if it if they do they just dismiss it with comments like: "I'm always nice to the girls"

(6) Availability of porn. The wide spread availability of porn makes these guys think that some women are slags.

"You want to be a porn star"
"You want to do the things in porn films to someone..who is not your wife."
"There are always girls that will do things that your wife won't do"

However, the worrying trend is that these guys will often not use protection when they visit prostitutes and after the visit to the sex worker they will go back home to their wife.