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The Archers in Fact and Fiction

Academic Analyses of Life in Rural Borsetshire

Cara Courage, Nicola Headlam and Peter Matthews

If you have ever wondered about the ethical implications of Dr Richard Locke’s affair with Shula Hebden Lloyd, or whether the ergonomic design of tractor seats could have prevented Tony Archer from getting a bad back, then this book is for you. Leading academics from across the United Kingdom use storylines from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers to examine life in rural Borsetshire, bringing their academic research to new audiences. Is Lynda Snell a middleclass warrior? Can Rob Titchener be compared to Iago? The irreverent but thought-provoking contributions
will have you laughing and thinking.
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An Everyday Story of Dysfunctional Families: Using The Archers in Social Work Education (Helen M. Burrows)


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An Everyday Story of Dysfunctional Families: Using The Archers in Social Work Education

Social work students need to understand the difficulties that their future service users may experience. Learning is developed through lectures, seminars and workshops, and most of all through practice placements, but a real challenge for social work educators is how to show students the constant lived reality of families who have complex difficulties. An hour’s visit to a family only gives a snapshot of that point in time, and service users may be guarded in their behaviour when a professional visits. This chapter considers the educational value of the ‘fly-on-the-wall’ perspective of The Archers, in catching unguarded moments. Recently the Helen and Rob Titchener storyline has accurately portrayed domestic abuse and doubtful parenting. Other examples include the impact of rural poverty, caring for a relative through progressive Alzheimer’s disease, and issues of substance misuse and criminal behaviour. The chapter also considers the use of ‘fan pages’ in social media, as a method for in-depth discussion of students’ learning, and the discussion of social work values and ethics.


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