The perils of blogging


I love blogging for both my research and teaching. It helps me with my writing it is great at making thoughts coherent as well as sharing ideas and getting feedback. I have always been careful not to blog about my Ph.D research, or put anything in too much detail.

Blogging is not an add to research, but a crucial part of your development as a researcher.

I have heard many horror stories from English and History Ph.D researchers in particular, whose work has been taken by other students and journalists! Clearly this is unfair for someone to take the credit for the hard work of others.

I was gutted to be directed to an article (please note this is the updated post) that looks similar to one I wrote and published in June 2013.

This is a screen grab of the author commenting about and sharing my piece back in March. To not even cite me is very unfair and lacks integrity. It also makes the thousands of readers believe it the author’s work.


After emailing the editor I am very happy that he has updated the piece to reference me and link directly to my original blog post. Of course the thousands of people who read this on the day it came out and shared it don’t know it is my piece which influenced it.

My post came after a strong interest in whiteness and the regulation of the white working class woman since 2011. It is one of my main research interests and I hope to publish from it in the future. My Sociology dissertation at LJMU was called ‘Dirty White: Constructing the Chav’ A theoretical study of the construction of the chav, a study of excess, immorality, and the construction of white deviance. and originally I was going to study for a PhD in this area titled Visualising deviant raciality: racial neoliberalism and the moral economies of whiteness in ‘post-racial’ Britain. Hopefully I will get to write and publish in this area in the future.

This has taught me a valuable lesson about blogging. I am just lucky it is a tiny blog post/idea and not something of worth.

It has also taught me a valuable lesson about integrity. As I always tell students if you use anything you must cite it! It is extremely poor not to. First years have this drummed into them. Even if you haven’t copied it ‘word for word’ if you have used their ideas, theory or perspective you must cite them. It is only fair.

However, Professor Pat Thomson rightly points out here that people can steal your ideas from conferences, seminars, digital thesis; it is not a risk exclusive to blogging, and each researcher must weigh up the risks they want to take.

I also tell students (rightly or wrongly some may argue) that they can cite whatever they want. As long as they use enough theory, and they are reading enough quality journals and books, they can use any contemporary media examples they want to illustrate their points. That’s what I want an accessible critical cultural sociology that anyone can engage in and share.

So this has been a strange post to write but just be careful what you blog and if in doubt with PhD material always consult with your supervisors and/or ethics board before putting anything online. This includes unpublished conference papers.

And many thanks for those with integrity who have cited me without request on the following websites and book.