Rethinking Disadvantage in a Box

Rethinking Disadvantage in a Box seeks to enable GCSE and A Level students from Widening Participation backgrounds to reflect upon and understand the political processes which have contributed to their being disadvantaged.

This series of workshops is applicable to a number of different subject areas, such as Politics; Sociology; Geography (Human);History; Citizenship Studies and Media Studies.

This rethinking disadvantage ‘research in a box’ tackles one of society’s major problems: the radical inequalities which prevent young people from accessing, and taking advantage of, opportunities to further their, and their communities’, interests.

The ‘box’ contains a series of electronic resources, including PowerPoint decks, associated videos and a PDF reading stimulus, intended to enable teachers to run a university-style four week module on the subject.

These workshops stimulate students to examine the part played by social, political and economic processes in the shaping of their family’s circumstances. This reflexive process is intended to assist students to understand the ways in which they may be disadvantaged by historical events and to consider means of dealing with disadvantage, particularly through participation in Higher Education.

The resources use stimulus video material taken from ‘A Cross-Cultural Working Group on “Good Culture” and Precariousness’, a project involving community participants from Ashington, Northumberland and Aboriginal communities around Brisbane, Australia. While these groups experience particular forms of disadvantage, their cases can help students consider their owncircumstances.


The ‘box’ has an associated YouTube archive containing a range of relevant video content

These videos, which are searchable within the project channel, can be used by teachers to examine issues of disadvantage. Teachers can amend the PowerPoint slides to better fit the interests of their students or their learning objectives by substituting videos and revising text. All YouTube videos can be embedded using embed codes. 

The materials are hosted on Lancaster University’s designated Rethinking Disadvantage Open Learning site