Tim Burrows: The Only Way is Online: being an Essex girl/boy in the internet age

Tim Burrows is a professional journalist for the Guardian, whose work has led him to closely investigate the phenomenon of ‘Essex’ in recent years. He has looked into ‘The power of Towie’ and how the ITV reality series has changed Essex itself, but also the preconceptions that people have of ‘Essex people.’

Some interesting questions were raised: ‘What does it mean to be from Essex?’ ‘Would you class yourself as an Essex boy/Essex girl?’ ‘When abroad, do you say that you come from Essex or London?’ ‘What is a typical Essex girl/boy?’

Some people who are not from Essex might say that the stereotypical Essex girl/boy would be well-groomed, materialistic, loud, extravagant, dramatic. But are these positive or negative descriptions? These were all questions asked and answered at the Williams Project this week, which uncovered the effects and the hidden reasons why the pre-conceived idea of the typical Essex boy or girl has evolved in our society today.

Alice Carter

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