300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed BBC

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

New research on how society works

    THE BED

    THE BED

    THE BED: Laurie Taylor talks to Nadia Durrani, writer on archaeology and co-author of a study which explores 'what we did in bed', offering a social history of an often taken-for-granted object. In a story spanning millennia, she illuminates the role of the bed through time, reminding us that it was not always simply a private space for sleep, sex and relaxation; it's also been a place for sharing with strangers, issueing decrees, even taking us to the afterlife.

    Also, the rise and fall of twin beds for couples. Hilary Hinds, Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University , charts shifting attitudes towards separate sleeping. Whereas it was once seen as the sign of a modern, hygiene conscious and forward thinking relationship, it came to be regarded as the enemy of intimacy. Why did so many couples abandon a sleeping arrangement which used to be regarded as one of the keys to re-imagining domestic relations, promoting equality between the sexes and personal autonomy?

    This is the last of our current series, as Thinking Allowed heads for a long 'lie in' until April 2021.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Disinformation

    Disinformation

    Laurie Taylor talks to Annie Kelly, a researcher of the Digital Far Right, about the QAnon conspiracy theory and why it has attracted a striking number of female followers, many of whom are mothers. She argues that their rhetoric and slogans have cleverly smuggled legitimate concerns about the welfare of children into a baseless and dangerous set of entirely false claims about the nature of child trafficking. What role have social media sites dominated by women played in the circulation of QAnon theories and how can they be challenged?

    Also, Nina Jankowitz, Global Disinformation Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, examines Russia’s role in the spread of disinformation, not only in the USA but also in Eastern and Central Europe. What lessons can be learned from these experiences? She argues that the best types of disinformation are able to amplify and exploit the already existing divisions in society, including racism and inequality in the US context.

    • 28 min
    The Meaning of Work

    The Meaning of Work

    The anthropologist, James Suzman, explores the shifting meaning of work, and argues that for 95% of our species' history, it held a radically different importance – it did not determine social status, mould our values or dictate how we spent most of our time. How did it become the central organisational principle of our societies and is it time for a dramatic re-think?

    Also, Ella Harris, Leverhulme Fellow in the Geography department at Birkbeck, University of London, examines ‘pop up culture’. Temporary or nomadic sites such as cinemas, supper clubs and container malls are now ubiquitous in cities across the world. But what are the stakes of the 'pop-up' city? Has economic insecurity and precarity been re-branded as desirable and exciting?

    Presenter Laurie Taylor
    Producer Jayne Egerton

    • 27 min
    DIRT

    DIRT

    DIRT: Laurie Taylor explores its material & symbolic meanings. Stephanie Newell, Professor of English at Yale University, traces the ways in which urban spaces and urban dwellers come to be regarded as dirty, as exemplified in colonial and postcolonial Lagos,Nigeria. They’re joined by Lucy Norris, Guest Professor of Design Anthropology and Material Culture at the Weissensee School of Art and Design, Berlin, who asks if the resistance to recycled clothes relates to our fear that they may intimately link us with 'dirty' & contagious bodies.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    TEA

    TEA

    TEA: A dark history. Laurie Taylor talks to the historian, Seren Charrington-Hollins, about the exploitation, wars & intrigue at the heart of the history of that most 'British' hot beverage. Also, Sarah Besky, Associate Professor in the Departments of International and Comparative Labour & Labour Relations, Law, and History in at Cornell University, discusses her study of mass market black tea, one of the world’s most recognized commodities, and one which is still rooted in the colonial plantation.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 27 min
    GAMBLING

    GAMBLING

    Gambling: Laurie Taylor talks to Rebecca Cassidy, Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, about her research into a pastime which was once a criminal activity but is now a respectable business run by multinational corporations listed on international stock markets. Who are the winners and losers created by this transformation? Also, Emma Casey, Associate Professor of Sociology at Northumbria University, discusses her research on gambling and social mobility.


    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

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Dubai eye ,

Very interesting

Something to make you more considerate person .. BBC Iove you, thank you for being you

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