300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed BBC

    • Science

New research on how society works

    Kidnap

    Kidnap

    KIDNAP - Millions of people live, travel, and work in areas with significant kidnap risks, yet kidnaps of foreign workers, local VIPs, and tourists are surprisingly rare and the vast majority of abductions are peacefully resolved. Anja Shortland, Reader in Political Economy, King's College London, explores this lucrative but tricky business. Also, Jatin Dua, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, examines the upsurge in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia, taking us inside pirate communities in Somalia. In what ways are modern day pirates connected to longer histories of trade and disputes over protection?

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Loneliness

    Loneliness

    Loneliness - Fay Bound Alberti, Reader in History at the University of York, charts the emergence of loneliness as a contemporary emotional state. Also, Janne Flora, postdoctoral scholar at Aarhus University, explores the deep connections between loneliness and modernity in the Arctic, tracing the history of Greenland and analysing the social dynamics that shaped it.


    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Citizenship

    Citizenship

    Citizenship - Carol Vincent, Professor of Sociology of Education, explores the way in which children are being taught about ‘fundamental British values’ such as democracy and tolerance. Does this government imposed requirement too easily result in a celebration of reductionist symbols and stereotypes of Britishness - 'tea and the Queen'? Also, David Bartram, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Leicester, takes a critical look at a UK ‘citizenship process’ which subjects immigrants to a test designed to enhance their participation in British political and civic life. Does it work?

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Loss

    Loss

    Loss: How should we understand the 'road not taken'? Laurie Taylor talks to Susie Scott, Professor of Sociology at the University of Sussex, about her study of lost experience - that vast terrain of things we have not done, that did not happen or that we have not become. Also, Tim Strangleman, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, reveals a lost world of paternalistic employment in which people enjoyed a well-paid job for life, free meals in silver service canteens, after work sports & theatre clubs & a generous pension on the horizon – the story of the Guinness Brewery in West London.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Water

    Water

    WATER – Laurie Taylor explores the cultural life of a natural substance. Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University, considers the taken for granted-ness of this vital fluid and the everyday connections it forges amongst human beings. They’re joined by Benjamin J. Pauli - Assistant Professor of Social Science at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, whose study of the Flint water crisis describes the way in which “water warrior” activists have expanded the struggle for water justice, connecting it to a broader fight for democracy.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Nudity

    Nudity

    NUDITY – Laurie Taylor explores the cultural history of nudity and its impact on ideas about the body from the early twentieth century to the present. He talks to Sarah Schrank, Professor of History at California State University, about the unusual eras and locations in which it thrived - from Depression-era collectives to 1950s suburban nudist communities—as well as the more predictable beaches and resorts. They’re joined by Barbara Górnicka, Assistant Professor in Sociology at University College, Dublin, who asks why we find exposing bodies shameful and draws on her own participation in a nudist swimming club.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min

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