300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed itunesu_sunset

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 31 Ratings

New research on how society works

    Why Sociology Matters

    Why Sociology Matters

    Laurie Taylor explores the meaning and purpose of public sociology with Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of a new book which describes his own contribution to reshaping the theory and practice of sociology across the Western world. He argues that social scientists should engage with the world they inhabit, rather than refusing to take positions on the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century. They're joined by Celine-Marie Pascale, Professor of Sociology at the American University, Washington, whose research advocates for, as well as describes, the daily lives of people in communities marked by poverty, racism, violence and misogyny. From Appalachia to the Standing Rock and Wind River Reservations and Oakland, California, she spoke to the self described 'struggling class'. She suggests that their stories can't be reduced to individual experience but illustrate a nation's deep economic and moral crisis and the collusion between governments and corporations that prioritise profits over people and the environment.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Strangers

    Strangers

    Strangers: Laurie Taylor explores Xenophobia, the fear or hatred of those we do not know. Evolutionary psychologists often describe it as a natural and timeless phenomenon rooted in ancient history. But how accurate is that bleak assessment? George Makari, historian and Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute, has authored a new study sparked by the resurgence of Xenophobia in 2016. He set out to explore the origins of the concept: Coined by late nineteenth-century medics and political commentators, it emerged alongside Western nationalism, colonialism, mass migration, and genocide. Can an understanding of its complex history offer a more hopeful vision of human co-operation in the future? They're joined by Jonathan Purkis, an independent academic and lifelong aficionado of hitchhiking culture. His history of hitchhiking argues that 'driving with strangers' can offer unique opportunities for cooperation, friendship and an openness to the feared 'other'.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Food, Identity & Nation

    Food, Identity & Nation

    FOOD, IDENTITY AND NATION - At a time when many of us are feeling overstuffed by festive eating, Laurie Taylor asks why food matters. He’s joined by Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University, who explores food’s relationship to our sense of self, as well as to inequality and the environment. Joy Fraser, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada, also joins the conversation. She asks why Scottishness has so often been signified, in a derogatory way, through food - from haggis to the deep-fried Mars bar. Does it say something about the relationship between England and Scotland?

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    The Value of Things

    The Value of Things

    The value of things: At a time when many of us are sorting through Christmas presents, both wanted and unwanted, Laurie Taylor explores the value of attachment in a disposable world. Christine Harold, Professor of Communication at the University of Washington, asks why we hang on to certain objects and discard others. How might our emotional investment in things be harnessed to create less wasteful practices? Also, clutter in our homes, from the meaningless to the meaningful. Sophie Woodward, Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, challenges the moralistic view of clutter, one which sees it as a sign of individual failure to organise one’s domestic life. Instead, she argues, it is central to the ways we negotiate and manage our intimate relationships.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Covid

    Covid

    Covid: Laurie Taylor explores the financial impact of the coronavirus & asks if it represents an opportunity, as well as a crisis. He's joined by Lisa Suckert, Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, whose recent study examines the way in which the pandemic has disrupted our sense of time and the temporal logic of the capitalist economy. Also, Adam Tooze, Shelby Cullom Davis chair of History at Columbia University, considers the shockwaves unleashed by the shutdown of the global economy. Will they yield any positive changes to our way of life?

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Freedom

    Freedom

    Freedom: Laurie Taylor explores an unruly & disputed concept. Annelien de Dijn, Professor of Modern Political History at Utrecht University, asks how it came to be identified with limited government. Does our view of freedom owe more to the enemies of democracy than the liberty lovers of the Age of Revolution? Also, Tyler Stovall, Professor of History at Fordham University, considers the intertwined histories of racism and freedom in the United States, a nation that has claimed liberty as at the heart of their national identity.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

picton34 ,

Great podcast

Really enjoy this as Laurie brings his own take on the topics. Great guests.

Sparrowdeplume ,

Food for thought

Sociological discussion about everyday topics with researchers. Well presented and edifying.

sidhitch ,

Interesting guests

Who rarely get to finish a sentence.
But you can track down their articles and books elsewhere.

Top Podcasts In Science

Sam Harris
Hidden Brain
National Geographic
BBC World Service
ABC Radio
itunesu_sunset

You Might Also Like

itunesu_sunset
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4

More by itunesu_sunset

BBC World Service
BBC World Service
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4