300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed BBC

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 10 Ratings

New research on how society works

    Tourism - Travel

    Tourism - Travel

    Tourism & travel: Laurie Taylor explores their past, present and future. He's joined by the Italian social theorist, Marco D' Eramo, whose latest book unpacks a global cultural phenomenon at the point at which some of us are considering the possibilities of foreign travel, once again. How did travelling, as an elite pastime, evolve into mass tourism? Why do tourists often despise other tourists? How 'authentic' is the average heritage site? What impact does tourism have on our cities and the environment? Might we find more 'otherness' by staying at home? They're joined by Emily Thomas, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, whose research has found that philosophers have theorised extensively about the meaning and purpose of travel in a quest to understand the complexity of the world and of ourselves. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    The Handshake - Social Interaction

    The Handshake - Social Interaction

    The handshake & social interaction. Laurie Taylor explores the history and meaning of a commonplace ritual which has played a role in everything from meetings with uncontacted tribes to political assassinations. He's joined by the paleoanthropologist, Ella Al-Shamahi, who asks what this everyday, friendly gesture can tell us about the enduring power of human contact. They're joined by Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, & author of a recent article which considers the way in which social distancing and self isolating have put us 'out of touch' with each other. As he says, COVID is a social disease, a pathological experiment on the nature of our social relations. Will it irrevocably change the way we interact with other human beings? Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    COALMINING - LUDDISM

    COALMINING - LUDDISM

    Coalmining & Luddism: Laurie explores the meaning of progress, from the former pit villages of South Wales & Durham to contemporary high tech industry. He's joined by Huw Beynon, Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Cardiff, who charts the rise and fall of coalmining. What has happened to those communities in a post industrial era? Those who opposed the closure of the mines were often described as Luddites, trapped in a romanticised version of a lost world, but Gavin Mueller, a Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, suggests that Luddism may not always be regressive. His research provides an innovative rethinking of labour and machines & argues that improvement in people's working lives may depend on subverting or halting some technological changes. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Migrants in London

    Migrants in London

    MIGRANTS IN LONDON: how has London been shaped by the history of immigration? Laurie Taylor talks to Panikos Panayi, Professor of European History at De Montfort University, & author of a new study which examines the contribution of immigrants to London’s economic success and status as a global capital - from Jewish & Irish immigrants in the 19th century to the Windrush generation and beyond. They’re joined by Esther Saraga, a retired social scientist, whose recent book charts the emotional journeys of her parents, two German Jewish refugees, reconstructing their story from a substantial collection of family material, archives and secondary historical sources. She argues that their contradictory experiences of welcome and restriction challenge simple views of Britain's liberal tradition of welcoming refugees. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Fitness & fatness

    Fitness & fatness

    Fitness & fatness: Laurie Taylor asks if they are two sides of the same coin. He's joined by Jürgen Martschukat, Professor of North American History at the University of Erfurt and author of a new book which looks at the history of self-optimisation from the Enlightenment to the present. What’s the relationship between neoliberalism and phenomena like Viagra & aerobics? How did the body come to symbolise success and achievement? Also, Sarah Trainer, medical anthropologist at Seattle University, discusses her study on extreme weight loss, via bariatric surgery. Her in depth interviews with patients reveal, in painstaking detail, how the journey to drastic weight - often half a person's body weight - can be at once painful and liberating, revealing which bodies are treated as though they don't belong in modern societies. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Blackface - Minstrelsy

    Blackface - Minstrelsy

    BLACKFACE & MINSTRELSY - At its most basic level, 'blackface' is the application of any prosthetic to imitate the complexion of another race. In theory, it's a performance available to all, yet 'whiteface' is relatively unknown. Laurie Taylor talks to Ayanna Thompson, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, about the painful history of ‘blackface’, an ancient European theatrical device that the Europeans brought with them to America. What connects it to Blackface minstrelsy, a specific comedic performance tradition rooted in slavery, and why does this racist practice endure today?

    Also, Christine Grandy, Associate Professor in History at the University of Lincoln, discusses the origins of the British Black and White Minstrel Show, a prime time, BBC variety programme which lasted for 20 years, from 1958-1978. She uncovers a little known history in which broadcasters, the press, and audience members collectively argued that the show had nothing to do with race whilst the complaints and anger of Black people were dismissed. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Mrs PortlyRind ,

Love this podcast

So intelligent and interesting.

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