300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed BBC

    • Science

New research on how society works

    Borders

    Borders

    Borders: Laurie Taylor explores the control of national borders. He talks to Nira Yuval Davis, Director of the research centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London and co-author of a new book which asks why borders have moved from the margins into the centre of political life and turned many ordinary citizens into untrained border guards. They’re joined by Jeremy Slack, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Texas, who charts the way in which Mexican deportees from the United States become the targets of extreme drug related violence upon their return to Mexico.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    The Power of Oil

    The Power of Oil

    The Power of oil - Laurie Taylor explores the role of oil in shaping our society, economy and environment. He talks to James Marriott of Platform, co-author with Mika Minio-Paluello of 'The Oil Road'. Their research took them from the oil fields of the Caspian Sea to the refineries and financial centres of Northern Europe. Timothy Mitchell, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Colombia University, joins the discussion, considering the relationship between democracy and oil. John Urry (1946-2016) also took part in the programme. He was Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and author of a book which pioneered a sociology of energy, analysing our carbon addiction in the light of ever dwindling resources and asking if an oil free society was possible or desirable. Sadly, John died several years after the programme was first transmitted. He had done more than most British sociologists to characterise the complexities of global society. Revised repeat.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 27 min
    The 'Happiness Industry' - The 'Wellness Syndrome'

    The 'Happiness Industry' - The 'Wellness Syndrome'

    The Happiness Industry: Laurie Taylor talks to Will Davies, Professor in Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, who asks why policy makers have become increasingly focused on measuring happiness. Also, 'wellness syndrome': Andre Spicer, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at City University, argues that visions of positive social change have been replaced by a focus on individual well-being. They're joined by Laura Hyman, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. Revised repeat.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 27 min
    Consuming passions

    Consuming passions

    Consumer pleasures - Laurie Taylor explores the place of shopping in our lives, as well as within sociological thought. He's joined by Professor Colin Campbell, Dr Kate Soper and Professor Rachel Bowlby. Revised repeat.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    Love

    Love

    A Thinking Allowed special on 'love'. What are the origins of our notions of high romantic love? Was the post war period a 'golden age' for lifelong love? Has marriage for love now failed? Laurie Taylor hopes to finds some answers with the help of the social historian, Claire Langhamer, the philosopher, Pascal Bruckner, and the sociologist, Professor Mary Evans.Revised repeat.
    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    The Religious Right in the US

    The Religious Right in the US

    The religious right in the US - Laurie Taylor talks to Anne Nelson, writer and Adjunct Research Scholar in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, about her exploration of the way in which the religious right in the US has risen to political power. Who are the Council for National Policy and why does she consider they represent a 'shadow network'? Also Gregory Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center in Washington, provides facts and figures on the white evangelical vote.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min

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