300 episodes

New research on how society works

Thinking Allowed BBC

    • Science

New research on how society works

    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
    DEPORTATION

    DEPORTATION

    DEPORTATION: Laurie Taylor explores the lives of people whose criminal convictions have led to them being deported to Jamaica, although many of them left the Caribbean as children and grew up in the UK. Luke de Noronha, Simon Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester, describes the experiences of a group who are regarded as undeserving of sympathy, compared to the victims of the Windrush scandal of 2018. But are such hard and fast divisions fair or accurate? They’re joined by Adam Goodman, Assistant Professor of History and Latin American Studies at the University of Illinois, who traces the long history of deportation in the US, beyond current headlines about detention camps and anti migrant ‘walls’, and asks if America is deserving of its reputation as a country which has always welcomed immigrants.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 29 min
    CORRUPTION

    CORRUPTION

    Corruption: Laurie Taylor talks to Sarah Chayes, writer and former Senior Fellow in the Democracy and Rule of Law programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about the ways in which vested interests have corrupted America - from unjust Supreme Court rulings to revolving doors between the private and state sector - and challenges the notion that this phenomenon is principally caused by wicked individuals lining their own pockets. Instead she reveals a many headed hydra of sophisticated networks spanning political and national boundaries. They’re joined by Dan Hough, Director of the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, who provides a British & global perspective on a phenomenon which is threatening democracy. How can it be tackled at a personal, political and collective level? Edited since first transmission.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Civilians in the line of fire

    Civilians in the line of fire

    CIVILIANS IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Laurie Taylor talks to Nicola Perugini, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, about the global history of human shields, from civil wars to Black Lives Matters. How have ordinary people come to be both voluntary and involuntary shields for protection, coercion, or deterrence? Also, war lawyers. Craig Jones, Lecturer in Political Geography at Newcastle University, discusses the way in which legal professionals have increasingly been invited to advise on military operations which were once the exclusive preserve of commanders. What implications has this had for the conduct of war, in general and the treatment of civilians, in particular? Why has it allowed for an extension, rather than a curtailment, of civilian deaths?

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    The Rich

    The Rich

    The Rich: Laurie Taylor talks to Rowland Atkinson, Research Chair in Inclusive Societies at the University of Sheffield, about his study of London as an 'Alpha City'. Compared to New York or Tokyo, the two cities that bear the closest comparison, it has the largest number of wealthy people per head of population. Has London been transformed into a 'capital for capital' , marginalising the needs of the majority of its population? They're joined by the historian and sociologist, Rainer Zitelmann, who has conducted the first, large scale study into attitudes towards the rich and argues that social envy can lead to scapegoating and finds intriguing differences of opinion amongst Americans, Germans, the British and French.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min
    Fashion & VIP Parties

    Fashion & VIP Parties

    Fashion & VIP parties - Laurie Taylor explores the hidden stories behind the glamour and wealth. He's joined by Giulia Mensitieri, Social Anthropologist and Ethnologist Research Fellow at the Université Paris Nanterre, and author of a study which investigates the fashion industry and uncovers the harsh and exploitative realities which lurk beneath the glittering façade. Also, Ashley Mears, Associate Professor in Sociology at Boston University, describes the exclusive global nightclub and party circuit, from New York City to Saint-Tropez, revealing a culture of ostentatious display & waste.

    Producer: Jayne Egerton

    • 28 min

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