Episodes

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2019012320190128 (R4)

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

New research on how society works

2019013020190204 (R4)

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

New research on how society works

20190206
20190403
2020021920200224 (R4)

New research on how society works.

New research on how society works.

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20200304

New research on how society works.

A Special Programme On Pierre Bourdieu2016062220190605 (R4)
20190609 (R4)

A special programme on Pierre Bourdieu: Laurie Taylor explores the ideas and legacy of the French sociologist, best known for establishing the concepts of cultural, social, and symbolic forms of capital (as opposed to traditional economic forms of capital). His book 'Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste' was judged the sixth most important sociological work of the twentieth century by the International Sociological Association. His work is credited with enhancing the understanding of the ways in which the social order and power are transferred across generations. Laurie is joined by Diane Reay, Professor of Education at Cambridge University, Derron Wallace, Post Doctoral Fellow at Brandeis University and Kirsty Morrin, Phd Student at the University of Manchester and co-convenor for the Bourdieu Study Group. Revised repeat

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Pierre Bourdieu: A special programme presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

Au Pairing And Domestic Labour2018121220181217 (R4)

With her 1974 study The Sociology of Housework, Ann Oakley offered a comprehensive sociological study of women’s work in the home. Analysing interviews with urban housewives, she found that most women, regardless of class, were dissatisfied with housework. It was a finding that contrasted with prevailing perspectives, and a study that challenged the scholarly neglect of housework. Now that this landmark text has been reissued, Ann talks to Laurie Taylor about its significance and reflects on what has changed in the decades since it was published.

Also, Rosie Cox discusses her co-authored study of au pairing in the twenty first century, As an Equal? Drawing on detailed research, the book examines the lives of au pairs and the families who host them in contemporary Britain, arguing that au pairing has become increasingly indistinguishable from other forms of domestic labour.

Producer: Alice Bloch

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

New research on how society works

Black Music Cultures In London2019112720191202 (R4)

Black music culture: Laurie talks to Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, about his study of the musical life which emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century – from reggae and soul in the 1970s, to rare groove and rave in the 1980s and jungle in the 1990s. They're joined by Kim-Marie Spence, Post Doctoral Student at Solent University, Southampton, who explores the mixed fortunes of reggae and dancehall within Jamaica and beyond.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Black music cultures - how did they evolve in London?

New research on how society works

Black music culture: Laurie talks to Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, about his study of the musical life which emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century – from reggae and soul in the 1970s, to rare groove and rave in the 1980s and jungle in the 1990s. They're joined by Kim-Marie Spence, Post Doctoral Student at Solent University, Southampton, who explores the mixed fortunes of reggae and dancehall within Jamaica and beyond.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Black music cultures - how did they evolve in London?

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Borders2020012220200127 (R4)

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

Borders: from Calais to Mexico.

New research on how society works

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

Borders: from Calais to Mexico.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Ceo Society - Time Management20190410

CEO Society – Laurie Taylor talks to Peter Bloom, Head of the Department of People and Organisations at the Open University and author of a new book which asks why corporate leaders such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have become cultural icons of the 21st century. Also, how did productivity emerge as a way of thinking about job performance? Melissa Gregg, Research Director at Intel, explains why she thinks that time management is actually counterproductive.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

CEO Society and time management.

New research on how society works

Conspiracy Theories2019050820190512 (R4)

Conspiracy theories: Laurie Taylor talks to Thomas Konda, Professor of Political Science at SUNY, Plattsburgh, about the history and changing nature of conspiracy theories. Why have such wild theories overrun America? Also, Hugo Leal, Methods Fellow at the University of Cambridge discusses the most comprehensive examination of conspiracy theories ever conducted. About 11,500 people were surveyed in a study covered nine countries - the US, Britain (excluding Northern Ireland), Poland, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Hungary. The research found that Trump and Brexit voters were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than others.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Conspiracy theories - their origins and evolution.

New research on how society works

Consuming Passions2013010220191218 (R4)

Consumer pleasures - the origins and evolution of the 'shopping' experience.

New research on how society works

Consumer pleasures - a New Year special edition of Thinking Allowed

New research on how society works

Consumer pleasures - the origins and evolution of the 'shopping' experience.

New research on how society works

Consumer pleasures - a New Year special edition of Thinking Allowed

New research on how society works

Cool2019102320191028 (R4)

'Cool' - Laurie Taylor traces the trajectory of the notion of ‘cool’ with Joel Dinerstein, Professor of English and American Studies at Tulane University, and author of a study which suggests it originated in American jazz clubs as a stylish defence against racism and cross fertilised with French existentialism and film noir.

Also, ‘cool shades’: Vanessa Brown, Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, explores the enduring appeal of sunglasses as the ultimate signifiers of ‘cool’ in mass culture.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The origins & meaning of 'cool'

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Corridors2019030620190311 (R4)

Corridors: We spend our lives moving through hallways and corridors, yet these channelling spaces do not feature in architectural histories. They are overlooked and undervalued. Laurie talks to Roger Luckhurst, Professor of Modern Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, whose new book charts the origins and meaning of the corridor, from country houses and utopian communities in the eighteenth centuries, through reformist Victorian prisons to the "corridors of power," as well as their often fearful depiction in popular culture. They’re joined by Kate Marshall, Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and author of a study of the intriguing place of the corridor in modernist literature.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Corridors - their evolution and changing nature.

New research on how society works

Debt2019032020190325 (R4)

Debt: we live in a culture of credit with a dramatic surge in private borrowing due to wage stagnation over several decades. Many people will now be indebted until death. Johnna Montgomerie,Reader in International Political Economy King's College London, tells Laurie Taylor why she proposes the abolition of household debt in the context of a chronically dysfunctional situation, both individually and collectively. Also, the story of the National Debt. Martin Slater, Emeritus Fellow in Economics at the University of Oxford, explores its changing fortunes and role in shaping the course of British history. How has Britain been moulded by attempts to break fee of the debt, from post war Keynesian economics to today's austerity?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Debt - from household to national.

New research on how society works

Detective Fiction - Homicide And Social Media2019041720190421 (R4)

Detecting the social – how the changing nature of crime stories illuminates shifts in society. Also, homicide confessions on social media. What does it mean when killers confess online? Laurie Taylor is joined by Mary Evans, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the LSE and Elizabeth Yardley, director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Detective fiction - how it represents social change. Also homicide confessions on Facebook

New research on how society works

Disasters2019110620191111 (R4)

Disasters: Kathleen Tierney, Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, sheds light on the social roots of disaster vulnerability. We know that hurricanes and tsunamis kill, maim, and generate huge financial losses – but they do not wreak their damage equally across populations. How do countries recover from disasters? Greg Beckett, Assistant Professor in Sociocultural Anthropology at Western University, Ontario, talks about the lives of Haitian people struggling to survive amid the ruins of ecological devastation and economic collapse. In what ways do natural disasters – principally the 2010 earthquake - amplify existing crises?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Disasters: from Haiti to New Orleans.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Engineers Of Jihad. Orange Jumpsuits2016060820190710 (R4)
20190714 (R4)

Laurie Taylor asks why so many Islamist extremists come from an engineering background. He talks to Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, about a new study which finds that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent. Is there a mindset susceptible to certain types of extremism? They're joined by Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

Orange prison jumpsuits: Elspeth Van Veeren, Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Bristol, discusses the US prisoner uniform which took on a transnational political life due to the Global War on Terror.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The link between education and violent extremism. Also, the iconic orange jumpsuit.

New research on how society works

Orange prison jumpsuits: Elspeth Van Veeren, Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Bristol, discusses the US prisoner uniform which took on a transnational political life due to the Global War on Terror. Revised repeat.

Erving Goffman - A Special Programme2013090420190522 (R4)

Erving Goffman - a special programme on his work and influence.

New research on how society works

Erving Goffman - A Special Programme.20130904
Estates2019100920191013 (R4)

Council estates: Laurie Taylor talks to Insa Lee Koch, Associate Professor in Anthropology at the LSE, and author of a new study which explores the history of housing estates and the every day live of residents on one such estate in southern England. How did council housing turn from being a marker of social inclusion to a marker of abject failure? Also, the origins and symbolism of the ‘sink estate’, a term invented by journalists and amplified by think tanks and politicians. Tom Slater, Reader in Urban Geography at the University of Edinburgh, traces the usage of this term and the long term impact of associating council estate residents with effluence and sewage.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Laurie Taylor explores council estates - then and now.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Hidden Gay Lives2020012920200203 (R4)

Hidden gay lives: Laurie Taylor uncovers the ‘fabuloso’ history of Polari, Britain’s secret gay language with Paul Barker, Professor of English Language at Lancaster University. He also talks to the cultural historian, James Polchin, about the ways in which 20th c American crime pages recover a little discussed history of violence against gay men, one in which they were often held responsible for their own victimisation.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Hidden gay lives, from Polari to true crime stories.

New research on how society works

Hidden gay lives: Laurie Taylor uncovers the ‘fabuloso’ history of Polari, Britain’s secret gay language with Paul Barker, Professor of English Language at Lancaster University. He also talks to the cultural historian, James Polchin, about the ways in which 20th c American crime pages recover a little discussed history of violence against gay men, one in which they were often held responsible for their own victimisation.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Hidden gay lives, from Polari to true crime stories.

New research on how society works

Identity2018122620181231 (R4)

Identity: Laurie Taylor presents a special programme exploring the ways in which we define ourselves and gain a sense of belonging – from race, religion and nationality to membership of a subcultural tribe. He talks to Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, and author of a new book which takes issues with fixed notions of identity; Carrie Dunn, author of a study of female football fandom and Karl Spracklen, Professor of Music, Leisure and Culture at Leeds Beckett University and author of a new book about the ‘Goths’, a counter cultural identity originating in the 1980s.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Identity: a special programme exploring the way in which we define ourselves.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Immortality - Transhumanism2019103020191104 (R4)

Immortality: Pursuing a life beyond the human. Anya Bernstein, Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, talks to Laurie Taylor about the Russian visionaries and utopians who seek to overcome the limitations of our material bodies. Also, Alex Thomas, Lecturer in Media Production at the University of East London, explores the ethical dilemmas relating to transhumanism. Who will benefit from technologies which assist the desire to transcend our mortal state?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Immortality and transhumanism

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Kitsch - Cute2019032720190331 (R4)

Cute and kitsch - Simon May, visiting professor of philosophy at King’s College London, explores cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions. Also, the changing significance of kitsch, from garden gnomes to Eurotrash. Ruth Holliday, Professor of Gender and Culture at the University of Leeds, suggests that judgements of taste have shifted ground rather than relaxed. They’re joined by the cultural critic, Peter York.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Cute and kitsch: their nature and changing meaning.

New research on how society works

Land And Territory2019100220191006 (R4)

Land Struggles: From Bolivia to Britain, the way that land is owned and controlled is central to many contemporary inequalities and political battles. Laurie Taylor talks to Brett Christophers, Professor in the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University, Sweden, about ‘the new enclosure’, a UK study into the appropriation of public land by the private sector – an astonishing two million hectares worth £400 billion – in recent decades. This ownership now forms the largest component of wealth in Britain and is the largest privatisation of a public resource in European history. Also, Penelope Anthias, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Durham, describes the lives of indigenous people in Bolivia as they struggle to regain ancestral territory after a century of colonialism and state backed dispossession.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Land struggles: from Bolivia to Britain.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Love2014010120191211 (R4)

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.
Producer: Jayne Egerton

A Thinking Allowed special on 'romantic love'.

New research on how society works

Maoism2018112120181126 (R4)

Maoism: the changing face of a revolutionary ideology. Julia Lovell, Professor in Modern Chinese History and Literature at Birkbeck, University of London explores the origins and development of global Maoism; Alpa Shah, Associate Professor in Anthropology at LSE, provides a glimpse into the lives of a group of Maoist guerrillas in modern day India and Dennis Tourish, Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at the University of Sussex, looks at Maoist organisations in the context of his research into political cults.
Producer: Jayne Egerton

Maoism: its origins and development as a global political force.

New research on how society works

Metrics2018121920181224 (R4)

Laurie Taylor explores the increasing use of metrics across diverse aspects of our lives.

From education to healthcare, charities to policing, we are are target-driven society which places a heavy emphasis on measuring, arguably at times at the expense of individual professional expertise.

Laurie is joined by Jerry Muller, Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., who asserts in his book, The Tyranny of Metrics, that we are fixated by metrics, to the extent to which we risk compromising the quality of our lives and most important institutions. He is also joined by Btihaj Ajana, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London, who, in the introduction to the book, Metric Culture - Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices, explains the concept of the 'Quantified Self Movement' - whose philosophy is 'self-knowledge through numbers'.

With such a plethora of personal information about ourselves being generated daily are we complicit in creating a culture of surveillance with the blurring of boundaries between the private and public? Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge, joins the panel.

Producer Natalia Fernandez

Laurie Taylor explores the increasing use of metrics across many aspects of our lives.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Michel Foucault - A Special Programme On His Work And Influence.2013082120190529 (R4)
20190602 (R4)

Michel Foucault - a special programme on his work and influence.

New research on how society works

Migrants - Refugees2019010920190114 (R4)

Migrants and refugees: Laurie Taylor explores the historical and contemporary realities of the marooned, unhomed and displaced peoples of the world. Today's refugee 'crisis' has its origins in the political–and imaginative–history of the last century. Exiles from other places have often caused trouble for ideas about sovereignty, law and nationhood. Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham, charts the changing meaning of exile. Also, how do the lives of migrants in London illuminate our complex, urban multiculture? Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Shamser Sinha, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Youth Studies at the University of Suffolk, talk about a unique, collaborative study which involved 30 young migrants.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Migrants and refugees.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Night-time Economy2018112820181203 (R4)

The Night-time Economy: Laurie Taylor talks to Adam Eldridge, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Westminster, about the origins and changing nature of the after dark economy. They're joined by Emily Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth and author of a new, Newcastle based study into the phenomenon of the 'girls night out'. How do young women negotiate friendships, flirtations and fun on a night out with mates?
Producer: Jayne Egerton

The Night-time Economy: How has it changed over the years?

New research on how society works

No-go Zones And Dangerous Holidays2019042420190428 (R4)

Laurie Taylor discusses the complex relationship between danger, travel and tourism.

Ruben Andersson asks whether Western powers should reconsider their treatment of some no-go zones and move away from a politics fired by fear.

How can we best calculate the risks of visiting countries where there is the possibility of unrest or worse? Debbie Lisle turns the lens on tourism in areas of conflict and considers what happens when soldiers become tourists and tourists enter war zones.

Producers: Natalia Fernandez and Alice Bloch

Global no-go zones and the complex overlap between conflict and tourism.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Nudity2020020520200210 (R4)

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

Nudity - its cultural history and changing meaning.

New research on how society works

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

Nudity - its cultural history and changing meaning.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Organised Crime In The Uk2013020620190626 (R4)
20190630 (R4)

Organised crime in the UK - how has it changed? Professor Dick Hobbs, joins Laurie Taylor, to discuss his work on 'Lush Life', a rich, ethnographic study into 'Dogtown', a composite of several overlapping neighbourhoods in East London. Looking behind the clichéd notions of criminal firms and underworlds, he finds that activity which was once the preserve of professional criminals has now been normalised. He invites us to consider whether or not the very idea of organised crime has become outdated in a predatory, post industrial world in which many fight, by illegal as well as legal means, to survive on the margins. Also, the presence and activities of the Mafia in the UK. Dr Felia Allum, a Lecturer in Italian History and Politics, discusses how Italian organised crime functions outside its territory of origin.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Organised crime in the UK - how has it changed? Also, the Mafia in the UK

New research on how society works

Organised crime in the UK - how has it changed? Professor Dick Hobbs, joins Laurie Taylor, to discuss his work on 'Lush Life', a rich, ethnographic study into 'Dogtown', a composite of several overlapping neighbourhoods in East London. Looking behind the clichéd notions of criminal firms and underworlds, he finds that activity which was once the preserve of professional criminals has now been normalised. He invites us to consider whether or not the very idea of organised crime has become outdated in a predatory, post industrial world in which many fight, by illegal as well as legal means, to survive on the margins. Also, the presence and activities of Mafia style crime both in Italy, as well as in the UK. Dr Felia Allum, a Lecturer in Italian History and Politics, discusses how Italian organised crime functions outside its territory of origin. Revised repeat.

Organised crime in the UK - how has it changed? Also, the Italian Camorra.

Serial Killers2019101620191020 (R4)

Serial killers: Laurie talks to Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Salford, about the media and cultural responses to the child murders committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley two decades earlier. The Moors Murders were to provide an unfortunate template for future media reporting on serial killing, including the crimes committed by Peter Sutcliffe - the Yorkshire Ripper - as described in a new study by Louise Wattis, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Teesside University. Sutcliffe murdered 13 women in the North of England between 1975 and 1980. Dr Wattis discusses the way in which these crimes shed light on how we think about fear of crime, gender and serial murder and the representation of victims and sex workers.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Serial killers: the media and cultural response to these crimes.

New research on how society works

Spectacular Cities2019031320190318 (R4)

Spectacular urbanisation: The world’s tallest building is in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in soccer will be played in fabulous Qatar facilities. But what role do the sensational cities of the Arabian Peninsula play in urban development across the Earth? Laurie Taylor talks to Harvey Molotch, Professor of Sociology at New York University and to Davide Ponzini , Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Also, Natalie Koch, Associate Professor of Geography at Syracuse University, asks why autocrats in resource rich nations build spectacular new capital cities.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Spectacular cities - from Kazakhstan to the United Arab Emirates.

New research on how society works

Surveillance2019011620190121 (R4)

Surveillance: Laurie Taylor explores the way in which we have become the watchers, as well as the watched. From 9/11 to the Snowden leaks, stories about surveillance increasingly dominate the headlines. But surveillance is not only 'done to us' – it is something we do in everyday life. We submit to surveillance, believing we have nothing to hide. Or we try to protect our privacy. At the same time, we participate in surveillance in order to supervise children, monitor other road users, and safeguard our property. Social media allow us to keep tabs on others, as well as on ourselves. Laurie Taylor explores the contemporary culture of surveillance. He's joined by Kirstie Ball, Professor of Management at the University of St Andrews and David Lyon, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Queen's University, Canada.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Surveillance - how we are both watchers, as well as the watched.

New research on how society works

The 'happiness Industry' - The 'wellness Syndrome'2015052720200108 (R4)

The Happiness Industry: Laurie Taylor talks to Will Davies, Senior Lecturer 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, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The 'Happiness Industry'. Also, 'wellness syndrome'.

New research on how society works

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

The 'Happiness Industry'. Also, 'wellness syndrome'.

New research on how society works

The Meaning Of The Face2017053120190612 (R4)
20190616 (R4)

The meaning of the face: How critical is it to our sense of identity, and relationship with others?
Sharrona Pearl, Assistant Professor in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses her study of face transplant surgery. She's joined by Anne-Marie Martindale, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester, who has studied the impact of facial disfigurement; as well as Professor Jonathan Cole, consultant in clinical neurophysiology, and author of two books examining the relationship between facial expressions, communication and the self.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor. The meaning of the face.

New research on how society works

The meaning of the face: How critical is it to our sense of identity, and relationship with others?
Sharrona Pearl, Assistant Professor in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses her study of face transplant surgery. She's joined by Anne-Marie Martindale, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester, who has studied the impact of facial disfigurement; as well as Professor Jonathan Cole, consultant in clinical neurophysiology, and author of two books examining the relationship between facial expressions, communication and the self. Revised repeat.

Laurie Taylor explores the significance of the face.

New research on how society works

The Politics Of Memorials2019050120190505 (R4)

The Politics of Memorials: Remembering Emmet Till – in 1955, a young African-American was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at the age of 14, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. Driving through the Mississippi Delta today and you’ll find a landscape dotted with memorials to major figures and moments from the civil rights movement, none more tragic than this murder.The ways in which his death is remembered have been fraught from the beginning, revealing the political controversies which lurk behind the placid facades of historical markers. Dave Tell, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, analyses the various ways that this landmark event in the civil rights movement has been commemorated. Also, Margaret O’Callaghan, Reader in History, Queen’s University Belfast, discusses commemoration in the context of Irish history. How has the marking of the Easter Rising shifted over time? What roles are played by memorials in any society? And what forces dictate what gets remembered and what is forgotten?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The Politics of Memorials - from Ireland to the Mississippi Delta.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

The Power Of Oil2013042420200115 (R4)

The Power of oil - Laurie Taylor presents a special programme that 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.
They're also joined by Tim Mitchell whose work focuses on the relationship between democracy and oil and John Urry, whose latest book pioneers a sociology of energy, analysing our carbon addiction in the light of ever dwindling resources. Is an oil free society possible or desirable?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The power of oil - a special programme exploring the role of oil in shaping our society.

New research on how society works

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

The power of oil - a special programme exploring the role of oil in shaping our society.

New research on how society works

The Religious Right In The Us2019120420191209 (R4)

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

The religious right in the US - an exploration of their route to power.

New research on how society works

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

The religious right in the US - an exploration of their route to power.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

The Ways Women Age - Beauty Politics2017032920190619 (R4)
20190623 (R4)

The ways women age: Laurie Taylor talks to Abigail Brooks, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Providence College USA, and author of a study which asks why women choose or reject cosmetic anti ageing proceedures. Also, beauty politics in the Neoliberal age. Ros Gill, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City University, discusses the ways in which women are required to be 'aesthetic entrepreneurs', maintaining a constant vigilance about their appearance. They're joined by Rachel Wood, Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics at Sheffield Hallam University. Revised repeat.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

The ways women age. Also beauty politics.

New research on how society works

New research on how society works

Thrift2019112020191125 (R4)

Thrift: Through the strictures of the global financial downturn and its aftermath citizens have been urged to ‘keep calm and carry on’. This slogan, first coined in the 1940s and revived in the 2000s, found its way into political rhetoric and popular culture. Laurie talks to Rebecca Bramall, lecturer in media and communications at the London College of Communication, about the cultural politics of austerity. Also, Alison Hulme, lecturer in International Development at the University of Northampton, surveys the history of 'thrift' from the early Puritans to Post-war rationing and into consumer culture. What are the overlaps between thrift and austerity?

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Thrift and austerity

New research on how society works

Time2019111320191118 (R4)

Time: Laurie Taylor considers the extent to which the way we spend our time has changed over the last fifty years. Is it true that we are working more, sleeping less and addicted to our phones? What does this mean for our health, wealth and happiness? Oriel Sullivan, Professor of Sociology of Gender at the UCL, has taken a detailed look at our daily activities and found some surprising truths about the social and economic structure of the world we live in. Also, Daniel S. Hamermesh, Distinguished Scholar at Barnard College, examines the pressure to do more in less time. Which people are the most rushed & why - from France and Germany to the UK and Japan.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Time - how do we use & how has this changed in the last 50 years?

New research on how society works

New research on how society works

New research on how society works.

Tv In Prison - Live Music In Prison2016051120190703 (R4)
20190707 (R4)

Prison TV: Laurie Taylor considers the therapeutic role of television in the modern day jail. He talks to Victoria Knight, Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester, and author of a new study examining the way in which TVs in cells manage the everyday life and emotions of prisoners; helping deliver both care and control. In addition, she offers insights into how technology in prison is evolving globally. They're joined by David Wilson, Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University.

Also, prison 'blues': BB King, the African American Blues musician, died on 14
May 2015. One year on, Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, London, focused on his performances in prisons. Over a 25-year period, B.B. King performed for free in 47 different jails across America. Situating his concerts within a wider political context in which a crisis was unfolding in US prisons, Back explores the implications of King's prison 'blues' and interrogates the meaning of music behind bars. Revised repeat.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Television in British prisons. Also, BB King and prison 'blues'.

New research on how society works

Also, prison 'blues': BB King, the African American Blues musician, died on 14
May 2015. One year on, Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, London, focuses on his performances in prisons. Over a 25-year period, B.B. King performed for free in 47 different jails across America. Situating his concerts within a wider political context in which a crisis was unfolding in US prisons, Back explores the implications of King's prison 'blues' and interrogates the meaning of music behind bars.

Walter Benjamin - A Special Programme On His Work And Influence2013082820190515 (R4)
20190519 (R4)

What is the value of forgotten histories, of possibilities not realised? What can a quite amble down a backstreet tell us about the nature of modernity? How has technology affected the nature and purpose of art? In the mid-twentieth century Walter Benjamin explored all these questions and brought Marxist thinking to high culture, exploring people's relationship to objects and art. His influence is probably felt now more than ever. Laurie Taylor presents a special programme on the work of this pioneering German intellectual and theorist. He's joined by the philosopher Jonathan Ree and the professor of political aesthetics, Esther Leslie. Revised repeat

Producer: Charlie Taylor

Walter Benjamin - a special programme on his work and influence.

New research on how society works

What is the value of forgotten histories, of possibilites not realised? What can a quite amble down a backstreet tell us about the nature of modernity? How has technology affected the nature and purpose of art? In the mid twentieth century Walter Benjamin explored all these questions and brought Marxist thinking to high culture, exploring people's relationship to objects and art. His influence is probably felt now more than ever. Laurie Taylor presents a special programme on the work of this pioneering German intellectual and theorist. He's joined by the philosopher Jonathan Ree and the professor of political aesthetics, Esther Leslie.

War In The Air2017110120190717 (R4)
20190721 (R4)

War in the air: Laurie Taylor explores the history of aerial bombing and tear gas; from the battlefield to urban streets. He's joined by Thomas Hippler, Professor of Modern History at Caen University, Normandy, Anna Feigenbaum, Senior Lecturer in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University and Steve Graham, Professor of Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores the history of aerial bombing and tear gas.

New research on how society works

War in the air: Laurie Taylor explores the history of aerial bombing and tear gas; from the battlefield to urban streets. He's joined by Thomas Hippler, Professor of Modern History at Caen University, Normandy, Anna Feigenbaum, Senior Lecturer in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University and Steve Graham, Professor of Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University. Revised repeat.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

War in the air: Laurie Taylor explores the history of aerial bombing and tear gas; from the battlefield to urban streets. He's joined by Thomas Hippler, Professor of Modern History at Caen University, Normandy, Anna Feigenbaum, Senior Lecturer in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University and Steve Graham, Professor of Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University. Revised repeat.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores the history of aerial bombing and tear gas.

Water2020021220200217 (R4)

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

Water: a cultural as well as a natural substance.

New research on how society works

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

Water: a cultural as well as a natural substance.

New research on how society works

White Power Movement In Us - Rise Of Racist Right In Europe2018120520181210 (R4)

The White Power Movement in the US: Laurie Taylor talks to Kathleen Belew, Assistant Professor of US History at the University of Chicago, and author of a new book which traces the origins and development of the racist far right. They're joined by Liz Fekete, Director of the Institute of Race Relations, who discusses her study of similar (and different) forces in Europe.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

The White Power Movement in the US. Also, the racist, far right in Europe.

New research on how society works

Work - What Is It Good For?2019010220190107 (R4)

Work: What is it good for? Laurie Taylor presents a special programme which takes a provocative look at work as a cultural norm. Josh Cohen, Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, considers the joys of inertia - of being rather than doing; Andrea Komlosy, Professor in the Department of Economics and Social History at the University of Vienna, probes the debate about work as burdensome toil versus work as creative expression and Anthony Lloyd, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Teesside University, examines workplace harms in the service sector.
Producer: Jayne Egerton

Laurie Taylor explores the history, harms and downsides to our contemporary work culture.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.