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Science

Thinking Allowed

Updated 3 days ago

Science
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New research on how society works

Read more

New research on how society works

iTunes Ratings

156 Ratings
Average Ratings
108
26
11
4
7

Love it!

By cfful - Nov 16 2014
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Very helpful and thought provoking!

Intriguing and fun

By Vandrklw - Nov 01 2010
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Great, wide ranging discussions. Big topics and arcane trivia you can use at your next soirée.

iTunes Ratings

156 Ratings
Average Ratings
108
26
11
4
7

Love it!

By cfful - Nov 16 2014
Read more
Very helpful and thought provoking!

Intriguing and fun

By Vandrklw - Nov 01 2010
Read more
Great, wide ranging discussions. Big topics and arcane trivia you can use at your next soirée.

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Thinking Allowed

Thinking Allowed

Updated 3 days ago

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New research on how society works

Rank #1: The brave new world of virtual workers; also globalisation, the old and the new.

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Globalisation: the history of the movement of goods, knowledge and people. Laurie Taylor talks to Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and author of a groundbreaking new study. They were joined by Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester.
Juliet Webster, Director of Work and Equality Research at the LSE, explores the brave new world of virtual workers - characterised by short contracts, flexible working hours and the blurring of boundaries between work and free time.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Feb 03 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #2: Men and Violence - Stag Parties

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Men, Masculinities and Violence. Laurie Taylor talks to Anthony Ellis, lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at the University of Salford, about his ethnographic study conducted with men involved in serious crime and violence over the course of two years in the North of England. How do some men come to value physical violence as a resource? Historian Joanna Bourke joins the discussion. Also, stag parties and consumerism. Daniel Briggs, Professor in Criminology at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, unpicks the commercial and emotional motivations of men taking part in stag 'dos'. Is such stereotypical excessive and deviant behaviour ultimately rooted in commercial ideology?

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

Dec 14 2016

28mins

Play

Rank #3: Age of noise - British drinking

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The 'age of noise': How a preoccupation with unwanted sounds came to characterise modernity. The 20th century saw the expansion of cities and technological change. The sounds of motor cars, vacuum cleaners and gramaphones filled the air, leading social commentators to forecast the end of civilisation and a breakdown in mental health. Did noise provide people with a way of talking about their social anxieties? Does it still serve this function today? Laurie Taylor talks to James Mansell, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and Marie Thompson, Lecturer in the School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln.
British drinking and the night time carnival. William Haydock, Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bournemouth, argues that our alcohol consumption is peculiarly 'carnivalesque', combining ritual with risk taking and spectacle.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Jan 18 2017

28mins

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Rank #4: Exhaustion: a historical study of weariness.

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Exhaustion: is extreme fatigue a peculiarly modern phenomenon?

Jul 26 2017

28mins

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Rank #5: Being Single - Modern Romance

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Modern romance: love in the age of technology. Laurie Taylor talks to Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology at New York University, & co- author of a new study exploring the dilemmas & pleasures of dating in the age of Tinder. He's joined by the writer & blogger, Zoe Margolis.

Also, Ai Ling Lay, lecturer in Marketing & Management at the University of Leicester, discusses her research on 'singles' in the marketplace.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Oct 14 2015

28mins

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Rank #6: Drugs in warfare

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DRUGS IN WARFARE: Laurie Taylor talks to Lukasz Kamienski, Lecturer in Political Science at at Jagiellonian University, Poland, and author of a book which examines how intoxicants have been put to the service of states, empires and their armies throughout history. They were prescribed by military authorities but there's also been widespread unauthorised use by soldiers from the American Civil War to the Vietnam War and the rebel militias of contemporary Africa. Whether to improve stamina, increase fighting spirit or deal with shattered nerves, drugs turn out to have been a 'secret weapon' in warfare.
Also, the writer, Norman Ohler discusses his study into the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich. According to his research, Nazi Germany was permeated with cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, and crucial to troops' resilience.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Apr 26 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #7: Foie gras & the politics of taste - Memories of Irish food

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Foie gras: The politics of taste. Laurie Taylor talks to Michaela DeSoucey, Assistant Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University, about the controversies that surround this luxury product. What makes us see some foods as 'wrong' and worthy of prohibition? They're joined by the distinguished anthropologist, Henrietta Moore. Also, memories of Irish food. Angela Maye-Banbury, Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, talks about her research with working class Irish male migrants whose evocative recollections of the food back home illuminate their sense of the past.

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

Nov 30 2016

28mins

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Rank #8: Vertical Cities - India's property boom

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Vertical cities: Laurie Taylor explores the increasing segregation of cities by height. Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities & Society at Newcastle University, ponders 'class war from above'. His exploration of the built environment around the world, both above and below ground, finds that the wealthy have gone upwards; into "islands" and "archipelagos" of residential towers, hotels, private clubs, roof gardens, restaurants, swimming pools, even heliports. They enjoy fresher air, commanding vistas, safety from crime and speedy travel. Privileged Chinese citizens retreat to air conditioned citadels in the sky; wealthy Thai commuters enjoy the Skytrain, Bangkok's elevated railway for the fortunate few. Graham lays out a landscape where architecture reflects and reinforces divisions with ever greater brazenness.
India's property boom. In recent years, India has seen a sudden and spectacular urban transformation. Gleaming business complexes encroach on fields and villages. Giant condominium communities offer gated security and pristine pools. Spacious, air-conditioned malls have sprung up alongside open-air markets. Llerena Guiu Searle , Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester, interviewed estate agents, investors and developers, documenting the new private sector partnerships and practices that are bringing prosperity, but also making India's cities ever more inaccessible to the urban poor
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Feb 08 2017

28mins

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Rank #9: Squatting; a cross cultural history. Plus taking ones clothes off in public.

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Squatting: Laurie Taylor discusses the first popular history of squatting in Europe and North America. Alexander Vasudevan, Associate Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford, drew on extensive archival research to retrace alternative forms of housing from Copenhagen's Christiana 'Free Town' to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He's joined by Lucy Finchett-Maddock, Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex

Also: 'Streaking', 'mooning' and 'flashing'. Barbara Brownie, Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication at the University of Hertfordshire, explores the many meanings of public disrobement, from the playful to the criminal.

Producer: Alice Bloch.

Mar 01 2017

28mins

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Rank #10: A special programme on Pierre Bourdieu

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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

Jun 07 2019

28mins

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Rank #11: Population change - Chronic illness

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Population change - how will it transform the world? Laurie Taylor talks to Sarah Harper, Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, about one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. She's joined by Robert Mayhew, Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Bristol.
Also, a cross cultural study of chronic illness management. Ivaylo Vassilev, Senior Research Fellow in Health Sciences at the University of Southampton, discusses the different experiences and perceptions of people suffering with diabetes in the UK and Bulgaria.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Nov 16 2016

28mins

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Rank #12: Beauty - Ugliness

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Beauty and ugliness - to what extent are our ideas about physical perfection culturally and socially constructed? Laurie Taylor talks to Gretchen Henderson, Lecturer in English at Georgetown University & author of a study of perceptions of ugliness throughout history and to Heather Widdows, Professor of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham, whose latest book explores the radical transformation of the status of beauty and the increasing emergence of a global ideal.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Jul 18 2018

28mins

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Rank #13: Marx and Marxism

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Sociological discussion programme. May 2018 sees the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth. Laurie Taylor explores the philosopher's ideas and legacy.

May 16 2018

28mins

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Rank #14: Populism

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Populism - Laurie Taylor explores the origins, meaning and rise of populist politics, across the Left as well as the Right. He's joined by Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, LSE; Luke March, Deputy Head of Politics and International Relations at Edinburgh University and Thomas Osborne, Leverhulme Research Fellow in Liberalism & Political Ethics and Prof of Social & Political Theory at the University of Bristol.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Feb 07 2018

27mins

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Rank #15: Menswear Revolution

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The menswear revolution: Laurie Taylor explores the transformation in men's clothing with Jay McCauley Bowstead, lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at London College of Fashion. Also taking part is John Harvey, Life Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and author of a book charting the history of men's dress from the toga to the suit. They're joined by Julia Twigg, Professor of Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Kent, who talks about her research on older men and fashion.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Apr 25 2018

27mins

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Rank #16: Artisanal food - Natural foods

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The politics and meaning of 'alternative' foods: Laura Miller, Associate Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University, discusses her study of 'Natural Foods'. How did what was once a culturally marginal set of ideas evolve from associations with spirituality and bohemian lifestyles to being a mainstream consumer choice? She's joined by Ton Hayward, food writer and broadcaster.
Also, Harry West, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Exeter, considers the 'authenticity' of artisanal and heritage foods.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Feb 21 2018

27mins

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Rank #17: Smart Cities

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Smart Cities: Laurie Taylor presents a special edition of Thinking Allowed which was recorded at the Open University in Milton Keynes. He was joined by Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University, Oliver Zanetti, Visiting Fellow at the Open University and Gillian Rose, Professor of Human Geography at Oxford University.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Jul 25 2018

28mins

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Rank #18: Sexual violence in the Bangladeshi War of Independence - Global danger and the risk to research

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Sexual violence in the Bangladeshi War of Independence. Laurie Taylor talks to Nayanika Mookherjee, Reader in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at Durham University, about the internationally unprecedented state designation of raped women as birangonas (brave women) in 1971. Her groundbreaking study was shortlisted for the 2016 BSA/Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award. She analysed the pubic memory or wartime rape perpetrated by the West Pakistani army and local Bengali men in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during that conflict. This national commemoration of the women's suffering counters the assumption of silence and shame amongst victims of rape in war. But what did it mean to the women themselves? Has their elevation to the status of heroines ensured their integration into their communities and acceptance by their menfolk?

Also, Ruben Andersson, Associate Professor at Oxford University's Department of International Development, discusses the expansion of 'no go' areas of the world since 9/11. He argues that alleged regions of 'risk' are seen as posing a particular danger to Western states and citizens. How can ethnographers who, by definition, do not wish to observe from a distance, address this challenge to their research? Professor Andersson was the winner of the 2015 Ethnography Award for his study of clandestine migration on the borders of Europe.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Jan 11 2017

28mins

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Rank #19: Happiness Industry, Wellness Syndrome

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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.

May 26 2015

28mins

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Rank #20: The Subway

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Laurie Taylor goes underground - from New York to Delhi.

Jul 19 2017

28mins

Play