Episodes

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20031105

Laurie Taylor explores how internet usage and public policy towards consumer rights have transformed traditional relationships between the public and the professional services.

20031112

Laurie Taylor explores how the presence of 13 million Muslims in Western Europe is beginning to expose the inadequacies of the continent's historic links between church and state.

20031126

Laurie Taylor investigates why people complain about their work culture.

20031203

Laurie Taylor explores the multi-agency approach to our youth justice system.

20031231

In the spirit of the age Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the idea that ideas by themselves are a source of material change.

20040107

Sociologist Loic Wacquant talks to Laurie Taylor about how he became a boxer called Busy Louis and joined the very community he was meant to be studying.

20040310

Laurie Taylor hears about new links between colonial history and long term economic growth, investment and financial development.

Is it who gets colonised by whom or how a society gets colonised that counts?

20040331

Laurie Taylor and guests, Professor in Colonial and Postcolonial studies Elleke Boehmer and American academic and author Jay Mechling, discuss the social and cultural impact of the boy scout movement.

20040407

Jonas Larsen of Roskilde University in Denmark talks to Laurie Taylor about tourism and photography - what do our holiday snaps tell us about ourselves?

20040421

Rituals, traditions and conventions are all under threat as Laurie Taylor invites his guests to think the unthinkable about society and the ideas that shape it.

20040512
20040519

Rituals, traditions and conventions are all under threat as Laurie Taylor invites his guests to think the unthinkable about Society and the ideas that shape it.

20040602

Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical items and issues from the academic and research world.

20040623

Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical items and issues coming out of the academic and research world.

20040630
20040707
20040714
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20040728

Laurie Taylor and guests explore some of the ideas that shape modern society.

20040901

As the Government plans to increase the use of tagging for criminals, Laurie Taylor examines the origins and effects of this form of punishment.

20040908

From Robben Island to the Maze Prison, the preservation of sites associated with conflict is a sensitive issue.

Laurie Taylor considers how the appropriate afterlife of such places is decided upon.

From Robben Island to the Maze Prison, the preservation of sites associated with conflict is a sensitive issue. Laurie Taylor considers how the appropriate afterlife of such places is decided upon.

20040915

Laurie Taylor ponders cross cultural diffusion and asks why cricket has become the national game of PAKISTAN, INDIA and the West Indies yet failed to take root in CANADA and the UNITED STATES

Evening

Morning

Afternoon.

20040922
20040929

Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads a discussion on topical issues coming out of the academic and research world.

20041006
20041013
20041027
20041124

How have kinship patterns changed over the last forty years? Sociolgist Nickie Charles joins Laurie Taylor on this week's Thinking Allowed to talk about the ways in which contemporary family networks persist despite the instability of 21st century life.

20050105

Laurie Taylor speaks to Laura Piacentini about her time living in a RUSSIAn prison colony.

Piacentini's research is an investigation into the notion of imprisonment, a notion that appears to be ingrained in the psyche and social lives of RUSSIAn people.

Laurie Taylor speaks to Laura Piacentini about her time living in a Russian prison colony. Piacentini's research is an investigation into the notion of imprisonment, a notion that appears to be ingrained in the psyche and social lives of Russian people.

20050112

Thinking Allowed goes underground into the illegal world of night-time car racing in Helsinki.

Looking into this carnival of danger, Laurie Taylor explores the seduction of speed, immortality and danger and asks how these settings become spaces for the expression of emotion, sexuality and desire.

Thinking Allowed goes underground into the illegal world of night-time car racing in Helsinki. Looking into this carnival of danger, Laurie Taylor explores the seduction of speed, immortality and danger and asks how these settings become spaces for the expression of emotion, sexuality and desire.

20050202
20050216

From the sight of an artwork to the scent of perfume or the savour of dinner, sensory perception informs our social world.

In Western society sight and sound is favoured over any other sense, but what is the world like to cultures that privilege touch or smell?

Why do many people in west-African societies hold hands when they talk; how in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea is the time of day is told by bird calls?

In Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor finds out the answers, exploring the role the senses play in mediating cultural experience and expression.

From the sight of an artwork to the scent of perfume or the savour of dinner, sensory perception informs our social world. In Western society sight and sound is favoured over any other sense, but what is the world like to cultures that privilege touch or smell?

20050223

Ratna Kapur, author of Erotic Justice: Law and the New Politics of Postcolonialism joins Laurie Taylor to argue that anti-trafficking strategies and laws have meant women from developing countries are increasingly limited in their freedom to move, are under greater surveillance, and are ever more constrained by regressive views on sexual integrity and women's central place in the home.

20050302

What is an intellectual? What distinguishes them from philosophers, scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs? What codes do they live by? And are they on the verge of extinction or, at the very least, enforced exile from public life?

Laurie Taylor is joined by Steve Fuller Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and author of The Intellectual.

20050309

Does an Arab idea of terrorism constitute something radically different from Western notions? Jordanian academic Fares Braizat joins Laurie Taylor to present the findings of his extensive research.

20050316

In 2001, Wanda Jean Allen was the first Black woman in America to receive the death penalty since 1954.

As a poor, far from intellectual female who murdered her lesbian lover, her case excited a level of interest and prurience similar to that of the infamous Aileen Wournos.

Laurie Taylor, in conversation with Professor Kendall Thomas from Columbia University in NEW YORK, looks at the factors that led to Allen's execution and asks what role does race, gender and sexuality play in sentencing someone to death?

In 2001, Wanda Jean Allen was the first Black woman in America to receive the death penalty since 1954. As a poor, far from intellectual female who murdered her lesbian lover, her case excited a level of interest and prurience similar to that of the infamous Aileen Wournos.

20050323

Laurie Taylor presents a special edition from the British Sociological Association 2005 Conference in YORK, featuring speakers who discuss changing perceptions of risk.

20050406

New research has been carried out looking at the migratory experience of British ex-patriots now living in the Lot Valley, a largely rural and agricultural area in Southwest FRANCE that has been described as The Place that Time Forgot.

Michaela Lord, from the University of Hull, the co-author of the study, joins Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed to discuss the individual and varied motivations behind the decision to migrate, of which the most influential is the cultural change taking place in the UK.

But how far does the migratory experience meet their expectations and how much has the pattern of migration transformed the lifestyles of the local community for better or worse?

20050420
20050427

Laurie Taylor explores international relations in the Middle East with Professor Fred Halliday, whose new book asserts that the complexity of the region is underestimated.

20050504

Laurie Taylor looks at the concept of skill.

Policy makers suggest that skills are vital ingredients for national economic prosperity.

But precisely what is a skill?

In the past skills were equated with technical know-how or manual dexterity, but they now seem to include personal characteristics, behaviours and attitudes.

Has the concept of skill become so broad and wide that to speak of skills is almost meaningless? If so, what are the implications for contemporary education and training, and will we witness the marginalisation of theoretical knowledge?

Laurie Taylor looks at the concept of skill. Policy makers suggest that skills are vital ingredients for national economic prosperity. But precisely what is a skill?

20050518

Laurie Taylor discovers a long-suppressed medical scandal where a leading PSYCHIATRIST of the early 20th century came to believe that mental illnesses were the product of chronic infection that poisoned the brain.

A ruthless course of surgical treatment then followed which many patients did not survive.

What does the case say about the relationship between doctors and patients and are there any contemporary resonances of this case?

Laurie Taylor discovers a long-suppressed medical scandal where a leading psychiatrist of the early 20th century came to believe that mental illnesses were the product of chronic infection that poisoned the brain. A ruthless course of surgical treatment then followed which many patients did not survive.

20050525

In the summer of 2003, Laurie Taylor travelled to Cape Town in South Africa to learn from social scientists about the other side of this celebrated tourist spot.

As part of Radio 4's Africa Day 2005, Thinking Allowed revisits some of the issues uncovered in these landmark programmes, as Laurie retraces his steps analysing the changes that have taken place in areas such as crime and violence, land reform and intellectual life.

Then Cafe Africa

Taking tea in the afternoon.

20050601

While baseball is America's most popular sport, soccer is the world's most popular sport.

Laurie Taylor looks at what these two iconic sports reveal about the societies and economies that spawned them.

Why are Americans appalled that star players like David Beckham are traded like horsemeat, but then why do baseball clubs make money while soccer clubs don't?

While baseball is America's most popular sport, soccer is the world's most popular sport. Laurie Taylor looks at what these two iconic sports reveal about the societies and economies that spawned them.

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20050615

Notions of identity have overwhelmed people for centuries.

Tales from life and literature show how people put on masks to discover who they really are under the masks they usually wear.

Laurie Taylor explores the idea of self-imitation, looking at the basic human ways of negotiating reality, illusion, identity and authenticity, only to find that it is not unusual for us to become travesties of ourselves, particularly as we age and change.

Notions of identity have overwhelmed people for centuries. Tales from life and literature show how people put on masks to discover who they really are under the masks they usually wear.

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Laurie Taylor looks at the cultural history of dieting and finds out why we are so obsessed with food.

For centuries, what we eat has been a significant part of our daily ritual.

Laurie Taylor looks at the cultural history of dieting and finds out why we are so obsessed with food. For centuries, what we eat has been a significant part of our daily ritual.

20050713

Drinking, especially drinking alcohol, has been a significant part of different cultures across the world.

From the sake drinking salarymen of Tokyo to the burgundy sipping flaneurs of Paris, alcohol plays a wide range of functions.

It has religious, familial, social and political meaning and it has always played a key role in the production and expression of identity.

In Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor discovers how the act of consuming, or indeed abstaining from alcohol ties in with self-presentation, ethnicity, class and culture.

Drinking, especially drinking alcohol, has been a significant part of different cultures across the world. From the sake drinking salarymen of Tokyo to the burgundy sipping flaneurs of Paris, alcohol plays a wide range of functions. It has religious, familial, social and political meaning and it has always played a key role in the production and expression of identity.

20050720

Laurie Taylor speaks to music journalist Peter Shapiro about his new book, Turn the Beat Around, which traces the history of disco - the music that taste forgot.

20050727

Laurie Taylor is joined by Maurice Bloch, professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics to discuss his latest research which explores the highly controversial territory between the cognitive and social sciences.

20050803
20050810

Laurie Taylor travels to Sheffield to visit Norfolk Park Housing Estate.

Built in the 1960s with 15 high rise blocks set in rolling parkland, the estate was much loved by the residents.

But in the early '90s the decision was taken to demolish the towers and re-develop the estate.

Ten years on, most residents are still waiting to be re-housed.

What went wrong and why has well-intentioned council policy failed so many of those who lived on the estate?

Laurie Taylor travels to Sheffield to visit Norfolk Park Housing Estate. Built in the 1960s with 15 high rise blocks set in rolling parkland, the estate was much loved by the residents. But in the early '90s the decision was taken to demolish the towers and re-develop the estate.

Ten years on, most residents are still waiting to be re-housed. What went wrong and why has well-intentioned council policy failed so many of those who lived on the estate?

20050817

Laurie Taylor visits Belfast to discover why since the Good Friday agreement there has been a flourishing of Protestant Marching Bands.

20050824

In 1997 the Scottish Tories suffered a wipeout at the General Election and in the last election, only one Scottish Conservative was voted in.

Laurie Taylor travels to Dumfries and Galloway, a former Conservative stronghold, and finds out how local Tory Party activists have mobilised themselves.

In 1997 the Scottish Tories suffered a wipeout at the General Election and in the last election, only one Scottish Conservative was voted in. Laurie Taylor travels to Dumfries and Galloway, a former Conservative stronghold, and finds out how local Tory Party activists have mobilised themselves.

20050831

The world of the bouncer who patrols the doors to the pubs and clubs lining our high streets, has been a male dominated arena, apparently full of violence and aggression.

However, in recent years more and more women have started to take on this role, but they have done so in a very different way.

Laurie Taylor walks the streets of London's Soho to speak to some of these female bouncers, or door supervisors, to find out what kind of skills and resources they bring to the job and he asks why they are more in demand than ever before.

The world of the bouncer who patrols the doors to the pubs and clubs lining our high streets, has been a male dominated arena, apparently full of violence and aggression. However, in recent years more and more women have started to take on this role, but they have done so in a very different way.

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20050921

From shopping to politics, celebrity culture affects every facet of our lives whether we like it or not.

But exactly how much influence does celebrity culture have on contemporary society? Are they an important part of our national or cultural identity; and how do celebrities articulate constructions of gender, age, class and sexuality?

Laurie Taylor explores some of these issues and asks since when has celebrity culture become a serious subject to study? Is it more bling bling than the academic real thing?

From shopping to politics, celebrity culture affects every facet of our lives whether we like it or not. But exactly how much influence does celebrity culture have on contemporary society? Are they an important part of our national or cultural identity; and how do celebrities articulate constructions of gender, age, class and sexuality?

20050928

Laurie Taylor speaks to Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at Imperial College London, who challenges some of our preconceptions of transnational pharmaceutical companies.

He argues that in order to supply drugs on humanitarian grounds in poor countries, we need to protect the profits of these companies in rich countries.

20051005
20051012

The weChishanu Christians are one of the fastest growing religious movements in Zimbabwe having seen a marked increase in the 1990s, not just in the number of people attending the services but also in the number of services they hold each day.

They are the Christians who don't read the Bible.

Academic attention to a flat and lifeless scriptural text, they affirm, can only impede their live and direct relationship with God.

Though claiming a distinct break with African custom, the movement is informed by African history and culture - they believe in witchcraft and in spirit possession.

Taking witchcraft seriously has been key to the success of many African churches and seems no less successful here.

In this week's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor speaks to Matthew Engelke lecturer at the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics about his research on religion in Zimbabwe.

The anthropology of Christianity - now a branch of anthropology of emerging importance - helps provide an understanding of the history and culture of Zimbabwean society.

They are the Christians who don't read the Bible. Academic attention to a flat and lifeless scriptural text, they affirm, can only impede their live and direct relationship with God.

Though claiming a distinct break with African custom, the movement is informed by African history and culture - they believe in witchcraft and in spirit possession. Taking witchcraft seriously has been key to the success of many African churches and seems no less successful here.

20051019
20051026

The vibrant and captivating world of post war London was a place for gay liberation.

The city had forged an extensive and diverse queer culture that still exists today, and provided a space for men to make sense of their sexuality.

Laurie Taylor explores the intimate and complex world of queer London - how did the city influence the culture and politics of gay life, and how in turn did gay life shape the culture and politics of the city?

The vibrant and captivating world of post war London was a place for gay liberation. The city had forged an extensive and diverse queer culture that still exists today, and provided a space for men to make sense of their sexuality.

20051102

Why is it that in our modern multicultural society we still turn out every November 5th to commemorate a planned act of Catholic terrorism which was defeated four hundred years ago?

Laurie Taylor looks at our celebration of Guy Fawkes Night and how it has changed over the centuries.

20051109

Over the past two decades, a vast number of new jobs have been created in affluent economies.

They are seen as more rewarding, requiring more skill and employees are paid more for their trouble.

But despite these beneficial trends, employees work longer hours, are less satisfied at work and there is a marked increase in inequality.

Laurie Taylor talks to Francis Green, who addresses this paradox in his new book 'Demanding Work'.

Over the past two decades, a vast number of new jobs have been created in affluent economies. They are seen as more rewarding, requiring more skill and employees are paid more for their trouble. But despite these beneficial trends, employees work longer hours, are less satisfied at work and there is a marked increase in inequality.

20051116

Laurie Taylor discusses how The Beatles kick-started the trend for fans to identify with particular band members and the way in which cultural role models have developed since then.

Part of the run up to Radio 4's season marking the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death.

20051123

Laurie Taylor examines the cultural politics of weddings and the reasons why both participants and onlookers regard them as key indicators of class, taste and aspiration.

20051130

The town of Anna in Illinois has about 7000 people.

It benefits from a mild four-season climate, with spring arriving early, and is the perfect place for retirement, outdoor recreation or an exceptionally enjoyable family life.

But Anna is a 'Sundown Town', so called because until the 1970s, it was common to see at the city limits signs such as, 'Nigger, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on You in Anna'.

Anna, in fact, is an acronym for Aint No Niggers Allowed.

Laurie Taylor looks at the phenomenon of these US 'white only' towns that stretch from Maine to California, and finds that the informal practice of barring blacks (and sometimes other groups) after nightfall is astonishingly wide.

20051207

Street traders in Barcelona form a vibrant back bone to the city.

Many of them come from South Asia and West Africa, forming a diverse and animated community with strong social bonds.

Laurie Taylor looks at the experiences of this distinct community finding out how travelling and negotiating new cultures have helped form their fluid and diasporic identities.

Street traders in Barcelona form a vibrant back bone to the city. Many of them come from South Asia and West Africa, forming a diverse and animated community with strong social bonds.

20051214

The Oakland Riders enjoy the distinction of attracting the most feared fans in American football, with a reputation for drinking, fighting - and outrageous costumes.

Devotion to the team binds this working class, multiracial group of people together.

Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Jim Miller who followed the fans through a dramatic season in an attempt to get to grips with the reality behind the ferocious image.

The Oakland Riders enjoy the distinction of attracting the most feared fans in American football, with a reputation for drinking, fighting - and outrageous costumes. Devotion to the team binds this working class, multiracial group of people together.

20051221

Laurie Taylor looks at the popularity of 'chick lit', a new genre of romance writing aimed at women, and finds out what this says about contemporary culture.

20051228

The end of apartheid in South Africa was heralded as a new, modern, democratic beginning for the country.

But despite this, support for the authority of chiefs and chieftancy, based on hundreds of years of tradition, has thrived.

Laurie Taylor looks at the role chiefs play in South Africa and how they are no longer considered relics of the past but key figures in national and local politics.

20060104

Laurie Taylor follows the growth of the occult tradition and the part it plays in the history of ideas.

What cultural shifts caused its rise in popularity in the 19th Century?

Laurie Taylor follows the growth of the occult tradition and the part it plays in the history of ideas. What cultural shifts caused its rise in popularity in the 19th Century?

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20070103

To mark the beginning of Liverpool's 800th year, Laurie Taylor visits the city to explore its contribution to the social sciences.

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Mortuary worker, sewer engineer, sex worker, refuse collector? how do the people who do society's dirtiest jobs manage to make their occupations seem more palatable? Laurie Taylor discusses a major new study on how to survive the world's worst jobs.

20070228

The Death of Honour

Are we living in a 'post-honour society'? Social theorist James Bowman claims that the ancient idea of honour has become meaningless in the Western world, and that it is this development more than anything else which underlies the clash between Eastern and Western cultures.

Laurie Taylor hears the arguments and the evidence, and asks whether we are better off without honour.

20070307
20070314

The established cultures of the financial world's trading markets are succumbing to modern technology.

Laurie Taylor talks to former share dealer turned anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom about the arcane rites of a dying world.

The established cultures of the financial world's trading markets are succumbing to modern technology. Laurie Taylor talks to former share dealer turned anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom about the arcane rites of a dying world.

20070321

Concern is growing over violence in the workplace, with an increasing number of assaults on nurses, transport workers, retail staff and other workers.

Laurie Taylor talks to P J Waddington, the author of a major new study into violence at work and its effects.

Concern is growing over violence in the workplace, with an increasing number of assaults on nurses, transport workers, retail staff and other workers. Laurie Taylor talks to PJ Waddington, the author of a major new study into violence at work and its effects.

20070328

Both suicide and deliberate self-harm involve large numbers of young people, many in their teens and many lesbian or gay.

Laurie Taylor discusses new research into the role of sexuality and gender identity in suicide among young people.

How often do struggles over issues of being gay, lesbian or transgender lead to suicidal practices, and what can be done to help these young people?

Both suicide and deliberate self-harm involve large numbers of young people, many in their teens and many lesbian or gay. Laurie Taylor discusses new research into the role of sexuality and gender identity in suicide among young people. How often do struggles over issues of being gay, lesbian or transgender lead to suicidal practices, and what can be done to help these young people?

20070404

Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical issues coming out of the academic and research world.

20070411

China is set to become the world's second biggest economy by 2015, but there is a social cost for such expansion.

Laurie Taylor is joined by an international panel of experts to look at China's enormous floating population of some 200 million migrant workers, who are moving great distances from rural areas to cities in order to find work.

China is set to become the world's second biggest economy by 2015, but there is a social cost for such expansion. Laurie Taylor is joined by an international panel of experts to look at China's enormous floating population of some 200 million migrant workers, who are moving great distances from rural areas to cities in order to find work.

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Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical items and issues coming out of the academic and research world.

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Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical items and issues coming out of the academic and research world.

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Laurie Taylor discusses a scholarly study of Esalen, the Californian institute which introduced the West to the spiritual teaching of the East.

2007051620070521

Laurie Taylor hears surprising tales from a Peruvian anthropologist on how Amazonian Indians make friends.

2007051720070521

Laurie Taylor hears surprising tales from a Peruvian anthropologist on how Amazonian Indians make friends.

2007052320070528

Why do street people and rough sleepers use names to disguise their identity and how can an understanding of that culture aid the people who want to help them? Laurie Taylor discusses new research with Tom Hall.

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"Human behaviour, institutions and conventions are put under the microscope as Laurie Taylor leads the discussion on topical items and issues coming out of the academic and research world."

20070604
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Laurie Taylor discusses a new study with author Kester Aspden into one of the most notorious cases of police racism in Britain, after the body of David Oluwale was pulled from a canal in Leeds in May 1969.

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Laurie Taylor discusses a new study with author Kester Aspden into one of the most notorious cases of police racism in Britain, after the body of David Oluwale was pulled from a canal in Leeds in May 1969.

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Laurie Taylor discusses a new study with author Kester Aspden into one of the most notorious cases of police racism in Britain, after the body of David Oluwale was pulled from a canal in Leeds in May 1969.

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Sexual Revolutions

Laurie Taylor talks to Jeffrey Weeks about his new book The World We Have Won, which claims that successive revolutions in erotic mores since 1945 have led to the democratisation of everyday life.

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How has erotic and intimate life changed since 1945? Laurie Taylor hears the findings of a new report by sociologist Jeffrey Weeks.

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Laurie Taylor hears surprising tales from a Peruvian anthropologist on how Amazonian Indians make friends.

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1/3. Laurie Taylor presents three programmes examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain.

He is joined by politicians David Willetts and Frank Field to explore the geography of poverty and the effect of today's vastly increased home ownership on those who rent.

Laurie Taylor presents three programmes examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain.

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2/3. Laurie Taylor presents three programmes examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain.

Politicians David Willetts and Frank Field explore the generation gap. How different are today's young people from their parents' generation and why is communication between age groups more difficult today?

Laurie Taylor presents three programmes examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain.

Politicians David Willetts and Frank Field explore the generation gap.

How different are today's young people from their parents' generation and why is communication between age groups more difficult today?

2007090520070910

Laurie Taylor presents the final programme of a special series examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain. In this programme on The Attainment Gap, he and two politicians, David Willetts and Frank Field, explore the statistics and cross-examine the specialists.

Why are the children of professional children so much more able to prosper in school and at work? And how can you predict someone's achievements and attainments at 26 when they are only 26 months?

Laurie Taylor presents the final programme of a special series examining the social gaps in today's divided Britain.

In this programme on The Attainment Gap, he and two politicians, David Willetts and Frank Field, explore the statistics and cross-examine the specialists.

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Laurie Taylor visits Marseille to explore its unique racial geography. When France was torn apart by riots, why did its most diverse city remain unscathed?

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Gentrification in Harlem

Laurie Taylor presents a special programme from New York, exploring the changes in a neighbourhood undergoing a huge economic revival and their effect on local residents.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works

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He discusses the nature of trust in modern society with the social theorist Marek Kohn.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works. He discusses the nature of trust in modern society with the social theorist Marek Kohn.

20080707

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works. He discusses the nature of trust in modern society with the social theorist Marek Kohn.

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He discusses the history of glamour with Stephen Gundle.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works. He discusses the history of glamour with Stephen Gundle.

20080714

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works. He discusses the history of glamour with Stephen Gundle.

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Laurie Taylor discusses how imagination and reality combine to create the environments in which we live.

1/3. Imagination and the Countryside

Novelist Joanna Trollope, sociologist Howard Newby and rural ethnographer Martin Phillips discuss the rural idyll. The dream the British have of the countryside is not always borne out by the experience of living there, yet the ideas we hold about the countryside often prompt changes. Martin's research revealed long-term residents complaining of too many village fetes and incomers who are simply too keen to get involved in everything. Joanna Trollope explains what drove her out of the countryside five years ago.

1/3.

Imagination and the Countryside

Novelist Joanna Trollope, sociologist Howard Newby and rural ethnographer Martin Phillips discuss the rural idyll.

The dream the British have of the countryside is not always borne out by the experience of living there, yet the ideas we hold about the countryside often prompt changes.

Martin's research revealed long-term residents complaining of too many village fetes and incomers who are simply too keen to get involved in everything.

Joanna Trollope explains what drove her out of the countryside five years ago.

20080818
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Laurie Taylor discusses how imagination and reality combine to create the environments in which we live.

2/3. Imagination and the Suburbs

He talks about facts and fantasies of suburban life with writer Iain Sinclair and sociologists Paul Barker and Nick Hubble.

2/3.

Imagination and the Suburbs

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Laurie Taylor discusses how imagination and reality combine to create the environments in which we live.

3/3. Imagination and the City

In front of a live audience at the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House, Laurie is joined by writer Will Self, sociologist Richard Sennett and geographer Doreen Massey.

3/3.

Imagination and the City

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor speaks to Harvard's Robert Sampson about his latest research into what causes disorder in cities.

2008102920081103

Laurie Taylor debates research into the changing attitudes towards the bodies displayed in our museums.

20081103

Laurie Taylor debates research into the changing attitudes towards the bodies displayed in our museums.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how police get a confession from suspects - tactics a bit different from in Guy Fawkes's day.

20081110

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how police get a confession from suspects - tactics a bit different from in Guy Fawkes's day.

2008111220081117

Laurie Taylor talks to Amanda Vickery about the history of the home.

20081117

Laurie Taylor talks to Amanda Vickery about the history of the home.

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Was the Imperial era the result of repressed sexuality? A new book claims that forbidden desires lie behind the West's great cultural output.

Laurie talks to Robert Muchembled, author of Orgasm and the West, and historian Joanna Bourke.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

There is a revolution happening in security and the human body is at the centre of new ways of monitoring and controlling the way we live.

From fingerprinting to retinal scans.

Laurie Taylor explores the way that the history of biometrics has changed the relationship between the citizen and the state.

What are the new measures that are due to be introduced? How are new technological developments likely to change the way we live? Laurie talks to anthropologist Mark Maguire about changes which mean that the body becomes our passport and asks whether the so-called 'securitization of identity' will change the way we think of ourselves.

Plus, is it possible for a social scientist to always remain uninvolved in the world he is studying? When does it become impossible to keep your mouth shut? Laurie talks to two medical sociologists, Charles Bosk and Clare Williams, about the ethical questions they have had to face.

20090422

Laurie discusses the history of murder, from duelling to drive-by killings, with Pieter Spierenburg, author of A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present and Joanna Bourke, author of An Intimate History of Killing.

Why was the murder rate higher in the Middle Ages than it is now? What factors have pushed the practice of killing men down the social order and should we worry about the first increase in the murder rate for over 200 years?

Laurie also hears of the surprise of Antje Bednarek, a German sociologist pursuing an ethnography of Young Scottish Conservatives.

She had not realised that tracking them down would be such a tricky business.

From duels to drive-by, Laurie Taylor discusses the history of murder.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

2009042920090504
20090506

Laurie Talyor asks if the buildings built today cater for modern life or merely reflect idealistic dreams.

He hears a savage indictment of architecture, and also discusses the enduring influence of class.

Laurie Talyor asks if the buildings built today cater for modern life.

20090513
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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

How Victorian geographer Halford Mackinder's theories of Empire are back in vogue.

Laurie Taylor presents.

How Halford Mackinder's theory of Empire is back in vogue.

Laurie Taylor discusses geopolitics and the science of spheres of influence.

'Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland.

Who rules the Heartland commands the World-island.

Who rules the World Island commands the World'.

So decreed Halford Mackinder, one of the pioneers of geography and of the nascent science of geopolitics.

He had a huge influence on the strategy of the British Empire and a great impact on the foreign policy of Hitler.

Gerry Kearns, author of Geopolitics and Empire: The Legacy of Halford Mackinder tells Laurie Taylor that, with dwindling resources of gas and oil and the quest for sphere of influence, Mackinder is very much back in vogue.

Also, Laurie speaks to Roma academics Delia Grigore and Ian Hancock about ambivalent feelings towards traditional gypsy or Romani culture and the threats and advantages of assimilation.

2009070120090706

From dizziness to chronic pain, the overstretched health service is faced with increasing numbers of patients with symptoms that defy a medical explanation.

They are often subject to repeated tests and treatment yet their illness persists.

Laurie Taylor is joined by Monica Greco, whose research suggests the practice of patient choice ensures that many such patients get worse rather than better.

Also on the programme, Róisín Ryan-Flood, the author of Lesbian Motherhood: Gender, Families and Sexual Citizenship, talks about the growing numbers of lesbians choosing to have children by donor insemination and the evolution of new definitions of family.

Exploring medically unexplained symptoms, lesbian motherhood and new definitions of family.

2009070820090713

With Laurie Taylor.

Can Darwin explain why some societies become modern?

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Darwinian theory has provided a powerful explanation for animal behaviour, but can it be used to explain how humans act? Evolutionary psychologists contend that it can and have brought their critique to bear on many fields including economics, law, anthropology and sociology.

Laurie speaks to Lesley Newson about her theory that evolution can explain how societies become modern.

Also on the programme, why western women are increasingly relaxed about attending sex clubs and 'ping pong' bars in Thailand.

Erin Sanders tells Laurie about her latest research.

2009071520090720

Is an unequal society bad for your health?

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Research has shown that health and social problems become more acute in an unequal society, where the gap between the richest and poorest is greatest.

For most of us, respect is measured in money, and lack of it or low pay tells us that we are worth very little.

But given the chance, would we as a society be prepared to rebalance?

Laurie Taylor discusses these issues with Professor Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level: Why Equal Societies Almost Always So Better, and Sunder Katwala from The Fabian Society, on a new paper on underlying motivation.

Also teddy bears; how did a real hunting story become a political myth which left Theodore Roosevelt forever credited as the namesake of the teddy bear, symbolic of childhood innocence?

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The 15th century mosques of India were built by Hindu craftsmen trained on temples.

Shakespeare borrowed from Seneca and emulated Ovid in the writing of his plays, and reggae was introduced to Britian by Jamaican immigrants who had brought African influence to the development of ska which in turn had borrowed from American R and B.

No wonder that Edward Said said that, 'the history of all cultures is the history of cultural borrowing'.

But is that cultural borrowing a fair exchange? Are some cultures more readily imposed than others and is there any sense in resisting the influence of foreign ways of life? Laurie Taylor discusses cultural hybridity with Tariq Ali, Peter Burke and Angela McRobbie.

Cultural hybridity: is globalisation making the world homogenous?

20090805
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Laurie Taylor explores the myths and enduring realities of the British police with Clive Emsley and Dick Hobbs.

Robert Peel brought the Metropolitan Police Force into being in 1829; it was a centralised body of 3,000 uniformed men expected to patrol designated areas.

They were the original 'Bobbies on the Beat'.

However, in an age of mass public protests, Chartism and agitation for electoral reform, the police were founded more as a response to a crisis in public order than in a move to protect private property.

The Weekly Dispatch of 1829 warned, 'The New Police is a military body employed in civil duties...

it is a powerful engine in the hands of government, and may be employed for the suppression of public freedom.' How much has changed?

Laurie also discusses the worldwide influence of the Scottish diaspora and asks why such an enormous number Scots left their country of birth even when times were good.

Tom Devine enlightens Laurie ahead of his talk at the Festival of Politics in Edinburgh.

Laurie Taylor discusses myth and reality in the history of the British police.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Can children be both clever and popular in school? Laurie explores the role of class swot.

New research on a group of high achieving 12 and 13-year-old children could provide insight into why children underachieve in school.

Laurie Taylor talks to Becky Francis from Roehampton University, one of the authors of a new report into the uneasy relationship between being clever and popular.

Laurie finds out how children negotiate being both academically successful and liked by their peers, and the differences in classroom experience for boys and girls.

While a boy can avoid being bullied if he is both sporty and successful, girls are more likely to be picked on and seen as asexual if they do well in school.

Does the risk of being bullied or labelled a 'swot' prompt children of both sexes to avoid performing to their best ability?

Also, Laurie explores the letters sent home by soldiers in WWI and what they reveal about the emotional experience of war.

He talks to Michael Roper and Joanna Bourke about the role of the connection between the home front and the battlefield, and why it was critical in helping soldiers cope with the horrors of war.

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The life of philosopher RG Collingwood, and restorative justice in Northern Ireland.

What is the best way to settle a dispute, and if you are a victim of crime what is the best way to get justice? Laurie Taylor finds out about an alternative to police and courts and the conventional criminal justice system.

The idea of restorative justice is to try to find a new way to settle arguments and bring justice so that offenders and victims can carry on living side by side.

Can bringing victims and culprits together to talk or making a guilty party compensate the injured one provide the answer? And can it work for all crimes, however serious? Laurie talks to Anna Eriksson and Heather Strang about the use of restorative justice in Northern Ireland.

For countries with a long history of violence in their communities, can restorative justice be used to heal the wounds?

Also in the programme, what lessons can we learn from history about how to live our lives? Laurie talks to Prof Fred Inglis about the life of philosopher Robin Collingwood and how we can live the good life by learning our lessons from the past.

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Laurie Taylor discusses the language of crime and the codes of criminal communication with Diego Gambetta, mafia scholar and criminal sociologist.

He finds out why, in order to survive in the criminal underworld, language requires subtle, coded and sometimes gruesome modes of communication.

From horses heads in bed to scars and tattoos, Laurie finds out why the language of the criminal underworld is often written in code.

20091007

America's social state is withering at the expense of its expanding prison system and the UK is heading in the same direction, with potentially disastrous consequences.

That's the argument of Laurie Taylor's guest, Loic Wacquant, Professor of Sociology at the University of California.

From 1980 to 1990, spending by the US government on operating its prisons and correctional establishments doubled while at the same time spending on public housing more than halved.

According to Wacquant, this process is continuing - he says that 'the construction of prisons has effectively become the country's main housing programme'.

Are America's penal policies too harsh, and if prisons and correctional facilities are becoming increasingly important, what are the social consequences?

He talks to Laurie about why he believes America is too ready to accept a state of poverty for huge sections of its population and at the same time see the social state obliterated.

Is America punishing its poor and is the UK at risk of following the same path, overly dependent on prisons while eroding its social state?

Sociologist Loic Wacquant discusses the consequences of a growing US prison system.

20091014

Laurie Taylor finds out about what we leave with the dead and why.

From clothes to jewellery, photographs, hats, eye glasses, walking sticks, letters and even food, alcohol and tobacco, the objects mourners leave in the coffins and caskets of their loved ones tells us a huge amount about our attitudes to death and the rituals it involves.

Laurie talks to Sheila Harper, sociologist at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, whose new study about 'modern-day grave goods' reveals fascinating insights into our attitudes to death, how we grieve, the ritual of death and mourning.

She points out that the objects we leave today are remarkably similar to the kinds of goods uncovered by archaeologists in graves going back thousand of years.

20091021

From suburbs to housing estates, Laurie Taylor explores the history and future of urban planning and asks if where we live affects how we live.

How do housing estates and suburbs serve their residents and what is the future for planning our towns and cities? Social housing has its roots in Victorian philanthropy, and in 1979 nearly half of Britain's population lived in local authority housing.

Many suburbs grew as cities and their populations expanded.

Laurie is joined by Paul Barker and Lynsey Hanley to discuss housing estates and suburbs.

Will urban planning ever be able to fulfill Aneurin Bevan's dream of social integration?

From suburbia to housing estates, Laurie Taylor discusses planning our towns and cities.

20091028

While nine out of ten people agree organ donation is a good thing, a recent audit found 40 per cent of bereaved families, when approached, didn't agree to donate.

Laurie Taylor discusses new research which uncovers some of the reasons behind this apparent anomaly.

Magi Sque, from the University of Southampton, was part of a team who interviewed families who had declined organ donation.

While many agreed in principle, carried organ donor cards and knew their relatives desire to donate, they still didn't feel able to let their loved ones organs be used.

The most common reason families gave for this was a simple desire to keep the body intact.

They didn't want the dead to be 'hurt' any more.

Magi explains why the research reveals some of our deep-seated cultural beliefs, and how those beliefs have their roots in wider society's values and, at times of grief, can completely overcome our pre-existing views.

20091104

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime, from its late addition to the statute books to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction.

He speaks to the key academic experts in the field, explores the latest sociological research and hears from professionals on both sides of the law about the culture, the practice and most often the non-prosecution of white collar crime.

In this edition, Laurie considers the culture of the crime.

What exactly is white collar crime, who commits it and why?

Laurie Taylor explores white collar crime.

What exactly is it, who commits it and why?

20091111

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime, from its late addition to the statute books to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction.

He speaks to the key academic experts in the field, explores the latest sociological research and hears from professionals on both sides of the law about the culture, the practice and most often the non-prosecution of white collar crime.

In this edition, Laurie explores the culture of corporate crime and how regulatory bodies serve to keep the police at arm's length.

In the UK, people are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury at work than to be a victim of violent crime, yet only a fraction of safety crimes are actually prosecuted.

Globally, more people are killed at work each year than are killed in war.

Why has corporate crime had a low priority, why has it been so hard to prosecute corporations and will the new crimes of corporate manslaughter and corporate murder make firms more responsible for the crimes they commit?

Why has corporate crime had such a low priority?

2009111820091123

Laurie Taylor explores the punishment of white collar crime.

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime.

Is it right that middle-class offenders should spend more of their sentence in open prisons? Should the loss of a professional position be taken into account when sentencing white collar criminals? Is our prison system set up to cope with professionals who offend? Laurie concludes his exploration of white collar crime and talks to past offenders including Jonathan Aitken, leading criminologist Michael Levi, and the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken MacDonald, about the punishment of white collar criminals.

Is it time we changed our attitude to crime in the workplace? Should we put more effort into enforcing the law and detecting white collar crime?

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime, from its late addition to the statute books to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction.

He speaks to the key academic experts in the field, explores the latest sociological research and hears from professionals on both sides of the law about the culture, the practice and most often the non-prosecution of white collar crime.

In this edition, Laurie explores the subject of punishing white collar crime.

Laurie Taylor explores white collar crime.

20091125

Barack Obama famously used new technologies in his 2008 election campaign.

Could those same techniques be used to reinvigorate the next UK general elction in the same way it did for Obama's Web 2.0 campaign? From MySpace and Facebook, text messages to email, will new media transform the election in the same way it did for America? Or is the UK too party political for digital technology to have the same impact? Laurie Taylor discusses with Rachel Gibson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester.

Also, how musicians performing can give new insights into negotiation, learning and decision making.

Howard S Becker, professional jazz player and acclaimed sociologist, joins Laurie to discuss what jazz and music can teach the rest of the world.

Will UK party politics be transformed by new media and digital technology?

20091202

Laurie Taylor talks to Karen Ho, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota.

She went to Wall Street to understand how the lives, experiences and ideologies of the investment bankers who work there shaped not just the financial markets but the very nature of employment across America.

How the ideology of Wall Street bankers shape the nature of employment in the US.

20091209
20091216

Laurie Taylor explores the history of clothing behind bars.

From broad arrows on prisoners suits in the 19th century to the orange jumpsuits worn by inmates of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the uniform prisoners wear is used by penal institutions to weild power over, punish, and sometimes humiliate their prisoners.

Prison uniforms reveals the culture of the time.

Laurie is joined by Juliet Ash from the Royal Collge of Art to undress the history of prison clothing and discuss what it reveals about the social cultural and political context of the time.

Laurie Taylor explores the history of prison clothing, from arrows to orange jumpsuits.

20091223

The new bourgeoisie played an enormously important role in the history of industrial and imperial Britain.

The extent to which cousin marriage proliferated in the 19th century relates to the central question as to which people were going to lead Industrial England.

Close-knit families in Victorian England delivered enormous advantages.

They shaped vocations, generated patronage, yielded vital commercial information and gave access to capital; no wonder that marriage within the family, between cousins or between in-laws, was a characteristic strategy of this new bourgeoisie.

Laurie Taylor discusses private life in 19th-century England with Adam Kuper, the author of Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England, and Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College, London.

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Laurie Taylor discusses conscientious objecting in World War One.

The First World War was the first conflict in which Britain used conscription, and it was the same law, the 1916 Military Service Act, which made it possible for people to 'conscientiously object' and opt out of bearing arms.

It was not an easy status to achieve or an easy option to take, however, because 'conchies', as they were known, were attacked, stigmatised, imprisoned and considered effeminate.

Laurie Taylor discusses a new study which explores the mixed feelings and confused anxieties the British public felt toward conscientious objectors in a period when traditional masculinity was already under great strain.

Also, Laurie talks to Emma Robertson about her study into music at work.

It was banned in most factories in the 19th century, until Cadbury and Rowntree started introducing hymns in their workplaces to raise morale as well as productivity.

The First World War was the first conflict in which Britain used conscription, and it was the same law, the 1916 Military Service Act, which made it possible for people to 'conscientiously object' and opt out of bearing arms. It was not an easy status to achieve or an easy option to take, however, because 'conchies', as they were known, were attacked, stigmatised, imprisoned and considered effeminate. Laurie Taylor discusses a new study which explores the mixed feelings and confused anxieties the British public felt toward conscientious objectors in a period when traditional masculinity was already under great strain.

Also, Laurie talks to Emma Robertson about her study into music at work. It was banned in most factories in the 19th century, until Cadbury and Rowntree started introducing hymns in their workplaces to raise morale as well as productivity.

2010011320100118

Laurie Taylor discusses the cartoons that shook the world.

Professor Jytte Klausen maintains that the crisis following the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark back in 2005 was stirred up by different sets of people all with something to gain from precipitating a crisis.

Her detailed analysis of the course of events claims to show that irresponsible newspaper publishers, vested interests in elections in Denmark and Egypt, and later Islamic extremists seeking to destabilise governments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Libya and Nigeria all played a part in orchestrating the upset.

Also, Laurie Taylor talks to Les Back and Mike Robinson, editor of The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography, about the hidden significance of holiday snaps. What are people hoping to achieve when they 'capture' a scene and what does the holiday pose tell us about modern mores?

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The Future of Work and Teddy Bear Diaries.

Twitter, Broadband, BlackBerries, Globalisation - are they all forces ranged against out traditional concept of work or does a deeper analysis favour continuity over change? Laurie Taylor discusses the workplace of the future with Richard Donkin, author of The Future of Work, and with Kevin Doogan from Bristol University. Are we all set to become 'portfolio workers' or is the factory system in place since the Industrial Revolution and the office 9 to 5 set to continue for a while yet.

Also, what have you been doing with your teddy lately? Schools have begun sending young children home with teddy bears to write diaries of their shared experiences over holidays or half-terms. So widespread has this practice become that children as far apart as China and Norway are jotting down the daily experiences they share with these teds. A unique opportunity for a sociologist to compare childhood experiences in these two places. Laurie's guest Randi Waerdahl talks about her research.

2010020320100208

Laurie Taylor explores national branding and the commodification of ethnic identity.

How does a country's international reputation affect its economy and its political power? The diplomatic advisor Simon Anholt says it is extremely important, and takes great pains to measure national PR.

Each year he publishes an index which ranks 50 countries in terms of their reputation.

He tells Laurie Taylor who is at the top and who languishes at the bottom, and why.

Ethno-theme parks, Native American casinos and Kalahari bushmen attempting to reap profits from pharmaceutical companies using their traditional medicinal plants: all modern examples of how ethnic identity has become a commodity in today's global market place.

John and Jean Comaroff explore how communities sell their traditional culture in their new book, Ethnicity Inc.

They tell Laurie about the effect it has on indigenous cultures, and how selling your identity can be both empowering and impoverishing.

20100210

How has consumerism affected what it means to be black? Does it matter if African-Americans now struggle for commodities rather than rights? Paul Gilroy joins Laurie Taylor to discuss the changing place of black culture.

Paul Gilroy joins Laurie Taylor to discuss the changing place of black culture.

20100217

With the advent of Napster and Pirate Bay, people assume that intellectual piracy is the creation of the digital age.

But Laurie Taylor hears that piracy has a much longer history than expected.

He speaks to the author of a history which traces its lively lineage back to the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press.

20100224

Why do men pay for sex? Laurie Taylor explores a new study of over 100 London men who regularly use prostitutes.

2010030320100308

The secret history of the servant and the working class at Oxbridge.

Fetching water, cleaning knives, shovelling out a privy, setting fires - how did servants make sense of the tough menial duties in the 18th-century home? During that time they made up the largest occupational group in the British state, and the historian Caroline Steedman argues that servants' resentments and personal philosophies had a huge impact on the development of the English character and the British nation state.

Laurie Taylor discusses a neglected corner of social history with Caroline Steedman and Amanda Vickery.

Laurie also hears about the working class at Britain's elite universities; Diane Reay tells him about her research into state-educated working-class children studying at Oxbridge.

Laurie Taylor discusses the way 18th-century servants thought about their role.

The servant's story in England is a hidden history.

Laurie Taylor discusses new research examining the way people in service in the 18th century thought about their role.

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Laurie Taylor discusses milk and modernity, and why burglary is going out of fashion.

The latest British Crime Survey statistics show 744,000 domestic burglaries in England and Wales.

This may seem a lot, and though it is no consolation to anyone who had their house ransacked last year, it actually represents a drop of more than a million since 1995.

So why is burglary less appealing to criminals? Are they turning to a life without crime or are they simply taking up something else? Laurie Taylor hears from James Treadwell, whose ongoing research seems to present the answer, and it is part of a story involving the plummeting cost of a DVD player and the rising popularity of the iPod.

Also on the programme: milk and modernity.

What part has the wonderful white nectar had in the development of cities, the separation of urban and rural and our notions of what is pure and natural? It is a surprising story in which ideas of what is natural are constantly being inverted.

Laurie speaks to Peter Atkins and Harry West.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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The idea that modernity leads to a lessening religious belief is being abandoned by theorists in American and Europe.

Figures like Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling argue that increasingly religion seeks to impinge on science, and now the first systematic study of European cultural groups predicts that fundamentalists of all religions are out-breeding moderates and atheists, and will eclipse them quite soon.

In Israel the Ultra Orthodox will form the majority as soon as 2050.

Since the birth rate of secular people in the West is way below replacement level (2.1), and the birth rate of religious fundamentalists of practically any stripe is far above (roughly between 5 and 7.7 children per mother), through the sheer force of demography, academic Eric Kauffman claims they will become a much bigger force in the Western World.

Is that inevitable? Should people be worried? Laurie discusses the anxieties of atheists and the predictions of demography with three theorists of different perspectives.: The Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, Tariq Ramadan; Eric Kauffman, Reader in Politics at Birkbeck College and author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? And Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God; A Work of Fiction.

Is the secular world under threat? Discussing new demographics and the future of belief.

2010041420100419

Is the British weekend under threat? Plus new research on home education.

Uninterrupted birdsong, the sound and smell of softly percolating coffee, old ladies cycling to communion through the morning mist, the Sunday papers in bed - all these textures and tastes of the British weekend could be under threat according to a new report called A Lament for the Lost Weekend.

Jill Ebrey spoke to people whose work brought them out of the house at the end of the week and found that, despite days off midweek, losing Saturday and Sunday had a serious impact on the quality of their lives.

Could the British weekend be under threat? Are we aware of what else we might lose when we remove the restrictions that Sunday in particular makes on our activities? Laurie Taylor discusses the changing place of the weekend in British society with Jill Ebrey of Warwick University and Richard Reeves from Demos.

Also, the motivations of people who educate their children at home: There are anything from 20,000 to 50,000 families in the UK who educate their children at home.

Who are they? Why do they choose to shoulder the burden of teaching their children themselves and how do they go about it? Ruth Morton discusses the study she recently presented at the British Sociological Association annual conference.

20100421

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

A brief history of nakedness - its role in politics, protest and popular culture.

20100428

Laurie Taylor discusses capitalism with leading economists David Harvey and Ha Joon Chang.

20100505

From Morse to Wallander, the anthropology of the detective tour.

Plus criminals in Russia.

20100512

Evacuation: the social impact of sending millions to the country during the Second World War.

2010051920100524

New research revealing the rifts and resentment created by researching family history.

Genealogical research has become a passion for a growing number of people.

Programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? and websites like Genes Reunited feed a voracious interest in family origins and the lives of ancestors.

But what impact does this kind of research have on the families which are being studied? Hidden pregnancies...mental illnesses...shunned relatives...

Laurie Taylor talks to sociologist Anne-Marie Kramer, whose research has unveiled some of the conflicts which arise when family skeletons are dragged into the light, and to the cartoonist Martin Rowson who has performed some geneaological research of his own.

Also, how did a Danish stew of left-over vegetables and scrag end of lamb come to epitomise a proud and enduring British city culture? Ciara Kierans discusses a cultural history of Scouse.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the relationship of language to culture with AC Grayling.

Popular stereotypes assume that a nation's language reflects its culture and psychology.

The German's orderly language is held to be a better vehicle for philosophy than Spanish.

The mellow sounds of Portuguese are believed to reflect a relaxed, continental character.

Some linguists have even suggested our mother tongue can limit the capacity for thought.

So a language with no future tense prevents its speakers from anticipating tomorrow.

And primitive cultures which had no word for blue must have been colour blind.

But a new book argues that words are not such a prison house.

Just because we do not have a word for blue does not mean we can't see it or name it one day.

There's evidence of complexity even in the language of hunter gatherer societies.

So says the writer Guy Deutscher, who's joined by the philosopher A.C.

Grayling.

They explore with Laurie Taylor how words shape and define our world.

Also, what explains the contrasting economic fortunes within different parts of the same country? The economist Mario Polese examines the causes and patterns of regional inequality around the world.

How did Manchester, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, lose out to London? Why is the formerly impoverished rural South in the US enjoying an economic revival? And is it inevitable that the flight to urban cities will always be at the expense of the areas left behind? Join Laurie Taylor for an exploration into why some regions prosper and others decline.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

20100609

Since 2006 over 200 British soldiers have been killed in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Laurie Taylor discusses a new study which explores the way in which these dead solders have been commemorated in Britain.

We have become familiar with the painful sight of mourners lining the main street of Wootton Bassett, as hearses carry coffins away from RAF Lyneham.

In public acts of remembrance today soldiers are remembered as fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

This modern way of personalising and even domesticating soldiers is in stark contrast to the twentieth century rituals which mourn the sacrifice of anonymous individual soldiers who have died for the nation.

What lies behind this change of attitude and what impact is the new public consciousness likely to have on how and when we wage war? Laurie talks to Anthony King from Exeter University, author of 'The Afghan War and 'postmodern' memory: commemoration and the Dead of Helmand'.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

The changing way we commemorate the dead: a study of the war in Afghanistan.

20100616

A new concept came along, 'social capital', and it revolutionised the way people are governed and communities are planned.

The only trouble is...it's completely wrong.

That is the contention of sociologist Ben Fine.

He claims that 'social capital' is part of a mindset that sees everything as quantifiable assets akin to money or commercial resources.

Are communities, neighbourhoods and the people more complicated than that? Laurie Taylor discusses an idea which has had a huge impact on social science and beyond, and asks whether it is time to abandon the assumption that people have social qualities that can be weighed and measured.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Is the buzz phrase 'social capital' a big mistake? Ben Fine talks to Laurie Taylor

20100630

How much do the pop infatuations of teen girls have in common with the cult of death metal? Laurie Taylor finds out from young delegates to a sub-culture conference.

Girly pop and heavy metal: Laurie Taylor visits a university conference on sub-cultures.

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Niall Ferguson tells Laurie Taylor about his new book on financier Siegmund Warburg.

Siegmund Warburg laid the foundations of the prosperity which has sustained the post-war City of London, and was one of the architects of European Integration.

Niall Ferguson, in his new book High Financier tells Laurie Taylor how this extraordinarily dominant figure had meticulous business methods and an uncompromisingly strict ethical code.

How much relevance does his example have for today? Could the traders and speculators who inhabit today's financial world learn from the elite of the past? Laurie discusses the lessons we can draw from this figure and the role played by today's financial elite with the historian Niall Ferguson and financial sociologist Karel Williams.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

How much relevance does his example have for today? Could the traders and speculators who inhabit today's financial world learn from the elite of the past? Laurie discusses the lessons we can draw from this figure with the historian Niall Ferguson and financial sociologist Karel Williams.

Siegmund Warburg laid the foundations of the prosperity which has sustained the post-war City of London, and was one of the architects of European Integration. Niall Ferguson, in his new book High Financier tells Laurie Taylor how this extraordinarily dominant figure had meticulous business methods and an uncompromisingly strict ethical code. How much relevance does his example have for today? Could the traders and speculators who inhabit today's financial world learn from the elite of the past? Laurie discusses the lessons we can draw from this figure with the historian Niall Ferguson and financial sociologist Karel Williams.

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Inside the lives of women who strip: Laurie Taylor hears from Rachela Colosi about her research into a lap dancing club.

Also, how climate change will change British society.

Rachela Colosi tells Laurie about her detailed ethnography of a lap dancing club.

20100728

We are told that life presents us with myriad choices.

Like products on a supermarket shelf, our jobs, our relationships, our bodies and our identities are all there for the choosing.

We are encouraged to 'be ourselves', but the pressure to make those choices can lead to enormous anxiety.

In a new study Renata Salecl researches dating sites, self help books and people's relationship to celebrity, and uncovers the complexities involved in the choices we make and how they often lead to disquiet.

In Thinking Allowed on 28 July, Laurie Taylor explores whether we have too much choice in our lives.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

How does having more choice affect our lives? Laurie Taylor discusses a new study.

We are told that life presents us with myriad choices. Like products on a supermarket shelf, our jobs, our relationships, our bodies and our identities are all there for the choosing. We are encouraged to 'be ourselves', but the pressure to make those choices can lead to enormous anxiety. In a new study Renata Salecl researches dating sites, self help books and people's relationship to celebrity, and uncovers the complexities involved in the choices we make and how they often lead to disquiet. In Thinking Allowed on 28 July, Laurie Taylor explores whether we have too much choice in our lives.

20100804

Prosperity is accused of encouraging greed, ruining the environment, undermining communities, causing unhappiness and widening social inequalities.

The push for growth has been the bedrock policy for almost every world economy but since the financial crisis, belief in growth has become increasingly challenged.

Daniel Ben-Ami, takes on what he calls the 'growth sceptics' and makes the claim that more affluence benefits the whole of society.

He discusses the 'glories of growth' with Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed on 4 August.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Glorious Growth: Daniel Ben-Ami tells Laurie why prosperity is good for all.

Prosperity is accused of encouraging greed, ruining the environment, undermining communities, causing unhappiness and widening social inequalities. The push for growth has been the bedrock policy for almost every world economy but since the financial crisis, belief in growth has become increasingly challenged. Daniel Ben-Ami, takes on what he calls the 'growth sceptics' and makes the claim that more affluence benefits the whole of society. He discusses the 'glories of growth' with Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed on 4 August.

20100811

What does it mean to be truly free? Laurie Taylor discusses emancipation, ideas of black freedom from slavery, through key figures of the 20th century to the present day.

Laurie Taylor discusses emancipation, black freedom ideas from slavery to the present.

20100825

Laurie Taylor discusses Karl Marx's theory of Alienation with Philosophy Professor, Sean Sayers, political economist, Ian Fraser, and Professor of Medical Ethics, Donna Dickenson.

Marx saw Alienation as an objective condition inherent in waged labour under capitalism.

He believed that the mass proletariat were alienated because the fruits of production belonged to the employers.

Factory workers were estranged from themselves, from the products of their labour, and from each other.

Human relations came to be seen as relations between commodities rather than people.

Marx believed this alienation would be overcome in a communist future in which we could "hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner...without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic".

Individuals would become multifaceted and be at one with their creative selves.

Work, in such a future, would be an end in itself rather than a means to an end in the form of a wage.

Thinking Allowed explores the evolution and development of Marx's theory of Alienation.

Can it, in any way, capture the experience of today's worker? Or is it hopelessly outdated in an economy dominated by a service sector rather than factory production?

Laurie Taylor explores the meaning and relevance of Karl Marx's theory of alienation.

Marx saw Alienation as an objective condition inherent in waged labour under capitalism. He believed that the mass proletariat were alienated because the fruits of production belonged to the employers. Factory workers were estranged from themselves, from the products of their labour, and from each other. Human relations came to be seen as relations between commodities rather than people. Marx believed this alienation would be overcome in a communist future in which we could "hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner...without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic". Individuals would become multifaceted and be at one with their creative selves. Work, in such a future, would be an end in itself rather than a means to an end in the form of a wage.

Thinking Allowed explores the evolution and development of Marx's theory of Alienation. Can it, in any way, capture the experience of today's worker? Or is it hopelessly outdated in an economy dominated by a service sector rather than factory production?

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When is a crime a 'hate crime', and what does that term actually mean? How has living on what other people throw away become a subject for criminologists? Laurie explores some of the latest ideas on crime as he visits the British Society of Criminology Conference held this year at Leicester University.

He hears from the film maker Rex Bloomstein, from Sylvia Lancaster whose daughter Sophie was murdered because of the way she looked and from Jeff Ferrell, the Professor of Criminology from the United States who has been living out of dumpsters, skips, rubbish bins in an attempt to understand an increasingly criminalised and marginalised way of life.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor visits the British Society of Criminology Conference at Leicester University.

When is a crime a 'hate crime', and what does that term actually mean? How has living on what other people throw away become a subject for criminologists? Laurie explores some of the latest ideas on crime as he visits the British Society of Criminology Conference held this year at Leicester University. He hears from the film maker Rex Bloomstein, from Sylvia Lancaster whose daughter Sophie was murdered because of the way she looked and from Jeff Ferrell, the Professor of Criminology from the United States who has been living out of dumpsters, skips, rubbish bins in an attempt to understand an increasingly criminalised and marginalised way of life.

20100915

From Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' to Facebook and Twitter, from Soviet Spies to Parisian cafÃ(c)s, eavesdropping is a universal phenomenon.

John Locke, who has provided the first serious and systematic study of the behaviour, tells Laurie that it is a practice which extends into the animal kingdom and biological brings advantages to birds and chimpanzees.

An attempt to understand the lives of others can be help one live better oneself but despite the fact that it has shaped human history and culture, listening in to what others are saying continues to have a very bad name.

Also on the programme Emmeline Taylor presents her research on CCTV in schools and the impact on privacy.

Producer: Chris Wilson.

An exploration of the meaning and history of 'eavesdropping', from cafe society to Twitter.

From Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' to Facebook and Twitter, from Soviet Spies to Parisian cafÃ(c)s, eavesdropping is a universal phenomenon. John Locke, who has provided the first serious and systematic study of the behaviour, tells Laurie that it is a practice which extends into the animal kingdom and biological brings advantages to birds and chimpanzees. An attempt to understand the lives of others can be help one live better oneself but despite the fact that it has shaped human history and culture, listening in to what others are saying continues to have a very bad name.

20100922

The United States does not have the highest living standard in the world - The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet - People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries: Three contentions from the economist Ha-Joon Chang as he joins Laurie Taylor and tries to dispel what he sees as the myths and prejudices of free-market capitalism.

He claims that we labour under the misconception that financial markets become more efficient, when the opposite is true and his analysis suggests that by breaking free of its free-market ideology, capitalism can be vastly improved.

Producer: Chris Wilson.

Eeconomist Ha-Joon Chang tries to expose the 'myths' of free-market capitalism.

The United States does not have the highest living standard in the world - The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet - People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries: Three contentions from the economist Ha-Joon Chang as he joins Laurie Taylor and tries to dispel what he sees as the myths and prejudices of free-market capitalism. He claims that we labour under the misconception that financial markets become more efficient, when the opposite is true and his analysis suggests that by breaking free of its free-market ideology, capitalism can be vastly improved.

20100929

Laurie Taylor discusses a new study of au pairs in the UK.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor talks to Pulitzer prize winner C.J Chivers, a former US Marine and currently a journalist at the New York Times about the cultural, social and political impact of the AK-47 or Kalashnikov.

A gun that has transformed how we fight wars and who can fight them, the AK-47 is a weapon central to many civil wars all over the world.

With testimony from its inventors, its users and its victims, Laurie explores how a single instrument can have been so influential as both transformer and destroyer.

He also talks to Phillip Smith, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Yale University, about new research looking at public incivility.

What drives some people to such extremes of public rudeness?

Producer Chris Wilson.

Laurie Taylor examines the social impact of the AK-47, plus rudeness in public places.

Laurie Taylor talks to Pulitzer prize winner C.J Chivers, a former US Marine and currently a journalist at the New York Times about the cultural, social and political impact of the AK-47 or Kalashnikov. A gun that has transformed how we fight wars and who can fight them, the AK-47 is a weapon central to many civil wars all over the world. With testimony from its inventors, its users and its victims, Laurie explores how a single instrument can have been so influential as both transformer and destroyer. He also talks to Phillip Smith, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Yale University, about new research looking at public incivility. What drives some people to such extremes of public rudeness?

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Exploring the latest research into how society works.

Is Doctor Who political? Also, Laurie Taylor explores the notion of historical anti-American bias.

Is Doctor Who political? Laurie explores the notion of an historical anti-American bias.

Exploring the latest research into how society works. Is Doctor Who political? Also, Laurie Taylor explores the notion of historical anti-American bias.

20110112

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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The impact of paramilitary punishment attacks on the young delinquents of Belfast.

Committing crime in West Belfast carries a double jeopardy.

As well as the police, there are the paramilitaries to look out for.

Between 1973 and 2007 there were two and a half thousand shootings and beatings attributed to republican paramilitaries as punishment attacks.

Young people have been 'tarred and feathered', had their legs broken, hundreds have been 'knee-capped' and a few have been 'executed' - i.e.

murdered - in response to what they are assumed to have done.

For three years at the height of this practice Heather Hamill lived and worked in the Catholic Community of West Belfast to research the pseudo-judicial process administered by the IRA.

As punishment attacks are growing again, this time at the hands of dissident republican groups, she discusses paramilitary punishment attacks with Laurie and the criminologist Dick Hobbs.

Also on the programme today, Hanna Zagefka discusses her report which shows why people give more money to natural disasters like the Asian Tsunami than human ones like the crisis of Darfur.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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The growth in second home ownership and the cult of the bike.

Britain and Ireland have always lagged far behind the rest of Western Europe in terms of second home ownership.

But, MPs apart, there is a relentless upsurge in people owning more than one residence.

In a new report Chris Parks has analysed the effect of the increase of home ownership on British and Irish society and compared it with other parts of the world.

He discusses his findings with Susan Smith and Laurie Taylor.

Also, Laurie talks to the writer Iain Sinclair about his examination of the culture of the urban cyclist.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Britain and Ireland have always lagged far behind the rest of Western Europe in terms of second home ownership. But, MPs apart, there is a relentless upsurge in people owning more than one residence. In a new report Chris Parks has analysed the effect of the increase of home ownership on British and Irish society and compared it with other parts of the world. He discusses his findings with Susan Smith and Laurie Taylor.

20110302

The British government is seeking to develop a way to accurately measure the happiness of the population, in France such a gauge already exists, but is happiness really the proper goal of life? The French philosopher Pascal Bruckner tells Laurie that happiness has become a burdensome duty, and that the wave of enthusiasm for pursuing the nebulous quality has the opposite effect of actually promoting unhappiness amongst those who seek it.

Much better, says he, to accept that happiness as an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Is happiness the answer? Pascale Bruckner tells Laurie he doubts that it is.

The British government is seeking to develop a way to accurately measure the happiness of the population, in France such a gauge already exists, but is happiness really the proper goal of life? The French philosopher Pascal Bruckner tells Laurie that happiness has become a burdensome duty, and that the wave of enthusiasm for pursuing the nebulous quality has the opposite effect of actually promoting unhappiness amongst those who seek it. Much better, says he, to accept that happiness as an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck.

20110316

The Prime Minister recently criticised what he called 'state multiculturalism' and said it had failed, arguing that Britain needs a stronger national identity.

Is it time to turn our backs on the multi-cultural idea? And what would a stronger national identity mean to people who feel at the cultural margins of our society? As the politicians debate, Laurie Taylor speaks to Britain's leading cultural theorist, Stuart Hall.

They discuss culture, politics, race and nation in a special edition of Thinking Allowed.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

A special edition: Laurie talks to cultural theorist Stuart Hall.

The Prime Minister recently criticised what he called 'state multiculturalism' and said it had failed, arguing that Britain needs a stronger national identity. Is it time to turn our backs on the multi-cultural idea? And what would a stronger national identity mean to people who feel at the cultural margins of our society? As the politicians debate, Laurie Taylor speaks to Britain's leading cultural theorist, Stuart Hall. They discuss culture, politics, race and nation in a special edition of Thinking Allowed.

20110323

Will power and prosperity shift to the frozen North? A new book predicts that Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia will be the beneficiaries of a new world order.

By 2050, four megatrends - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - will lead to the rise of 'The New North', as migration, energy bonanzas and international trade turn the world upside down.

The geographer, Professor Laurence Smith, tells Laurie Taylor why these projections amount to more than planetary palm reading.

Also, does the morality of the 19th century Temperance movement influence modern day attitudes to drinking? The law lecturer, Henry Yeomans, argues that prohibitionism - contrary to popular belief - lives on in 'binge drinking' Britain.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores shifts in world power.

Also, the legacy of 19th-century Temperance.

Will power and prosperity shift to the frozen North? A new book predicts that Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia will be the beneficiaries of a new world order. By 2050, four megatrends - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - will lead to the rise of 'The New North', as migration, energy bonanzas and international trade turn the world upside down. The geographer, Professor Laurence Smith, tells Laurie Taylor why these projections amount to more than planetary palm reading. Also, does the morality of the 19th century Temperance movement influence modern day attitudes to drinking? The law lecturer, Henry Yeomans, argues that prohibitionism - contrary to popular belief - lives on in 'binge drinking' Britain.

Laurie Taylor explores shifts in world power. Also, the legacy of 19th-century Temperance.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor explores craft and community with Richard Sennett and David Gauntlett.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Laurie Taylor explores radical gardening with George McKay.

20110511

Laurie Taylor explores representations of the paranormal in the media.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

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Dirt is dust, soil, refuse, excrement, bacteria, filth, sleaze, slime, smut.

How easily the word changes its meaning from the physical to the moral.

It is this fascinating relationship Collection's exhibition 'Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life'.

In a special edition recorded with an audience of the public at Wellcome, Laurie Taylor and a panel of experts explore the meaning of dirt, its relationship to order and how hygiene and the mass generation of dirt have become such potent symbols of civilisation.

He is joined by the anthropologist Adam Kuper, the writer and cartoonist Martin Rowson and the historian Amanda Vickery to discuss dirt and why it provokes such fear, loathing and occasionally desire.

Producer: Charlie Taylor and threat which dirt seems to pose that is explored in the Wellcome.

Dirt, filth and why we like to be clean: A special edition at the Wellcome Collection.

Dirt is dust, soil, refuse, excrement, bacteria, filth, sleaze, slime, smut. How easily the word changes its meaning from the physical to the moral. It is this fascinating relationship Collection's exhibition 'Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life'. In a special edition recorded with an audience of the public at Wellcome, Laurie Taylor and a panel of experts explore the meaning of dirt, its relationship to order and how hygiene and the mass generation of dirt have become such potent symbols of civilisation. He is joined by the anthropologist Adam Kuper, the writer and cartoonist Martin Rowson and the historian Amanda Vickery to discuss dirt and why it provokes such fear, loathing and occasionally desire.

20110615

Some everyday things - keys, combs, glasses - have the ability to enchant or absorb.

Laurie Taylor talks to Steven Connor about why paraphernalia can have an almost magical power.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Combs, keys, glasses and bags - why some everyday objects have a special power.

Some everyday things - keys, combs, glasses - have the ability to enchant or absorb. Laurie Taylor talks to Steven Connor about why paraphernalia can have an almost magical power.

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Laurie Taylor discusses the mummy's curse and other Oriental myths with Marina Warner and Roger Luckhurst.

The Ancient Egyptians had no real concept of the curse; instead, Luckhurst argues, it was a product of the Victorian imagination, a result of British ambivalence about Egypt's increasing self-determination.

The curse was part of a wider Western tradition of portraying the East as exotic and irrational, dominated by superstitions.

That attitude is revealed in the British reaction to English language translations of The Arabian Nights, which played into Oriental stereotypes of barbarity, cruelty and unbridled sexuality.

Marina Warner discusses the reasons why the stories of Aladdin et al are as popular as ever in modern, multi-cultural Britain.

Producer: Stephen Hughes

Author Audrey Linkman discusses the relationship between photography and death in her study of post-mortem portraits from the late 19th century to the modern day, and how they reflect contemporary attitudes towards mortality.

Laurie Taylor investigates the curse of the mummy and other myths of the Orient.

Laurie Taylor discusses the mummy's curse and other Oriental myths with Marina Warner and Roger Luckhurst. The Ancient Egyptians had no real concept of the curse; instead, Luckhurst argues, it was a product of the Victorian imagination, a result of British ambivalence about Egypt's increasing self-determination. The curse was part of a wider Western tradition of portraying the East as exotic and irrational, dominated by superstitions. That attitude is revealed in the British reaction to English language translations of The Arabian Nights, which played into Oriental stereotypes of barbarity, cruelty and unbridled sexuality. Marina Warner discusses the reasons why the stories of Aladdin et al are as popular as ever in modern, multi-cultural Britain.

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Does beauty pay? A new book argues that good looking people have higher incomes and even boost company profits.

Laurie Taylor is joined by the author and professor of economics, Daniel Hamermash and by the social scientist, Dr Catherine Hakim, who claims evidence for the power possessed by those with 'erotic capital'.

Also, Gordon Matthews, the author of a book about Chungking Mansions, the cheapest accomodation in Hong Kong, describes its multifarious residents.

This ramshackle building in the heart of the tourist district is home to a polyethnic melting pot of people - from Pakistani phone stall operators to American backpackers and Indonesian sex workers.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor hears why it pays to be 'beautiful'.

Also, Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong.

Does beauty pay? A new book argues that good looking people have higher incomes and even boost company profits. Laurie Taylor is joined by the author and professor of economics, Daniel Hamermash and by the social scientist, Dr Catherine Hakim, who claims evidence for the power possessed by those with 'erotic capital'. Also, Gordon Matthews, the author of a book about Chungking Mansions, the cheapest accomodation in Hong Kong, describes its multifarious residents. This ramshackle building in the heart of the tourist district is home to a polyethnic melting pot of people - from Pakistani phone stall operators to American backpackers and Indonesian sex workers.

Laurie Taylor hears why it pays to be 'beautiful'. Also, Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong.

20110824

Thinking Allowed explores the changing nature of home in a 3 part summer series recorded in the homes of our listeners.

Who do we live with, how do our homes operate and what do they say about us and about the dramatic social transformations of the last century and the century to come? By invitation, in each edition a new type of home is invaded, analysed and explained by Laurie Taylor and a panel of two sociologists round the kitchen table.

Much political debate still revolves around the assumption that most of us live in conventional family homes.

However research suggests that in 20 years time only 2 out of 5 people will be in marriages and married couples will be outnumbered by other types of household.

Behind closed doors, Britain is changing: Single living has increased by 30% in 10 years but at the same time financial pressures are fuelling a growth in extended families - people sharing bills, childcare and mucking-in in a way which makes private life far less private.

After generous invitations from Thinking Allowed listeners, Laurie Taylor visits three.

In this edition he visits a big multi-generational family in Bristol accompanied by the sociologists Rachel Thomson and Esther Dermot.

They attempt to divine the future for Britain's private life.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Home life 1: Laurie and sociologists visit a multi-generational household.

Thinking Allowed explores the changing nature of home in a 3 part summer series recorded in the homes of our listeners. Who do we live with, how do our homes operate and what do they say about us and about the dramatic social transformations of the last century and the century to come? By invitation, in each edition a new type of home is invaded, analysed and explained by Laurie Taylor and a panel of two sociologists round the kitchen table.

Much political debate still revolves around the assumption that most of us live in conventional family homes. However research suggests that in 20 years time only 2 out of 5 people will be in marriages and married couples will be outnumbered by other types of household. Behind closed doors, Britain is changing: Single living has increased by 30% in 10 years but at the same time financial pressures are fuelling a growth in extended families - people sharing bills, childcare and mucking-in in a way which makes private life far less private.

After generous invitations from Thinking Allowed listeners, Laurie Taylor visits three. In this edition he visits a big multi-generational family in Bristol accompanied by the sociologists Rachel Thomson and Esther Dermot. They attempt to divine the future for Britain's private life.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Producer: Chris Wilson.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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Chris Wilson.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works. Producer. Chris Wilson.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

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"poor mentality", "placidly bovine", "volubly unreachable", "feeble minded" - just some of the terms used by social workers as they tried to describe the poor in the 1920s and 30s. Much of their case work was given over to discussing whether the poor were deserving or whether they were making fraudulent claims on the charities and government organisations these new professionals were representing. Laurie is joined by Mark Peel, the author of a new study of social work and poverty in the United States, Australia and Britain, and they discuss which attitudes have changed and which remain the same with the historian Selina Todd.

Also, how evangelic Christians have turned their backs on fire and brimstone and are seeking to put the Bible into the background of everyday life. Matthew Engelke talks about his study of the Bible Society of England and Wales.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Ambient faith and social work, and poverty between the wars. Presented by Laurie Taylor

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What does the idea of home mean to us in Britain? How is that changing, and are those new needs being met? A new economic landscape and an irresistible pressure on housing are changing the way we live. For the first time since the 1980s home ownership is decreasing, more people are renting longer and people are starting to club together i bigger groups.

In a special edition recorded at the Royal Institute of British Architects, Thinking Allowed examines the concept of home and its relationship to housing. Laurie Taylor is joined by an audience of the public and an expert panel: Angela Brady, President of RIBA; the housing economist Susan Smith, Mistress of Gurton College Cambridge; sociologist Esther Dermott from Bristol University and the architectural writer Jonathan Glancey.

The event draws on a series of investigations of listeners' homes in which Laurie Taylor and a team of sociologists have explored the future of private life. It will also reflect on the RIBA exhibition on the history of the British Home, 'A Place to Call Home'.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

What does the idea of home mean to us in Britain today? A special edition on private life.

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We pay others to take away our household refuse from the front of our house whilst hoarding other junk in the attic. And while most of us wouldn't mind buying other people's discarded clothes in a charity shop, only a few are prepared to take even edible food from supermarket dumpsters. What hidden motives lurk behind our relationship with waste? Martin O'Brien, author of 'A Crisis of Waste?' and Jeff Ferrell, author of 'Empire of Scrounge', join Laurie to sift through the competing ways of understanding refuse.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Rubbish society: Laurie Taylor discusses the social impact of waste.

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Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

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Laurie Taylor asks if a sociology of evil is possible. Also, the morality of cycling.

'Evil' is a concept more readily associated with theology and mental health than social science. But Michel Wievorka, the President of the International Sociological Association, argues, in his new book, for the development of a 'sociology of evil'. He's joined by Peter Young, Head of Criminology at the University of Kent.

Also, the sociologist, Judith Green, talks about her study into the the morality of cycling - do cyclists feel they are 'better' than drivers and have drivers conceded the ethical high ground?

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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Sickness benefit claimants and their fear of the 'brown envelope'. Laurie Taylor hears about a new study into the views and experiences of the long term sick and disabled in the context of ongoing welfare reforms. The researcher, Kayleigh Garthwaite, highlights their ambivalence - whilst some have a deep seated anxiety about losing rights and income; others hope it will distinguish between the genuinely ill, such as themselves, and those that are 'faking'. Also, the former social science magazine 'New Society' broke new and radical grounds in its creation of a space for thoughtful debate about everyday culture and social issues; showcasing the ideas of academics and intellectuals as diverse as Angela Carter and Richard Hoggart. A former editor, Paul Barker, analyses the heyday and legacy of 'New Society' 50 years after its launch. He's joined by the writer, Lynsey Hanley and the Professor of Cultural Studies, Fred Inglis.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

New research on how society works. Presented by Laurie Taylor.

20140521

Islamaphobia and Anti-Semitism - similarities and differences. Comparisons of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment are strikingly absent in British accounts of race and racism. Laurie Taylor talks to Nasar Meer, Reader in Social Sciences at Northumbria University, about a new study which attempts to remedy this omission.

Also, the sociology of 'sleep'. How does sleep fit into our wired awake world? Catherine Coveney, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, explores the sleeping experiences and strategies of shift workers and students.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

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This year, the BBC's Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, launched the second year of its award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub-culture. Laurie Taylor presents a special edition of Thinking Allowed to mark the announcement of the winner of the 2015 award.

Laurie and a team of leading academics - Professor Beverley Skeggs, Professor Adam Kuper, Dr Coretta Phillips and Dr Louise Westmarland - were tasked with judging the study that has made the most significant contribution to ethnography over the past year. Ethnographic studies in the past have often illuminated lives which were little understood or stigmatised such as the urban poor in 1930s Chicago and the mods and rockers of 50s Britain.

This year the judges combed through an extraordinary diversity of entries to arrive at a shortlist of 7:

Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads by Caroline Knowles.

The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System by David Skarbek

Lesbian Lives in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia by Francesca Stella.

Illegality Inc: Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe by Ruben Andersson.

Songs of the Factory: Pop Music, Culture and Resistance by Marek Korczynski

Human Rights as War by Other Means: Peace Politics in Northern Ireland by Jennifer Curtis.

Educational Binds of Poverty: The Lives of School Children by Ceri Brown.

After much passionate and lively debate, the winner can be announced.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

The winner of the 2015 BBC/BSA Ethnography Award.

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New research on how society works. Presented by Laurie Taylor.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Masters of Craft: Laurie Taylor talks to Richard Ocejo, Associate Professor of Sociology at City University of New York and author of a study which explores the renaissance of bartending, distilling, barbering, and butchering, traditionally low status manual labour jobs which are being re-created as upscale careers by middle class, well educated young men. How does this complicate our notions of upward and downward mobility? They're joined by Phil Hubbard, Professor of Urban Studies at Kings College London.

Also, 'dirty work': Ruth Simpson, Professor of Management at Brunel Business School, finds out how street cleaners and refuse collectors retain their self esteem in jobs which are sometimes stigmatised and held in poor regard.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

20170531

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

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.

20170607

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Fashion and Class: Laurie Taylor talks to Daniel Smith, Lecturer in Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University, and author of a study of the 'branded gentry' the target buyers of the Jack Wills clothing brand. How did a fashion company come to be associated with elite educational institutions and what can it tell us about the maintenance and reproduction of social and economic privilege? How has the relationshio between class, style and fashion democratised, or not, over the years? They're joined by Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London and Angela Partington, Associate Dean at Kingston University.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Heritage beyond saving: Laurie Taylor talks to Caitlin DeSilvey, associate professor of cultural geography and author of a new book which journeys from Cold War test sites to post industrial ruins. Do we need to challenge cherished assumptions about the conservation of cultural heritage? Might we embrace rather than resist natural processes of decay and decline? They're joined by Haidy Geismar, reader in anthropology at University College, London and Tiffany Jenkins, sociologist and cultural commentator.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Class, labour, exchange, symbolism, performance - the restaurant is a stage which serves many functions.

Laurie Taylor explores a cultural history of restaurants with author of 'The Restaurant: Society in Four Courses' Christoph Ribbat and Times food critic Giles Coren. Also on the programme - an ethnography of a farmer's market with Dr Jessica Paddock, lecturer in Sociology at Bristol University.

Producer Fiona Woods.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

New research on how society works

*2008122420081231

Laurie Taylor brings past and present together to explore the culture of the detective.

He talks to criminologists Louise Westmarland and Dick Hobbs and Kate Summerscale, author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; or, The Murder at Road Hill House.

01/02/201220120206
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01/07/200920090706

Exploring medically unexplained symptoms, lesbian motherhood and new definitions of family.

01/09/201020100906
02/02/201120110207

Britain and Ireland have always lagged far behind the rest of Western Europe in terms of second home ownership.

But, MPs apart, there is a relentless upsurge in people owning more than one residence.

In a new report Chris Parks has analysed the effect of the increase of home ownership on British and Irish society and compared it with other parts of the world.

He discusses his findings with Susan Smith and Laurie Taylor.

Also, Laurie talks to the writer Iain Sinclair about his examination of the culture of the urban cyclist.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

The growth in second home ownership and the cult of the bike.

Britain and Ireland have always lagged far behind the rest of Western Europe in terms of second home ownership. But, MPs apart, there is a relentless upsurge in people owning more than one residence. In a new report Chris Parks has analysed the effect of the increase of home ownership on British and Irish society and compared it with other parts of the world. He discusses his findings with Susan Smith and Laurie Taylor.

02/03/201120110307

Is happiness the answer? Pascale Bruckner tells Laurie he doubts that it is.

02/06/201020100607

Laurie Taylor explores the relationship of language to culture with AC Grayling.

02/09/200920090907

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

A new book explores what happens to people who return to the island of Dominica, the land of their birth, after living for many years in the UK.

Research suggests around 25 per cent of the Caribbean population will go back to their country of origin, either to work or on retirement.

But what are the forces which dictate this decision, and why do some people choose to go home and others choose to stay here? Research suggests that definitions of home are changing as the world contracts due to global communication and transport.

Laurie talks to Dr Margaret Byron, a social geographer, and the writer Mike Phillips about the meaning of return migration.

Also, the limits of ''silver power'; why old age doesn't lend itself to collective political action and identity.

New research finds that the pensioner movements of the interwar years, which helped shape the postwar welfare state, have declined in importance.

Laurie discusses the politics of ageing and pensioner power with Prof Paul Higgs.

Why do people return to their country of birth? Laurie Taylor explores return migration.

02/12/200920091207

How the ideology of Wall Street bankers shape the nature of employment in the US.

03/02/201020100208

Laurie Taylor explores national branding and the commodification of ethnic identity.

03/03/201020100308

The secret history of the servant and the working class at Oxbridge.

Laurie Taylor discusses the way 18th-century servants thought about their role.

03/05/201720170503

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Disaster insurers: Laurie Taylor talks to Rebecca Bednarek, Senior Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, University of London, about a study into a global re-insurance market in which 'Acts of God' provide formidable opportunities for financial markets. Also, amateur traders: why do they risk so much for so little? Alex Preda, Professor of Accounting, Accountability and Financial Management at King's College, London, explores how ordinary people take up financial trading in a world far removed from the glamour and wealth of investment bankers. They're joined by Dan Barnes, the business journalist.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

03/08/201120110808

Laurie Taylor investigates the curse of the mummy and other myths of the Orient.

04/01/201220120109
04/02/200920090209
04/03/200920090309
04/04/201220120409

Steeltown meltdown and Burberry closure - life after industry death in two Welsh towns.

04/05/201120110509
04/11/200920091109

Laurie Taylor explores white collar crime.

What exactly is it, who commits it and why?

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime, from its late addition to the statute books to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction.

He speaks to the key academic experts in the field, explores the latest sociological research and hears from professionals on both sides of the law about the culture, the practice and most often the non-prosecution of white collar crime.

In this edition, Laurie considers the culture of the crime.

What exactly is white collar crime, who commits it and why?

Laurie Taylor explores white collar crime. What exactly is it, who commits it and why?

05/08/200920090810

How Turkey's once revolutionary Islamists became a pillar of the state.

The Islamist movement in Turkey is not revolutionary, it does not decry the United States and it is not opposed to Turkey's liberal capitalist state.

In fact, it forms the democratically-elected government of that country and has done since 2002.

Laurie Taylor discusses an in-depth study which analyses how and why the Islamic movement in Turkey transformed itself into a pillar of the state, and asks whether the process could work in other Muslim countries.

Also, Richard Reeves joins Laurie to discuss the latest research into what it takes to get a decent job in Britain these days.

05/10/201120111010
06/01/201020100111

Laurie Taylor discusses conscientious objecting in World War One.

06/04/201120110411

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

06/05/200920090511

Laurie Taylor asks if the buildings built today cater for modern life.

Can the tubular steel and smoked glass dreams of leading architects ever take account of the mess of life? Jeremy Till claims that architecture exists in a bubble and ignores the way people really live.

He joins Laurie Taylor to discuss how architecture engages - or fails to engage - with the society for which it builds.

They are joined by Ricky Burdett, Chief Architectural Advisor for the Olympic Development Authority, to critique a profession whose output we all have to live with.

Plus, Will Atkinson from Bristol University introduces his groundbreaking study into the life decisions made by the children of working class parents.

He finds that despite claims that we live in a new society, class is remarkably durable.

06/07/201120110711
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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

07/04/201020100412

Is the secular world under threat? Discussing new demographics and the future of belief.

The idea that modernity leads to a lessening religious belief is being abandoned by theorists in America and Europe.

Figures like Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling argue that increasingly religion seeks to impinge on science, and now the first systematic study of European cultural groups predicts that fundamentalists of all religions are out-breeding moderates and atheists, and will eclipse them quite soon.

In Israel the Ultra Orthodox will form the majority as soon as 2050.

Since the birth rate of secular people in the West is way below replacement level (2.1), and the birth rate of religious fundamentalists of practically any stripe is far above (roughly between 5 and 7.7 children per mother), through the sheer force of demography, academic Eric Kaufmann claims they will become a much bigger force in the Western World.

Is that inevitable? Should people be worried?

Laurie Taylor discusses the anxieties of atheists and the predictions of demography with three theorists of different perspectives.: The Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, Tariq Ramadan; Eric Kaufmann, Reader in Politics at Birkbeck College and author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? and Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God; A Work of Fiction.

07/07/201020100712

Niall Ferguson tells Laurie Taylor about his new book on financier Siegmund Warburg.

Siegmund Warburg laid the foundations of the prosperity which has sustained the post-war City of London, and was one of the architects of European Integration. Niall Ferguson, in his new book High Financier tells Laurie Taylor how this extraordinarily dominant figure had meticulous business methods and an uncompromisingly strict ethical code. How much relevance does his example have for today? Could the traders and speculators who inhabit today's financial world learn from the elite of the past? Laurie discusses the lessons we can draw from this figure and the role played by today's financial elite with the historian Niall Ferguson and financial sociologist Karel Williams.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

07/10/200920091012

Sociologist Loic Wacquant discusses the consequences of a growing US prison system.

America's social state is withering at the expense of its expanding prison system and the UK is heading in the same direction, with potentially disastrous consequences.

That's the argument of Laurie Taylor's guest, Loic Wacquant, Professor of Sociology at the University of California.

From 1980 to 1990, spending by the US government on operating its prisons and correctional establishments doubled while at the same time spending on public housing more than halved.

According to Wacquant, this process is continuing; he says that 'the construction of prisons has effectively become the country's main housing programme'.

Are America's penal policies too harsh, and if prisons and correctional facilities are becoming increasingly important, what are the social consequences?

He talks to Laurie about why he believes America is too ready to accept a state of poverty for huge sections of its population and at the same time see the social state obliterated.

Is America punishing its poor and is the UK at risk of following the same path, overly dependent on prisons while eroding its social state?

08/02/201220120213
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08/06/201120110613

Dirt, filth and why we like to be clean: A special edition at the Wellcome Collection.

08/07/200920090713

With Laurie Taylor. Can Darwin explain why some societies become modern?

08/09/201020100913

Laurie Taylor visits the British Society of Criminology Conference at Leicester University.

09/02/201120110214

Laurie discusses cosmetic surgery in Brazil and the health of British working men.

With a culture which equated health with beauty, Brazil has developed the biggest cosmetic surgery industry in the world.

Public clinics often offer classic cosmetic procedures for free and 'La Plastica' is the realisable aim of people who can sometimes not afford the bus fair to make their consultation.

How has plastic surgery become such an important part of the Brazilian culture and economy, and why is beauty seen as a 'right' for people who may not have electricity or running water.

Laurie talks to Monica Figuero from Newcastle University and Alex Edmonds who's written on this subject.

Also on the programme, Alan Dolan on how working class masculine culture in Britain puts men's health at risk.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

With a culture which equated health with beauty, Brazil has developed the biggest cosmetic surgery industry in the world. Public clinics often offer classic cosmetic procedures for free and 'La Plastica' is the realisable aim of people who can sometimes not afford the bus fair to make their consultation. How has plastic surgery become such an important part of the Brazilian culture and economy, and why is beauty seen as a 'right' for people who may not have electricity or running water. Laurie talks to Monica Figuero from Newcastle University and Alex Edmonds who's written on this subject.

09/05/20122012050920120514
09/06/201020100614

The changing way we commemorate the dead: a study of the war in Afghanistan.

Since 2006 over 200 British soldiers have been killed in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Laurie Taylor discusses a new study which explores the way in which these dead solders have been commemorated in Britain.

We have become familiar with the painful sight of mourners lining the main street of Wootton Bassett, as hearses carry coffins away from RAF Lyneham.

In public acts of remembrance today soldiers are remembered as fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

This modern way of personalising and even domesticating soldiers is in stark contrast to the twentieth century rituals which mourn the sacrifice of anonymous individual soldiers who have died for the nation.

What lies behind this change of attitude and what impact is the new public consciousness likely to have on how and when we wage war? Laurie talks to Anthony King from Exeter University, author of 'The Afghan War and 'postmodern' memory: commemoration and the Dead of Helmand'.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

09/09/200920090914

Can children be both clever and popular in school? Laurie explores the role of class swot.

09/12/200920091214

Why are more people living on their own and what are the consequences for society?

The number of people living in single person households has doubled since 1971.

Why are more people living alone and what are the consequences for the environment and the economy? How do ideas in the popular press of the single lifestlye really match reality? Laurie Taylor talks to Lynn Jamieson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, and to Jan MacVarish from the University of Kent about one of the biggest demographic shifts since World War Two.

Also in the programme, Laurie discusses anthropological research into the culture of Wall Street.

How much is the global economy influenced by the culture of bankers; are wider, brutal economic forces the more powerful player? Laurie talks to Professor of Sociology Robin Blackburn, from the University of Essex.

10/02/201020100215

African American consumer culture and the history of tea.

The car was a potent symbol of freedom for black America, but the cultural critic Paul Gilroy argues that the escape it once represented has become a cage for the African American.

Consumerism and the ultimate commodity of the car has turned the fight for rights into a race to buy new things.

He tells Laurie Taylor how black people spend far more on their cars than whites and how the automobile has fatally undermined culture and community.

In his new book, Darker Than Blue, Paul Gilroy writes about how jazz, blues, hip-hop and much of what stood for black culture now seems generically American and is exported around the world.

And within the United States luxury goods, motor cars, branded items and a quest for individual gratification have diluted the collective spirit which brought African Americans the civil rights they won.

With his brilliant and provocative analysis, Paul Gilroy traces the shifting character of black culture on both sides of the Atlantic and offers an account of what it means to be black in Britain and the United States.

10/03/201020100315

The meaning of military futurology, and anti-racist comedy in the UK and US.

Armies have always sought to guess the enemy's next move based on past experience.

Such crystal gazing took on a fresh urgency during the Cold War as the new discipline of military futurology grappled with the threat of nuclear war.

Since then, military futurists have taken their imaginings into more apocalyptic realms.

Charged by Western policy makers with the task of 'thinking the unthinkable', they foresee future threats which owe as much to science fiction as to real life.

They anticipate cities controlled by terrorists and drug cartels, dictators who've acquired the genetic secret of longevity, even the development of a 'magic bullet' which can't be countered.

But do such grim predictions provide a justification for an endless global war against enemies that may never exist? Laurie Taylor discusses a new survey of military futurism with its author, Matthew Carr, and with the geographer Stephen Graham.

Also, from Richard Pryor to Lenny Henry - how humour can reinforce or subvert racial stereotypes.

The sociologist Simon Weaver tells Laurie about his research into the nature and variety of anti-racist comedy.

10/06/20092009061020090615

Exhibiting the 'Savage'.

How Paris and London created human zoos in the name of science.

Laurie Taylor discusses 'human zoos', the practice of putting colonial subjects on display to western audiences.

He is joined by Charles Forsdick, co-editor of Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires, and the cultural commentator Kate Berridge.

There were 20-25,000 on display, in special villages, in circuses and in bars.

Millions of spectators from New York to London, Tokyo to Warsaw visited at their feeding times, watched as they gave birth and came to ogle at their extraordinary physicality as they stood nude behind bars.

These were the people of Africa, Aboriginals from Australia, Fijians, Zulus and even Laplanders, brought to the cradle of imperialism to tell a story of savagery and civilisation.

Also Girl Racers, an ethnographic study of car modifiers in Aberdeen, and how the women involved in the youth cult intergrate themselves in a traditionally male pass time.

Karen Lumsden from Aberdeen University tells Laurie about her research.

10/06/200920090615

Exhibiting the 'Savage'. How Paris and London created human zoos in the name of science.

10/12/200820081215

Laurie Taylor explores the idea that the Imperial era was a product of repressed sexuality

11/01/201220120116
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11/04/201220120416

Rubbish society: Laurie Taylor discusses the social impact of waste.

11/05/201120110516

Laurie Taylor explores representations of the paranormal in the media.

11/08/201020100816

Laurie Taylor discusses emancipation, black freedom ideas from slavery to the present.

11/11/200920091116

Why has corporate crime had such a low priority?

In a series of special programmes in association with the Open University, Laurie Taylor explores the subject of white collar crime, from its late addition to the statute books to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction.

He speaks to the key academic experts in the field, explores the latest sociological research and hears from professionals on both sides of the law about the culture, the practice and most often the non-prosecution of white collar crime.

In this edition, Laurie explores the culture of corporate crime and how regulatory bodies serve to keep the police at arm's length.

In the UK, people are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury at work than to be a victim of violent crime, yet only a fraction of safety crimes are actually prosecuted.

Globally, more people are killed at work each year than are killed in war.

Why has corporate crime had a low priority, why has it been so hard to prosecute corporations and will the new crimes of corporate manslaughter and corporate murder make firms more responsible for the crimes they commit?

12/08/200920090817

Laurie Taylor discusses myth and reality in the history of the British police.

13/01/201020100118
13/05/200920090518

Laurie Taylor hears of new research which counters contemporary fears about immigration.

Are walls going up around Britain's communities? Are we sleepwalking to racial segregation? Laurie hears of new research which counters some contemporary fears about immigration in Britain.

In 2005, Trevor Phillips, then Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality warned, 'The walls are going up around many of our communities and the bridges are crumbling...

we are sleepwalking our way to segregation'.

Are there really ghettoes growing in Britain's cities? Laurie talks to Ludi Simpson about his new research into the state of segregation in Britain and hears from Tariq Modood about how and why Muslim communities are feared.

Also in the programme, Laurie hears from Rachel Shabi about the Mizrahis, Israel's Jews from Arab lands.

They talk Arabic and their customs are rooted in the Middle East, but despite constituting more that half of the Israeli population she claims that they are sidelined and discriminated against in their own country.

13/07/201120110718
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Laurie Taylor discusses a study of private and military security firms.

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Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

14/04/201020100419

Is the British weekend under threat? Plus new research on home education.

14/10/200920091019

Laurie Taylor finds out about what we leave with the dead and why.

From clothes to jewellery, photographs, hats, eye glasses, walking sticks, letters and even food, alcohol and tobacco, the objects mourners leave in the coffins and caskets of their loved ones tells us a huge amount about our attitudes to death and the rituals it involves.

Laurie talks to Sheila Harper, sociologist at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, whose new study about 'modern-day grave goods' uncovers the fascinating, touching and often moving examples of our gifts to the dead and why the objects we leave today are remarkably similar to the kinds of items uncovered by archaeologists in graves going back thousand of years.

Duncan Sayer, archaeologist from the Centre for Death and Society, discusses how human society has buried their dead.

Also in the programme: alcohol as a lens to understand social change.

The links between drink, national identity and economic prosperity.

15/02/201220120220
15/04/200920090420
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Combs, keys, glasses and bags - why some everyday objects have a special power.

15/07/200920090720

Is an unequal society bad for your health?

15/09/201020100920

An exploration of the meaning and history of 'eavesdropping', from cafe society to Twitter.

16/09/200920090921

The life of philosopher RG Collingwood, and restorative justice in Northern Ireland.

16/12/200920091221

Laurie Taylor explores the history of prison clothing, from arrows to orange jumpsuits.

17/02/201020100222

A history of Intellectual piracy; the morality of obesity.

Disputes about piracy are often seen as a product of the internet age, but a new analysis claims a history going back to the advent of print culture in the 15th century.

Adrian Johns talks about his new book, Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenburg to Gates.

He tells Laurie Taylor how piracy spread the ideals of the Enlightenment and has been the engine of innovation as often as its enemy.

Adrian Johns argues that it exemplifies the struggle to reconcile commerce and creativity, and that the pirates are no longer just producers who stand to make a financial gain, but implicate many citizens who download music or films illegally in the confines of their home.

He suggests that these new forms of piracy force a radical reappraisal of the meaning of intellectual property.

Also on the programme, Laurie Taylor explores the morality of obesity.

He talks to Helena Webb about her study of the conversations between doctors and patients in an obesity clinic.

She explains why obese patients take credit for weight loss but make excuses for weight gain.

17/03/201020100322

Laurie Taylor discusses milk and modernity, and why burglary is going out of fashion.

17/06/200920090622

Post-Soviet Potato: Laurie Taylor discusses the politics of spuds.

17/12/200820081222
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18/03/200920090323
18/05/201120110523
18/11/200920091123

Laurie Taylor explores the punishment of white collar crime.

19/01/2011
19/01/201120110124

The impact of paramilitary punishment attacks on the young delinquents of Belfast.

Committing crime in West Belfast carries a double jeopardy. As well as the police, there are the paramilitaries to look out for. Between 1973 and 2007 there were two and a half thousand shootings and beatings attributed to republican paramilitaries as punishment attacks. Young people have been 'tarred and feathered', had their legs broken, hundreds have been 'knee-capped' and a few have been 'executed' - i.e. murdered - in response to what they are assumed to have done. For three years at the height of this practice Heather Hamill lived and worked in the Catholic Community of West Belfast to research the pseudo-judicial process administered by the IRA. As punishment attacks are growing again, this time at the hands of dissident republican groups, she discusses paramilitary punishment attacks with Laurie and the criminologist Dick Hobbs.

Also on the programme today, Hanna Zagefka discusses her report which shows why people give more money to natural disasters like the Asian Tsunami than human ones like the crisis of Darfur.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

19/05/201020100524

New research revealing the rifts and resentment created by researching family history.

19/08/200920090824

Does inequality lead to religion? Laurie Taylor explores the lastest research.

Tom Rees has conducted research into religion and personal insecurity in 50 countries.

Using figures on how much people pray and how unequal income is in each of them, he claims to have found evidence to show that the most religious societies are the most unequal, and concludes the inequality leads to religion.

Is it fear and hardship that makes people of one country more religious than another, or is there a mysterious third factor that can explain why some nations pray so much more than others? Laurie Taylor talks to Tom Rees about his findings, and to sociologist of religion David Voas.

What are the key factors the underlie acceptance to Oxford University? New research explores the influence of cultural factors on the decisions that admissions tutors make at the elite university.

After allowing for exam results and for cultural knowledge, Alice Sullivan tells Laurie that men were twice as likely to get a Science place than women and that some ethnic minorities faced an even greater disadvantage.

19/11/200820081124
20/01/201020100125

The Future of Work and Teddy Bear Diaries.

Twitter, Broadband, BlackBerries, Globalisation - are they all forces ranged against out traditional concept of work or does a deeper analysis favour continuity over change? Laurie Taylor discusses the workplace of the future with Richard Donkin, author of The Future of Work, and with Kevin Doogan from Bristol University.

Are we all set to become 'portfolio workers' or is the factory system in place since the Industrial Revolution and the office 9 to 5 set to continue for a while yet.

Also, what have you been doing with your teddy lately? Schools have begun sending young children home with teddy bears to write diaries of their shared experiences over holidays or half-terms.

So widespread has this practice become that children as far apart as China and Norway are jotting down the daily experiences they share with these teds.

A unique opportunity for a sociologist to compare childhood experiences in these two places.

Laurie's guest Randi Waerdahl talks about her research.

20/04/201120110425

A special edition with new research from the British Sociological Association conference.

20/05/200920090525

Slumming: how whites' wild times in America's black areas changed sex and politics forever

'Slumming' was the name given to the thousands of white middle class voyeurs crossing boundaries of race, class and sexual orientation to trip into the worlds of the poor on their dorstep.

There they learnt to drop the restraints of respectability and savoured an often salatious sense of sex and discovery in the period of prohibition.

The jazz raged, the 'pansies' preened, but after the party what was the effect on the communities they visitied? Laurie talks to the author of Slumming, Chad Heap, and the writer Bonnie Greer about the impact that the wild white adventuring in urban areas had on sexual and racial politics in America.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

20/07/201120110725
21/01/200920090126
21/07/201020100726

Leering punters, seedy dives, cruel and crude objectification of women's bodies...

the classic image of a strip joint does not leave much space for the notion that occasionally the women might enjoy the performances they give.

However, a new ethnography of a lap dancing club in the North of England presents a slightly more complicated picture of life as a sexual entertainer.

The sociologist Rachela Colosi worked as a dancer in the clubs she studied and her study offers a rare insiders account of the relationships between the dancers, with the management and the highs and lows, rewards and occasional despair of life as a stripper.

Also, Laurie Taylor will be talking to Marek Kohn about his predictions for the shape of British society in 2100 after global warming has brought its influence to bear.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Rachela Colosi tells Laurie about her detailed ethnography of a lap dancing club.

Leering punters, seedy dives, cruel and crude objectification of women's bodies... the classic image of a strip joint does not leave much space for the notion that occasionally the women might enjoy the performances they give. However, a new ethnography of a lap dancing club in the North of England presents a slightly more complicated picture of life as a sexual entertainer. The sociologist Rachela Colosi worked as a dancer in the clubs she studied and her study offers a rare insiders account of the relationships between the dancers, with the management and the highs and lows, rewards and occasional despair of life as a stripper.

21/09/201120110926
21/10/200920091026

From suburbia to housing estates, Laurie Taylor discusses town and city planning.

How do housing estates and suburbs serve or fail to serve their residents? Three out of four British people live in the suburbs, many of which grew as cities and their populations expanded.

Laurie Taylor is joined by Paul Barker and Lynsey Hanley to discuss housing estates and suburbs.

What form of housing most fulfills people's desires? And will urban planning ever be able to fulfill Aneurin Bevan's dream of social integration?

Also on the programme, why modernity makes us forgetful.

Does the speed and transience of life today damage our shared and individual memories? The social anthropologist Paul Connerton thinks it does.

He discusses his latest book with Laurie Taylor.

22/04/200920090427

From duels to drive-by, Laurie Taylor discusses the history of murder.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Laurie discusses the history of murder, from duelling to drive-by killings, with Pieter Spierenburg, author of A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present and Joanna Bourke, author of An Intimate History of Killing.

Why was the murder rate higher in the Middle Ages than it is now? What factors have pushed the practice of killing men down the social order and should we worry about the first increase in the murder rate for over 200 years?

Laurie also hears of the surprise of Antje Bednarek, a German sociologist pursuing an ethnography of Young Scottish Conservatives.

She had not realised that tracking them down would be such a tricky business.

22/07/200920090727

Most of the research into black children's experience in British education has focused on the underachievement of boys, whereas black girls are thought to be doing well.

However, new research from Heidi Mirza at the Institute of Education shows that, far from being served well by the system, black girls are having to make huge efforts to overcome obstacles to their advancement and are still falling behind white girls and boys.

Laurie Taylor hears about supplementary schools, retaking GCSEs and entrenched attitudes from largely white teaching staff.

Laurie also hears about the secret history of roads.

Joe Moran calls them, 'the most commonly-viewed and least-contemplated landscape in Britain'.

He tells Laurie how our motorways are built on pulped remaindered literature and that migratory birds use our system as tools for their navigation.

Why black girls succeed and fail in education?

23/03/201120110328

Laurie Taylor explores shifts in world power.

Also, the legacy of 19th-century Temperance.

Will power and prosperity shift to the frozen North? A new book predicts that Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia will be the beneficiaries of a new world order.

By 2050, four megatrends - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - will lead to the rise of 'The New North', as migration, energy bonanzas and international trade turn the world upside down.

The geographer, Professor Laurence Smith, tells Laurie Taylor why these projections amount to more than planetary palm reading.

Also, does the morality of the 19th century Temperance movement influence modern day attitudes to drinking? The law lecturer, Henry Yeomans, argues that prohibitionism - contrary to popular belief - lives on in 'binge drinking' Britain.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores shifts in world power. Also, the legacy of 19th-century Temperance.

Will power and prosperity shift to the frozen North? A new book predicts that Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia will be the beneficiaries of a new world order. By 2050, four megatrends - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - will lead to the rise of 'The New North', as migration, energy bonanzas and international trade turn the world upside down. The geographer, Professor Laurence Smith, tells Laurie Taylor why these projections amount to more than planetary palm reading. Also, does the morality of the 19th century Temperance movement influence modern day attitudes to drinking? The law lecturer, Henry Yeomans, argues that prohibitionism - contrary to popular belief - lives on in 'binge drinking' Britain.

23/09/200920090928

Laurie Taylor discusses the role of acquaintances.

23/12/200920091228

Was marrying within the family key to success of the ruling classes in Victorian England?

The new bourgeoisie played an enormously important role in the history of industrial and imperial Britain.

The extent to which cousin marriage proliferated in the 19th century relates to the central question as to which people were going to lead Industrial England.

Close-knit families in Victorian England delivered enormous advantages.

They shaped vocations, generated patronage, yielded vital commercial information and gave access to capital; no wonder that marriage within the family, between cousins or between in-laws, was a characteristic strategy of this new bourgeoisie.

Laurie Taylor discusses private life in 19th-century England with Adam Kuper, the author of Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England, and Catherine Hall, professor of modern British social and cultural history at University College, London.

24/02/201020100301

CP Snow first used the phrase 'corridors of power' in his book Homecoming in 1956.

It soon became a cliché, conjuring up a world of officialdom, hierarchy, whispers and secret machinations.

The advent of open plan, with its airy atriums and glass walls, was supposed to put pay to all that, ushering in a new sense of democracy to the work place.

However, research from Rachel Hurdley reveals the hidden values of corridors.

The chance meetings, gossip and confrontations which actually undermine hierarchy will all be lost if we fail to appreciate the seemingly unimportant passage between doors.

She discusses her research with Laurie Taylor and with the architect Jeremy Till.

Simon Duncan, Professor of Comparative Social Policy at the University of Bradford, talks about the phenomenon of Living Apart Together - or 'LAT' - a form of relationship which keeps partners out of each other's living space.

Corridors under threat and is 'living apart together' a new form of family?

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24/03/201020100328

In April the world's publishing industry descends on Earls Court for the London Book Fair.

It is principally a showcase of British books and an opportunity to sell their foreign rights but there is so much more going on.

Laurie Taylor talks to the social scientist Brian Moeran and the publishing industry insider Damian Horner about parties, restaurants, one-upmanship and the importance of long-term friendships in an industry which relies on something as intangible as the quality of a book.

He also talks to David Cox about the forerunners to the Metropolitan Police, the Bow Street Runners.

Were they anything more than corrupt thief-takers and a private security firm for the upper classes? Laurie hears new evidence which casts them as world class innovators in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Book fairs and the Bow Street Runners.

24/05/201720170524
24/06/200920090629

Laurie Taylor discusses geopolitics and the science of spheres of influence.

25/01/201220120130
25/02/200920090302
25/03/200920090330
25/08/201020100830

Laurie Taylor explores the meaning and relevance of Karl Marx's theory of alienation.

25/11/200920091130

Will UK party politics be transformed by new media and digital technology?

Barack Obama famously used new technologies in his 2008 election campaign.

Could those same techniques be used to reinvigorate the next UK general elction in the same way it did for Obama's Web 2.0 campaign? From MySpace and Facebook, text messages to email, will new media transform the election in the same way it did for America? Or is the UK too party political for digital technology to have the same impact? Laurie Taylor discusses with Rachel Gibson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester.

Also, how musicians performing can give new insights into negotiation, learning and decision making.

Howard S Becker, professional jazz player and acclaimed sociologist, joins Laurie to discuss what jazz and music can teach the rest of the world.

26/01/201120110131

People have often referred to conflicts between the concepts we use to understand the best way to live - ideas like Liberty, Equality, Justice, Democracy.

You need to suppress one to achieve the other, and this - the argument goes - proves that they are not universal moral concepts.

In his engagingly titled new book, Justice for Hedgehogs, the US philosopher Ronald Dworkin seeks to show that there is no incompatibility between these ideas because they are part of a single unified value, they only appear to conflict because of the way we are looking at them.

But how do we ascribe this value with a universal role without recourse to God, or some other metaphysical entity? Laurie discusses the idea with Ronald Dworkin and AC Grayling.

Also, shinning up the greasy pole: Bill Jones talks about his essay on how Prime Ministers pick their ministers and how to get ahead in politics.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Ronald Dworkin and Anthony Grayling on liberty versus equality.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

People have often referred to conflicts between the concepts we use to understand the best way to live - ideas like Liberty, Equality, Justice, Democracy. You need to suppress one to achieve the other, and this - the argument goes - proves that they are not universal moral concepts. In his engagingly titled new book, Justice for Hedgehogs, the US philosopher Ronald Dworkin seeks to show that there is no incompatibility between these ideas because they are part of a single unified value, they only appear to conflict because of the way we are looking at them. But how do we ascribe this value with a universal role without recourse to God, or some other metaphysical entity? Laurie discusses the idea with Ronald Dworkin and AC Grayling.

26/05/201020100531

Has black music declined? Laurie Taylor discusses with Paul Gilroy and Caspar Melville.

From Curtis Mayfield to 50 Cent, from Nina Simone to JayZ, black music has declined in its quality and lost its moral stance.

That's the contention of the cultural critic Paul Gilroy.

He joins Laurie Taylor and Caspar Melville to discuss the counter-cultural stance that black popular music once had, and explore whether it really has been destroyed.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

26/08/200920090831

Laurie Taylor discusses the life and work of leading cultural commentator Richard Hoggart.

Laurie Taylor discusses the life and work of leading cultural commentator Richard Hoggart, asking why his time is coming again.

Hoggart's evidence in the Lady Chatterley trial changed censorship for ever, his influence on the Pilkington Committee established the norms of public service broadcasting still in operation today and his academic work led to the invention of cultural studies in the UK.

He is considered a titan of contemporary culture and his famous book The Uses of Literacy combined sociology with literature and biography, going on to have a huge influence on the way popular culture was viewed.

That influence has been on the wane in recent decades, but now a new edition of Hoggart's book is about to be published, a biography is being written and a recent conference was dedicated to his work.

26/11/200820081201
27/01/201020100201

The Brits who stayed on in Hong Kong.

27/04/201120110502

Laurie Taylor explores craft and community with Richard Sennett and David Gauntlett.

27/05/200920090601

Laurie hears of a new study which compares betting shops to 18th-century coffee houses.

The betting shop is an egalitarian space; unlike pubs there is no necessity to buy, and as long as your behaviour does not impact on anyone else's you can do what you want.

It also brings people of different backgrounds and ethnicities together in a unique way.

Although gambling carries a stigma and people often campaign against opening more betting shops in their communities, Rebecca Cassidy tells Laurie that they are incredibly cosmopolitan and tolerant, and are emblematic of changes that are happening in Britain.

Laurie also hears from Miriam Glucksmann, who has updated a study of women working on assembly lines which she first published anonymously nearly 30 years ago.

27/07/201120110801
28/04/201020100503

Laurie Taylor discusses capitalism with leading economists David Harvey and Ha Joon Chang.

Capital is the lifeblood that flows through the body politic of all those societies we call capitalist, spreading out, sometimes as a trickle and other times as a flood, into every nook and cranny of the inhabited world", writes David Harvey, the world's most cited academic geographer.

He gives Laurie a radical critique of what governs that flow of capital and what causes the crises which, he claims, will increasingly disrupt that flow with alarming rapidity.

Modern economics has buried its head in detail but ignored the systematic character of capital flow, he claims, and it is time for a restore an understanding of how capital works.

Also on Thinking Allowed is the Cambridge development economist Ha-Joon Chang.

In his analysis the detailed global programmes on international development amount to little more than poverty reduction, and the rich world is keeping the less developed countries poor in the name of free trade.".

28/07/201020100802

How does having more choice affect our lives? Laurie Taylor discusses a new study.

We are told that life presents us with myriad choices.

Like products on a supermarket shelf, our jobs, our relationships, our bodies and our identities are all there for the choosing.

We are encouraged to 'be ourselves', but the pressure to make those choices can lead to enormous anxiety.

In a new study Renata Selacl researches dating sites, self help books and people's relationship to celebrity, and uncovers the complexities involved in the choices we make and how they often lead to disquiet.

In Thinking Allowed on 28 July, Laurie Taylor explores whether we have too much choice in our lives.

Also, a new study from Norwegian Sociologist Sveinung Sandberg looks at the life skills that Oslo drug dealers acquire and explores whether operating from within a welfare state is very different from the street life of dealers in the USA.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

We are told that life presents us with myriad choices. Like products on a supermarket shelf, our jobs, our relationships, our bodies and our identities are all there for the choosing. We are encouraged to 'be ourselves', but the pressure to make those choices can lead to enormous anxiety. In a new study Renata Selacl researches dating sites, self help books and people's relationship to celebrity, and uncovers the complexities involved in the choices we make and how they often lead to disquiet. In Thinking Allowed on 28 July, Laurie Taylor explores whether we have too much choice in our lives.

28/09/201120111003
28/10/200920091102

The social and cultural influences on bereaved families' decisions to donate organs.

While nine out of ten people agree organ donation is a good thing, a recent audit found 40 per cent of bereaved families, when approached, didn't agree to donate.

Laurie Taylor discusses new research which uncovers some of the reasons behind this apparent anomaly.

Magi Sque, from the University of Southampton, was part of a team who interviewed families who had declined organ donation.

While many agreed in principle, carried organ donor cards and knew their relatives desire to donate, they still didn't feel able to let their loved ones organs be used.

The most common reason families gave for this was a simple desire to keep the body intact.

They didn't want the dead to be 'hurt' any more.

Magi explains why the research reveals some of our deep-seated cultural beliefs, and how those beliefs have their roots in wider society's values and, at times of grief, can completely overcome our pre-existing views.

We also hear from Professor Caroline Knowles of Goldsmiths College, London who has researched the history, meaning and journey of the flip flop sandal.

29/02/201220120305

Ambient faith and social work, and poverty between the wars.

29/04/200920090504

Laurie Taylor talks to Caroline Simone about her study of the families of suicide victims.

29/06/201120110704
29/07/200920090803

Cultural hybridity: is globalisation making the world homogenous?

30/09/200920091005

Laurie Taylor discusses the secret codes of criminal communication.

Laurie Taylor discusses the language of crime and the codes of criminal communication with Diego Gambetta, mafia scholar and criminal sociologist.

He finds out why, in order to survive in the criminal underworld, language requires subtle, coded and sometimes gruesome modes of communication to avoid being found out by rivals or police.

Laurie is joined by Dick Hobbs, sociologist from the LSE, to find out why the language of the criminal underworld is often written in code.

Also, what makes a scandal? Ari Adut from the University of Texas discusses.

30/12/200920100104

Laurie Taylor is at the University of Bedfordshire to discuss class and social mobility.

31/03/201020100405

Sexuality in later life and interracial relationships in Latin America.

Current sexual surveys reveal that many older people continue to enjoy sex.

As the ageing population expands, the pharmaceutical industry has been quick to exploit opportunities to market drugs to eliminate age related sexual problems.

But the sociologist Professor Barbara Marshall tells Laurie that sexual medicine is in danger of pathologising the normal processes of ageing and promoting a youth centred definition of sexuality.

Also, does love overcome race in Brazilian democracy? There is a much higher intermarriage between races in South America than in Europe or the USA, Laurie explores the underlying traits which govern who marries whom in Latin American Society.

A History Of Tennis, Talking Treatments2014070920140714

Tennis: From Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon. Laurie Taylor talks to life long tennis fan and cultural historian, Elizabeth Wilson. The story of tennis illuminates social change and struggle across the 20th century, going hand in hand with the march of modernity, globalisation, commercialisation and gender equality.

Also, Daniel Holman, a post doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, discusses class differences in the use of 'talking treatments' for mental health problems with Stephen Frosh, Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck College. Why are these treatments so underused by working class people?

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Tennis: A social history. Also, psychotherapy and class.

Also, Daniel Holman, a post doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, discusses class differences in the use of 'talking treatments' for mental health problems. Why are they so underused by working class people?

A Lost Avant Garde, Biologising Parenthood20150311

A lost avant garde: Laurie Taylor examines the tension between art and money in the contemporary art museum. He talks to Matti Bunzl, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, and author of a study which takes a rare look behind the scenes of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. He found that a commitment to new and difficult work came into conflict with an imperative for growth, leading to an excessive focus on the entertaining and profitable.

Also, biologising parenthood: recent years have seen claims about children's brains becoming central to child health and welfare policies. Pam Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University, Birmingham, argues that this has led to a simplistic construction of the child and one which claims parenting to be the main factor in child development.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

A Special Programme Devoted To The Bsa/thinking Allowed Ethnography Shortlist2017040520170410 (R4)

A special programme devoted to the BSA/Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award shortlist 2017.

A special programme devoted to the BSA and Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award Shortlist for 2017.

Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, presents a special programme devoted to the academic research which has been short listed for our fourth annual award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub culture. Laurie Taylor is joined by the 3 other judges; Sarah Neal , Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, Shane Blackman, Professor of Cultural Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University and Alpa Shah , Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the LSE.

Producer:Jayne Egerton.

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

A Special Programme On Pierre Bourdieu20160622

: 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.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

A Special Programme On Pierre Bourdieu20160706
A Special Programme On Rituals2015122320151228 (R4)

Rituals at Christmas and beyond. Laurie Taylor presents a special programme on the place of rituals in everyday life. How have they changed over time and do we still need them? He's joined by Adam Kuper, Centennial Professor in Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Marina Warner, writer and mythographer and Elizabeth Pleck, Professor Emeritu of History and Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

A special programme on rituals, at Christmas and beyond.

A Valentine Day's Special

A Valentine Day's Special. Laurie Taylor explores changing attitudes to infidelity and considers a cross cultural history of rings. Wendy Doniger, Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, asks why this piece of circular jewellery keeps re-occurring in myths and stories about seduction, love, sex and betrayal. What can it tell us about the shifting nature of power relations between men and women? She's joined by Adam Kuper, Visiting Professor in Anthropology at Boston University. Also, have attitudes hardened towards adultery? The visibility of non-monogamy suggests a challenge to dominant assumptions about the feasibility of lifelong sexual fidelity. However, infidelity remains the lone area of adult sexual practice that is disapproved of under any circumstances. Dr Jenny van Hooff, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, examines claims about the extent to which relationships have been de-traditionalised.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

A Valentine Day's Special20180214

A Valentine Day's Special. Laurie Taylor explores changing attitudes to infidelity and considers a cross cultural history of rings. Wendy Doniger, Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, asks why this piece of circular jewellery keeps re-occurring in myths and stories about seduction, love, sex and betrayal. What can it tell us about the shifting nature of power relations between men and women? She's joined by Adam Kuper, Visiting Professor in Anthropology at Boston University. Also, have attitudes hardened towards adultery? The visibility of non-monogamy suggests a challenge to dominant assumptions about the feasibility of lifelong sexual fidelity. However, infidelity remains the lone area of adult sexual practice that is disapproved of under any circumstances. Dr Jenny van Hooff, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, examines claims about the extent to which relationships have been de-traditionalised.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

programme exploring infidelity and the history of rings.

Affluence20171115

- what does it mean?

Affluence - from the Kalahari desert to Wall St; Laurie Taylor explores contrasting conceptions of material plenty and the 'good life'. He's joined by James Suzman, an anthropologist who has spent 30 years studying and spending time with the bushmen of Namibia and Rachel Sherman, Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School whose study of wealthy New Yorkers found an uneasiness, as well as an enjoyment in affluence.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

After Redundancy - Global Payday Lending2014121020141215 (R4)

The growing worldwide industry of global payday loans. Plus the aftermath of redundancy.

Global payday loans: Laurie Taylor talks to Carl Packman, a researcher and writer, who has analysed the growth of a worldwide industry. Today there are more payday lender shops in the US than McDonald's restaurants. They cater mainly to those without access to mainstream credit and with no other option. But how did they evolve and proliferate? And what is their impact on the most financially vulnerable consumers? He's joined by Johnna Montogomery, an economist from Goldsmiths, London.

Also, redundancy at a Welsh aluminium plant. Tony Dobbins, Reader in Employment Studies at Bangor Business School, asks why re-training has failed to provide jobless workers with a fresh future.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Against Security2012101720121022

Laurie Taylor on a new book that argues against heightened security measures.

'Against Security'. A new book by the acclaimed American sociologist, Harvey Molotch, explores the complex systems which are designed to make us feel safe in public places. He tells Laurie Taylor why he thinks that security measures in airports and subways, post 9.11, have damaged the pleasure and dignity of our daily lives.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Age Of Noise - British Drinking2017011820170123 (R4)

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.

Laurie Taylor considers how unwanted sounds came to characterise modernity.

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Aids Conspiracy Theories; Comics2012053020120604
20120604 (R4)

British comics are full of iconic and transgressive characters from Dan Dare to Minnie the Minx. Laurie Taylor talks to professor James Chapman the author of a new book charting the cultural history of British comics. They are joined by the broadcaster Matthew Sweet.

Also, Professor Nicoli Nattrass explains why a disproportionate percentage of Black South Africans and African Americans subscribe to conspiracy theories about the origins of AIDS..

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

A cultural history of British comics plus AIDS conspiracy theories.

Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.

Produced by Jayne Egerton.

Airport Security, Retiring To Spain2016072720160801 (R4)

Airport security: what are the costs of a surveillance regime which turns us all into potential suspects? Laurie Taylor talks to Rachel Hall, Associate Professor in Communications at Syracuse University, New York, about her study into the 'transparent traveller' who must submit their bags and bodies to technologies aimed at countering terrorism. Also, Anya Ahmed, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Salford, explores the pleasures and pitfalls of retiring to Spain in her research into the lives and times of working class British women who've made this choice.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Airport security, and retiring to Spain.

Ale Drinkers, Northern Accents2016060120160606 (R4)

Northern accents at work: Trainee teachers are under pressure to speak the Queen's English. Laurie Taylor talks to Alex Barrata, lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Manchester, and author of a study which finds that certain regional accents are frowned upon in a profession that would normally oppose discrimination. They're joined by Paul Kerswill, Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York.

Sensible drinkers: the drinking discourses of real ale enthusiasts. Thomas Thurnell-Read, Lecturer in Cultural Sociology at the University of Loughborough, explores the way in which some drinkers construct themselves as sociable and self controlled, in contrast to their hedonistic and unruly counterparts

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

New research on how society works. Presented by Laurie Taylor.

Alexis De Tocqueville - Call Centres20061122

Laurie Taylor examines the legacy of one of the greatest political thinkers of all time, Alexis de Tocqueville.

With his biographer and eminent American studies scholar, Professor Hugh Brogan, Laurie wonders what would de Tocqueville have to say about democracy today.

Laurie Taylor examines the legacy of one of the greatest political thinkers of all time, Alexis de Tocqueville. With his biographer and eminent American studies scholar, Professor Hugh Brogan, Laurie wonders what would de Tocqueville have to say about democracy today.

Alienation20100830

Ambivalent Atheism; Neoliberalism And Old Age2015102820151102 (R4)

Laurie Taylor explores forms of non-religious culture and identification.

Ambivalent atheism: Laurie Taylor talks to Lois Lee, Research Associate with the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College, London, and author of a study of non religious people. In the UK today a variety of identity labels exist which articulate non belief -atheist, agnostic, humanist, secular, rationalist, free thinker and sceptic. Most of these terms are associated with organised and activist forms of non religion. But what of the ambivalent atheist, whose beliefs may be fuzzier, less clear cut? They're joined by the philosopher, Julian Baggini.

Also, old age and neoliberalism. John Macnicol, Visiting Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, and one of Europe's leading academic analysts of old age and ageing, asks if the idea of retirement is being replaced by the belief that citizens should (or be forced to) work later in life. In a harsher economy is the notion of old age, as a protected stage of life, becoming increasingly anachronistic?

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Another World Is Possible If20041020

Laurie Taylor talks to veteran anti globalisation campaigner Susan George about her new book 'Another World is Possible If' which proposes that fellow activists should balance their zeal with a dose of realism.

Anthropology - The Future Of The A-level; Crime And Blame2015060320150608 (R4)

The future of the A-level. Plus the role of blame within the criminal justice system.

Anthropology: the future of the A level. Laurie Taylor talks to Joy Hendry, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, about the proposed cancellation of this course. At a time of global conflict, is it the right time to axe a discipline which allows insight into cultures and ideas very different from our own?

Also, 'blame' in the criminal justice system. Tim Hillier, Associate Head of Leicester de Montfort Law School, De Montfort University, Leicester, explores the role and parameters of culpability within the legal system. He's joined by Lord Ken Macdonald QC and former Director of Public Prosecutions.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Arab Londoners - Migrants And British Identity2015070820150713 (R4)

Laurie Taylor considers Arab Londoners. Also, migrants' sense of British identity.

Being Arab in London: diaspora and difference in the city. Laurie Taylor talks to Ramy M. K. Aly, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Cairo, about his seven year study of the everyday experiences of young, British-Arab people and the ways in which London has shaped and changed their ethnic identities.

Also, British identity among migrant groups. Dr Saffron Karlsen, Senior Lecturer in Social Research, explores the degree to which ethnic and religious minorities feel themselves to be British.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Archaeology Of Homelessness; Residential Care Revisited2012112120121126

Residential care revisited - Laurie Taylor considers Peter Townsend's landmark research, 'The Last Refuge', fifty years after its publication. Retracing Townsend's footsteps, a hundred, older volunteer researchers sought to find out what had happened to the 173 care homes in his classic study. Julia Johnson, one of the authors of the new study, charts the changes and continuities in care for older people in England and Wales. She's joined by Robin Darton, an expert in social care, Also, the archaeologist Rachael Kiddey, examines artefacts from two homelessness sites in Bristol and York. What can these items, as well as oral histories collected from the homeless, tell us about what it means to have no shelter in the 21st century?

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Older people in residential care - a landmark study. Also, an archaeology of homelessness.

Residential care revisited - Laurie Taylor considers Peter Townsend's landmark research, 'The Last Refuge', fifty years after its publication. Retracing Townsend's footsteps, a hundred, older volunteer researchers sought to find out what had happened to the 173 care homes in his classic study. Julia Johnson, one of the authors of the new study, charts the changes and continuities in care for older people in England and Wales. Also, the archaeologist Rachel Kiddy, examines artefacts from two homelessness sites in Bristol and York. What can these items, as well as oral histories collected from the homeless, tell us about what it means to have no shelter in the 21st century?

Are You Being Served? - Madame Tussaud20060621
Artisanal Food - Natural Foods

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.

Artisanal Food - Natural Foods20180221

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.

Artisanal and natural foods.

Australian State Boundaries20030604

Laurie Taylor hears from Australia about a State boundary that only makes sense when Western and Aboriginal concepts of mapping are combined.

Automobility And The Hummer - Khat20061213
Backpacking Food Tourist; Touring Poverty2013100220131007

Slum Tourism - the transformation of impoverished neighbourhoods into attractions for international tourists. Laurie Taylor talks to the sociologist, Bianca Freire-Medeiros, about 'Touring Poverty', her study of Rocinha, a district in Rio de Janeiro which is advertised as "the largest favela in Latin America." She talked to tour operators, guides, tourists and residents to explore the ethical and political questions raised by selling a glimpse into other peoples' poverty. Professor of Tourism Mobilities, Kevin Hannam, joins the discussion. Also, 'eating the world' - the geographer, Emily Falconer, discusses her research into the food driven impulses of backpacking tourists.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor on the transformation of slums into visitor attractions. Also, food tourism.

Baristas; 'people' History2014050720140512

The rise and fall of the working class: Laurie Taylor talks to Selina Todd, social historian at St Hilda's College, Oxford, about her sweeping study of ordinary British people between 1910-2010. Rooting her analysis in first person accounts from factory workers, servants and housewives, she reveals a hidden history full of the unexpected: How many of us know that cinema audiences once shook their fists at Winston Churchill? Also, US sociologist, Yasemin Besen-Cassino, discusses her research on 'baristas', the preparers of coffee across the urban world. She finds a group of affluent young people who'll work for poor wages if they're associated with a 'cool' brand.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

The rise and fall of the working class. Also, the attraction of 'cool' jobs with poor wages.

Bbc World Service - 'danger' & Mental Health Act20131016

Laurie Taylor explores The World Service, talking to Marie Gillespie about her study into the role of the diasporic broadcasters at the heart of the BBC's foreign service. Even though the Service has derived much of its creative and diplomatic significance from these men and women, they've been largely absent from academic work and public debate. Professor Gillespie's work brings to light the invisible writers and intellectuals who've been responsible for the BBC's credibility as an international broadcaster. She's joined by Ramy Aly, a Middle Eastern scholar who has studied the BBC Arabic Service, in particular. Also, who decides when someone is a danger to themselves or others? Professor Gillian Bendelow discusses her research into the use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Becoming Yellow - Journalist Bias20111024

Laurie Taylor explores impartiality in TV political interviewing.

Laurie Taylor explores impartiality in TV political interviewing and he examines how the colour 'yellow' became applied to people of Asian origin.

Professsor Ian Hutchby from the University of Leicester discusses a recent seminar 'Going Ballistic: Non-neutrality in the Televised Hybrid Political Interview'. In it, he outlines the structures of a new form of televised political journalism, the Hybrid Political Interview (HPI), which combines standard forms of interview technique with much more tendentious, opinionated, and even argumentative reporting. Laurie and Ian are joined by the Director of Broadcasting at City University, Lis Howell.

Laurie also discusses a new book called 'Becoming Yellow: A short history of racial thinking'. Professor Michael Keevak from The National Taiwan University explores how the notion of the colour yellow became attached to people of Asian origin.

Producer: Chris Wilson.

Professsor Ian Hutchby from the University of Leicester discusses a recent seminar 'Going Ballistic: Non-neutrality in the Televised Hybrid Political Interview'.

In it, he outlines the structures of a new form of televised political journalism, the Hybrid Political Interview (HPI), which combines standard forms of interview technique with much more tendentious, opinionated, and even argumentative reporting.

Laurie and Ian are joined by the Director of Broadcasting at City University, Lis Howell.

Laurie also discusses a new book called 'Becoming Yellow: A short history of racial thinking'.

Professor Michael Keevak from The National Taiwan University explores how the notion of the colour yellow became attached to people of Asian origin.

Before The Windrush; The Late Modern Hipster2014061820140623

Laurie explores race relations in 20th-century Liverpool. And, the modern 'hipster'.

Before the Windrush - Laurie Taylor talks to John Belchem, Professor of History at the University of Liverpool, about his study of race relations in 20th century Liverpool. Long before the arrival of the Empire Windrush after the Second World War, the city was already a teeming mix of different nationalities and races. Black Liverpudlians pioneered mixed marriages and parentage but they also experienced rejection and discrimination. Nisha Katona, city born resident and trustee of National Museums Liverpool, joins the debate.

Also, Bjorn Andersen, a sociologist at the University of Gothenburg, discusses the phenomenon of the late modern 'hipster', the young bohemian of the cosmopolitan city.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Being Single - Modern Romance2015101420151019 (R4)

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

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

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor looks at stigma versus choice and explores romance in the digital age.

New research on how society works. Presented by Laurie Taylor.

Bhangra And Belonging; Why Music Matters2014012220140127

Why Music Matters: David Hesmondhalgh, Professor of Music and Media Industries, examines the role of music in our lives and the ways in which it enriches people and society, or fails to do so. What is music's political and social significance beyond the pleasure it brings? He's joined by Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries. Also, 'Bhangra and Belonging': Falu Bakrania, US lecturer in Race and Resistance Studies, discusses her research into the social life of British Asian musical culture in the late 90s. How did Bhangra, a fusion of Punjabi folk music with hip hop elements, break into the mainstream and what was its effect on the identities and lives of young British Asians.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Laurie Taylor explores the role of music in our lives with Prof David Hesmondhalgh.

Why Music Matters: David Hesmondhalgh, Professor of Music and Media Industries, examines the role of music in our lives and the ways in which it enriches people and society, or fails to do so. What is music's political and social significance beyond the pleasure it brings? He's joined by Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries. Also, 'Bhangra and Belonging': Falu Bakrania, US lecturer in Race and Resistance Studies, discusses her research into the social life of British Asian musical culture in the late 90s. From Bhangra to Asian underground, she talked to the male artists and female club goers. What impact did this musical explosion have on British Asian identity?

Binge Drinking & British Alcohol Policy - Rural Racism20060920

Does our rural idyll include those of the wrong colour? Laurie Taylor explores the reality of rural racism; the forms it takes and the ways in which it can be challenged.

Biologising Parenthood - A Lost Avant-garde,2015031120150316 (R4)

Laurie Taylor examines the tension between art and money. Also, biologising parenthood.

A lost avant garde: Laurie Taylor examines the tension between art and money in the contemporary art museum. He talks to Matti Bunzl, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, and author of a study which takes a rare look behind the scenes of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. He found that a commitment to new and difficult work came into conflict with an imperative for growth, leading to an excessive focus on the entertaining and profitable.

Also, biologising parenthood: recent years have seen claims about children's brains becoming central to child health and welfare policies. Pam Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University, Birmingham, argues that this has led to a simplistic construction of the child and one which claims parenting to be the main factor in child development.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Birth Of Neo-liberalism; Music, Race And Difference2013011620130121

Tracing the origins of neo-liberalism. Plus, the relationship between race and music.

Neo liberalism - its genesis and development. Laurie Taylor talks to Daniel Stedman Jones, the author of a new book which traces the origins of neo liberal economics. Also, the enduring and complex relationship between race and music. Laurie meets Jo Haynes, the author of a new study which considers the significance of race to the understanding of music genres and preferences. What does the 'love of difference' via music contribute to contemporary perspectives on racism? The research draws on interviews with people from the British world music scene. They're joined by Professor Paul Gilroy.

Producer Jayne Egerton.

Black Emancipation

Black Emancipation20100816

When 'Liberte, egalite, fraternite' first defined the ideals of French Revolution, it was over half century before they applied to the hundreds of thousands of slaves working in the French Colonies.

Similarly the ideals of 'Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness', failed to encompass American slaves until as late as 1863.

When these slaves were freed a complicated debate began on what freedom really meant, and how true freedom would be achieved.

From Booker T Washington to Martin Luther King, from WEB Dubois to Frantz Fanon, ideas of black freedom have been defined, tested and fought for.

In the first of a three part series tracing some of the key ideas of sociology, Laurie Taylor talks to Paul Gilroy, Brett St Louis and Gurminder Bhambra about ideas of black freedom and the impact they have had.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Laurie Taylor discusses emancipation, ideas of black freedom from slavery to the present.

When 'Liberte, egalite, fraternite' first defined the ideals of French Revolution, it was over half century before they applied to the hundreds of thousands of slaves working in the French Colonies. Similarly the ideals of 'Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness', failed to encompass American slaves until as late as 1863. When these slaves were freed a complicated debate began on what freedom really meant, and how true freedom would be achieved.

From Booker T Washington to Martin Luther King, from WEB Dubois to Frantz Fanon, ideas of black freedom have been defined, tested and fought for. In the first of a three part series tracing some of the key ideas of sociology, Laurie Taylor talks to Paul Gilroy, Brett St Louis and Gurminder Bhambra about ideas of black freedom and the impact they have had.

Blame The Parents? - Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong20110822

Blame the parents? New research on UK gangs. Also, Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong.

Are we right to blame the parents? Is there anything they could do? Laurie Taylor speaks to two researchers behind a massive investigation into the families of British gang members. Judith Aldridge and Jon Shute tell him what they discovered about the lives and experience of families with children in gangs and whether it is possible to intervene.

Also, Gordon Mathews, the author of a book about Chungking Mansions, the cheapest accommodation in Hong Kong, describes its multifarious residents. This ramshackle building in the heart of the tourist district is home to a polyethnic melting pot of people - from Pakistani phone stall operators to American backpackers and Indonesian sex workers.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Blame the parents? New research on UK gangs.

Also, Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong.

Are we right to blame the parents? Is there anything they could do? Laurie Taylor speaks to two researchers behind a massive investigation into the families of British gang members.

Judith Aldridge and Jon Shute tell him what they discovered about the lives and experience of families with children in gangs and whether it is possible to intervene.

Also, Gordon Mathews, the author of a book about Chungking Mansions, the cheapest accommodation in Hong Kong, describes its multifarious residents.

This ramshackle building in the heart of the tourist district is home to a polyethnic melting pot of people - from Pakistani phone stall operators to American backpackers and Indonesian sex workers.

Book Publishing - Active Citizenship20101115

Laurie Taylor examines new research about publishing and looks at active citizenship.

Laurie Taylor talks to Cambridge sociologist Professor John Thompson about his book 'Merchants of Culture' which approaches the US/UK publishing trade from an anthropological point of view. Laurie also talks to MP Jesse Norman and author Dan Hind about Dan's new book The Return of the Public arguing for more active citizenship.

Producer: Chris Wilson.

Laurie Taylor talks to Cambridge sociologist Professor John Thompson about his book 'Merchants of Culture' which approaches the US/UK publishing trade from an anthropological point of view.

Laurie also talks to MP Jesse Norman and author Dan Hind about Dan's new book The Return of the Public arguing for more active citizenship.

Boxing Styles Uk Vs Us - Why Nations Fail20120312

Why do some nations remain mired in poverty whilst others thrive? A new book argues that the clue to prosperity has less to do with a country's climate, culture and geography than with the inclusivity of its institutions. Authoritarian regimes may succeed in the short run, but long term wealth is only ensured by secure private property, the rule of law and democracy. James Robinson, Professor of Government at Harvard University, discusses his thesis with Laurie Taylor. They're joined by Paul Collier, Professor of Economics at Oxford University. Also 'A Straight Left against a Slogging Ruffian' - the origins of different boxing styles in the UK and US. Research by, Kasia Boddy, an English lecturer at University College, London, explores the boxing boom in the years leading up to the First World War. How did anxieties about the pre-war balance of power turn into a debate on the pros and cons of English versus American styles of boxing? And does this cultural clash about sporting technique still get played out today?

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Why Nations Fail. Plus boxing, UK and US style.

Breaking Rules; Wall Street Women2012081520120820

The first generation of women to establish themselves on Wall Street began their careers in the 1960s. Laurie Taylor hears from Melissa Fisher about her in depth study of the working lives of the women at the heart of America's financial centre, and Liz Bolshaw joins the discussion to bring a comparison with women in The City of London.

Also, Beth Hardie joins Laurie to discuss her new report on youth crime in Peterborough called Breaking Rules. Does morality have a role in preventing people committing crime? Her study uncovers its importance.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

Inside the world of Wall Street women, and the role of morality in preventing crime.

British Asian Identity - Bsa Annual Conference - Cycle Messengers20060419

What is the significance of employment within Pakistani men's peer group relations? And how do the social dynamics that underlie those relations provide the context for understanding the particular nature and form that ethnicity takes?

Laurie Taylor looks at Britain's South Asian communities, the variations within it and the nature of the inequalities it faces, by exploring how labour market positions influence identity.

British Chinese Pupils - Sudden Deaths20060524
British Society Of Criminology Conference At Leicester University

British Working Class Gardens - Why England Fails (at Football)2014041620140421

Gardens of the British Working Class - the historian, Margaret Willes, considers the remarkable feats of cultivation by the working class in Britain, even if the land they planted and loved was not their own: From lush gardens nurtured outside crumbling workers' cottages to 'green' miracles achieved in blackened yards. In doing so, she reveals the ingenious ways in which determined workers transformed drab surroundings. She's joined by Lisa Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, who has explored the ways in which struggles over classed and gendered tastes are played out in our gardens.

Also, 'Why England Fails At Football' - a sociological account of our international 'shame' from Anthony King, Professor of Sociology at the University of Exeter

Producer: Torquil Macleod.

Exploring a hidden horticultural history, and why England fails at international football.

Builders And Musicians2012071820120723

Building workers constitute between five and ten per cent of the total labour market in almost every country. We rely on them to construct the infrastructure of our societies yet we know little about their culture. The sociologist, Darren Thiel, talks to Laurie Taylor about his study into their every day lives on a London construction site.

Also, drawing on research with musicians in the North East of England, Dr Susan Coulson finds that co-operation, creativity and entrepreneurship make uneasy bedfellows.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Builders' lives and the cooperation between musicians.

Business Schools20180530

Should business schools be shut down? Laurie Taylor examines the arguments.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor examines the role of business schools in the UK and abroad.

Martin Parker joins him in the studio to discuss the arguments in his book Shut Down the Business School - What's Wrong with Management Education. Laurie is joined on the line from New York by the author of The Golden Passport - Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite, Duff McDonald. Are there similarities between the American business school model and its British counterpart?

With some MBAs costing in excess of £75,000 in the UK, what is the lure for prospective students and is the qualification worth the money? Or should we be thinking beyond the monetary value of MBAs and focus instead on what MBA graduates could be giving back to society and the importance of corporate responsibility? Maeve Cohen is the Director of Rethinking Economics, an organisation which argues for a change in the way that economics is taught and calls for more diversity and historical context in the economics curriculum, and she also joins the discussion.

Business Schools2018053020180603 (R4)

Should business schools be shut down? Laurie Taylor examines the arguments.

New research on how society works

Laurie Taylor examines the role of business schools in the UK and abroad.

Martin Parker joins him in the studio to discuss the arguments in his book Shut Down the Business School - What's Wrong with Management Education. Laurie is joined on the line from New York by the author of The Golden Passport - Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite, Duff McDonald. Are there similarities between the American business school model and its British counterpart?

With some MBAs costing in excess of £75,000 in the UK, what is the lure for prospective students and is the qualification worth the money? Or should we be thinking beyond the monetary value of MBAs and focus instead on what MBA graduates could be giving back to society and the importance of corporate responsibility? Maeve Cohen is the Director of Rethinking Economics, an organisation which argues for a change in the way that economics is taught and calls for more diversity and historical context in the economics curriculum, and she also joins the discussion.

Sociological discussion programme, presented by Laurie Taylor.

Butchers; Fat Gay Men2014121720141222 (R4)

Fat gay men: Laurie Taylor examines a world in which men are doubly stigmatised - for their weight as well as their sexuality. Jason Whitesel, an Assistant Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at Pace University in the US, discusses a study which illuminates how such men negotiate and fight back against a gay culture which places them in an inferior and stigmatised position in the 'attractiveness' hierarchy.They're joined by Paul Simpson, a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, who has researched the marginality of older gay men on the gay 'scene'.

Also, the