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Thinking Allowed

Thinking Allowed

New research on how society works


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Traders and finance: Daniel Beunza - Associate Professor in the Cass Business School at City, University of London, talks to Laurie Taylor about his study of a Wall Street derivatives-trading room. In particular, he explores how the extensive use of financial models and trading technologies over recent decades has exerted a far-ranging influence on Wall Street , one which should alert us to the risks of moral disengagement caused by a dependence on ?models?. Also, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Director of City Political Economy Research Centre at City, University of London , argues that financial malpractice is not an anomaly, but part of a business model of finance which involves the sabotaging of competitors, clients and even the state. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Blood - Laurie Taylor explores the metaphorical, as well as material, reality of blood. He's joined by Gil Anidjar, Professor of Religion and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies at Columbia University, and author of a study which explores the relationship between the history of Christianity and blood. What are the social and political implications of the way in which Christian blood come to be associated with purity and kinship? Also, Janet Carsten - Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, considers the extraordinary symbolic power of blood. She traces the multiple meanings of blood as it moves from donors to labs, hospitals, and patients in Penang, Malaysia, telling the stories of blood donors, lab staff and hospital workers. In the process, she shows that blood is a lens for understanding the entanglements of modern life. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Trust in a time of pandemic

Trust in a time of pandemic. Laurie Taylor explores the role of social capital and trust in combatting Covid-19. He's joined by Michael Calnan, Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Kent and Tannistha Samanta, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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KIDNAP - Millions of people live, travel, and work in areas with significant kidnap risks, yet kidnaps of foreign workers, local VIPs, and tourists are surprisingly rare and the vast majority of abductions are peacefully resolved. Anja Shortland, Reader in Political Economy, King's College London, explores this lucrative but tricky business. Also, Jatin Dua, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, examines the upsurge in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia, taking us inside pirate communities in Somalia. In what ways are modern day pirates connected to longer histories of trade and disputes over protection? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Loneliness - Fay Bound Alberti, Reader in History at the University of York, charts the emergence of loneliness as a contemporary emotional state. Also, Janne Flora, postdoctoral scholar at Aarhus University, explores the deep connections between loneliness and modernity in the Arctic, tracing the history of Greenland and analysing the social dynamics that shaped it. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Citizenship - Carol Vincent, Professor of Sociology of Education, explores the way in which children are being taught about ?fundamental British values? such as democracy and tolerance. Does this government imposed requirement too easily result in a celebration of reductionist symbols and stereotypes of Britishness - 'tea and the Queen'? Also, David Bartram, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Leicester, takes a critical look at a UK ?citizenship process? which subjects immigrants to a test designed to enhance their participation in British political and civic life. Does it work? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Loss: How should we understand the 'road not taken'? Laurie Taylor talks to Susie Scott, Professor of Sociology at the University of Sussex, about her study of lost experience - that vast terrain of things we have not done, that did not happen or that we have not become. Also, Tim Strangleman, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, reveals a lost world of paternalistic employment in which people enjoyed a well-paid job for life, free meals in silver service canteens, after work sports & theatre clubs & a generous pension on the horizon ? the story of the Guinness Brewery in West London. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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WATER ? Laurie Taylor explores the cultural life of a natural substance. Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University, considers the taken for granted-ness of this vital fluid and the everyday connections it forges amongst human beings. They?re joined by Benjamin J. Pauli - Assistant Professor of Social Science at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, whose study of the Flint water crisis describes the way in which ?water warrior? activists have expanded the struggle for water justice, connecting it to a broader fight for democracy. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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NUDITY ? Laurie Taylor explores the cultural history of nudity and its impact on ideas about the body from the early twentieth century to the present. He talks to Sarah Schrank, Professor of History at California State University, about the unusual eras and locations in which it thrived - from Depression-era collectives to 1950s suburban nudist communities?as well as the more predictable beaches and resorts. They?re joined by Barbara Górnicka, Assistant Professor in Sociology at University College, Dublin, who asks why we find exposing bodies shameful and draws on her own participation in a nudist swimming club. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Hidden gay lives

Hidden gay lives: Laurie Taylor uncovers the ?fabuloso? history of Polari, Britain?s secret gay language with Paul Barker, Professor of English Language at Lancaster University. He also talks to the cultural historian, James Polchin, about the ways in which 20th c American crime pages recover a little discussed history of violence against gay men, one in which they were often held responsible for their own victimisation. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Borders: Laurie Taylor explores the control of national borders. He talks to Nira Yuval Davis, Director of the research centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London and co-author of a new book which asks why borders have moved from the margins into the centre of political life and turned many ordinary citizens into untrained border guards. They?re joined by Jeremy Slack, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Texas, who charts the way in which Mexican deportees from the United States become the targets of extreme drug related violence upon their return to Mexico. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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The Power of Oil

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

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

Consumer pleasures - Laurie Taylor explores the place of shopping in our lives, as well as within sociological thought. He's joined by Professor Colin Campbell, Dr Kate Soper and Professor Rachel Bowlby. Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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A Thinking Allowed special on 'love'. What are the origins of our notions of high romantic love? Was the post war period a 'golden age' for lifelong love? Has marriage for love now failed? Laurie Taylor hopes to finds some answers with the help of the social historian, Claire Langhamer, the philosopher, Pascal Bruckner, and the sociologist, Professor Mary Evans.Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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The Religious Right in the US

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

Black music culture: Laurie talks to Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, about his study of the musical life which emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century ? from reggae and soul in the 1970s, to rare groove and rave in the 1980s and jungle in the 1990s. They're joined by Kim-Marie Spence, Post Doctoral Student at Solent University, Southampton, who explores the mixed fortunes of reggae and dancehall within Jamaica and beyond. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Thrift: Through the strictures of the global financial downturn and its aftermath citizens have been urged to ?keep calm and carry on?. This slogan, first coined in the 1940s and revived in the 2000s, found its way into political rhetoric and popular culture. Laurie talks to Rebecca Bramall, lecturer in media and communications at the London College of Communication, about the cultural politics of austerity. Also, Alison Hulme, lecturer in International Development at the University of Northampton, surveys the history of 'thrift' from the early Puritans to Post-war rationing and into consumer culture. What are the overlaps between thrift and austerity? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Time: Laurie Taylor considers the extent to which the way we spend our time has changed over the last fifty years. Is it true that we are working more, sleeping less and addicted to our phones? What does this mean for our health, wealth and happiness? Oriel Sullivan, Professor of Sociology of Gender at the UCL, has taken a detailed look at our daily activities and found some surprising truths about the social and economic structure of the world we live in. Also, Daniel S. Hamermesh, Distinguished Scholar at Barnard College, examines the pressure to do more in less time. Which people are the most rushed & why - from France and Germany to the UK and Japan. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Disasters: Kathleen Tierney, Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, sheds light on the social roots of disaster vulnerability. We know that hurricanes and tsunamis kill, maim, and generate huge financial losses ? but they do not wreak their damage equally across populations. How do countries recover from disasters? Greg Beckett, Assistant Professor in Sociocultural Anthropology at Western University, Ontario, talks about the lives of Haitian people struggling to survive amid the ruins of ecological devastation and economic collapse. In what ways do natural disasters ? principally the 2010 earthquake - amplify existing crises? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Immortality - transhumanism

Immortality: Pursuing a life beyond the human. Anya Bernstein, Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, talks to Laurie Taylor about the Russian visionaries and utopians who seek to overcome the limitations of our material bodies. Also, Alex Thomas, Lecturer in Media Production at the University of East London, explores the ethical dilemmas relating to transhumanism. Who will benefit from technologies which assist the desire to transcend our mortal state? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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'Cool' - Laurie Taylor traces the trajectory of the notion of ?cool? with Joel Dinerstein, Professor of English and American Studies at Tulane University, and author of a study which suggests it originated in American jazz clubs as a stylish defence against racism and cross fertilised with French existentialism and film noir. Also, ?cool shades?: Vanessa Brown, Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, explores the enduring appeal of sunglasses as the ultimate signifiers of ?cool? in mass culture. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Serial killers

Serial killers: Laurie talks to Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Salford, about the media and cultural responses to the child murders committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley two decades earlier. The Moors Murders were to provide an unfortunate template for future media reporting on serial killing, including the crimes committed by Peter Sutcliffe - the Yorkshire Ripper - as described in a new study by Louise Wattis, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Teesside University. Sutcliffe murdered 13 women in the North of England between 1975 and 1980. Dr Wattis discusses the way in which these crimes shed light on how we think about fear of crime, gender and serial murder and the representation of victims and sex workers. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Council estates: Laurie Taylor talks to Insa Lee Koch, Associate Professor in Anthropology at the LSE, and author of a new study which explores the history of housing estates and the every day live of residents on one such estate in southern England. How did council housing turn from being a marker of social inclusion to a marker of abject failure? Also, the origins and symbolism of the ?sink estate?, a term invented by journalists and amplified by think tanks and politicians. Tom Slater, Reader in Urban Geography at the University of Edinburgh, traces the usage of this term and the long term impact of associating council estate residents with effluence and sewage. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Land and territory

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

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

Laurie Taylor asks why so many Islamist extremists come from an engineering background. He talks to Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, about a new study which finds that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent. Is there a mindset susceptible to certain types of extremism? They're joined by Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. Orange prison jumpsuits: Elspeth Van Veeren, Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Bristol, discusses the US prisoner uniform which took on a transnational political life due to the Global War on Terror. Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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TV in prison - Live music in prison

Prison TV: Laurie Taylor considers the therapeutic role of television in the modern day jail. He talks to Victoria Knight, Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester, and author of a new study examining the way in which TVs in cells manage the everyday life and emotions of prisoners; helping deliver both care and control. In addition, she offers insights into how technology in prison is evolving globally. They're joined by David Wilson, Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University. Also, prison 'blues': BB King, the African American Blues musician, died on 14 May 2015. One year on, Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, London, focused on his performances in prisons. Over a 25-year period, B.B. King performed for free in 47 different jails across America. Situating his concerts within a wider political context in which a crisis was unfolding in US prisons, Back explores the implications of King's prison 'blues' and interrogates the meaning of music behind bars. Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Organised crime in the UK

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

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

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

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

Michel Foucault - Laurie Taylor presents a special programme on the life and work of the iconoclastic French philosopher and theorist. He's joined by Professor Stephen Shapiro, Professor Vikki Bell and Professor Lois McNay. Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Erving Goffman - a special programme

Erving Goffman - Laurie Taylor presents a special programme on the work and influence of this groundbreaking Canadian sociologist. He's joined by Professor Gregory Smith, Dr Rachel Hurdley and Dr Susie Scott. Revised repeat. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Walter Benjamin - a special programme on his work and influence

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

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

The Politics of Memorials: Remembering Emmet Till ? in 1955, a young African-American was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at the age of 14, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. Driving through the Mississippi Delta today and you?ll find a landscape dotted with memorials to major figures and moments from the civil rights movement, none more tragic than this murder.The ways in which his death is remembered have been fraught from the beginning, revealing the political controversies which lurk behind the placid facades of historical markers. Dave Tell, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, analyses the various ways that this landmark event in the civil rights movement has been commemorated. Also, Margaret O?Callaghan, Reader in History, Queen?s University Belfast, discusses commemoration in the context of Irish history. How has the marking of the Easter Rising shifted over time? What roles are played by memorials in any society? And what forces dictate what gets remembered and what is forgotten? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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No-Go Zones and Dangerous Holidays

Laurie Taylor discusses the complex relationship between danger, travel and tourism. Ruben Andersson asks whether Western powers should reconsider their treatment of some no-go zones and move away from a politics fired by fear. How can we best calculate the risks of visiting countries where there is the possibility of unrest or worse? Debbie Lisle turns the lens on tourism in areas of conflict and considers what happens when soldiers become tourists and tourists enter war zones. Producers: Natalia Fernandez and Alice Bloch
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Detective fiction - homicide and social media

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

CEO Society ? Laurie Taylor talks to Peter Bloom, Head of the Department of People and Organisations at the Open University and author of a new book which asks why corporate leaders such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have become cultural icons of the 21st century. Also, how did productivity emerge as a way of thinking about job performance? Melissa Gregg, Research Director at Intel, explains why she thinks that time management is actually counterproductive. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Branding: Laurie Taylor explores the 'persuasion industries' and their role in creating modern consumer society. How has their use of an emotional model of brand communication, whether in political campaigning or product advertising, transformed our understanding of the rational consumer? He's joined by Steven McKevitt, Visiting Professor in Brand Communication, at Leeds Beckett University. Also, how 'branding' can desensitize far right consumers to extremist ideas. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Associate Professor of Education and Sociology at American University, discusses her study into the ways in which extremism is going mainstream in Germany through clothing brands laced with racist and nationalist symbols. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Kitsch - Cute

Cute and kitsch - Simon May, visiting professor of philosophy at King?s College London, explores cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions. Also, the changing significance of kitsch, from garden gnomes to Eurotrash. Ruth Holliday, Professor of Gender and Culture at the University of Leeds, suggests that judgements of taste have shifted ground rather than relaxed. They?re joined by the cultural critic, Peter York. This programme was first broadcast in March 2019 Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Debt: we live in a culture of credit with a dramatic surge in private borrowing due to wage stagnation over several decades. Many people will now be indebted until death. Johnna Montgomerie,Reader in International Political Economy King's College London, tells Laurie Taylor why she proposes the abolition of household debt in the context of a chronically dysfunctional situation, both individually and collectively. Also, the story of the National Debt. Martin Slater, Emeritus Fellow in Economics at the University of Oxford, explores its changing fortunes and role in shaping the course of British history. How has Britain been moulded by attempts to break fee of the debt, from post war Keynesian economics to today's austerity? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Spectacular Cities

Spectacular urbanisation: The world?s tallest building is in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in soccer will be played in fabulous Qatar facilities. But what role do the sensational cities of the Arabian Peninsula play in urban development across the Earth? Laurie Taylor talks to Harvey Molotch, Professor of Sociology at New York University and to Davide Ponzini , Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Also, Natalie Koch, Associate Professor of Geography at Syracuse University, asks why autocrats in resource rich nations build spectacular new capital cities. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Corridors: We spend our lives moving through hallways and corridors, yet these channelling spaces do not feature in architectural histories. They are overlooked and undervalued. Laurie talks to Roger Luckhurst, Professor of Modern Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, whose new book charts the origins and meaning of the corridor, from country houses and utopian communities in the eighteenth centuries, through reformist Victorian prisons to the "corridors of power," as well as their often fearful depiction in popular culture. They?re joined by Kate Marshall, Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and author of a study of the intriguing place of the corridor in modernist literature. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Skateboarding - Parkour

Skateboarding and parkour: Laurie Taylor explores lifestyle sports in the hyper regulated city. Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at UCL, considers the origins, history and thrill of skateboarding. They're joined by Thomas Raymen, Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Plymouth, who followed a group of Newcastle free running enthusiasts, from wall to rooftop, and probed the contradictions between transgression and conformity to the values of consumer capitalism. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Snobbery is defined as the behaviour or attitude of people who think they are better than others. Laurie Taylor explores the social history, meaning and changing nature of this sense of superiority. He talks to David Morgan, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, Bev Skeggs, Professor of Sociology at the LSE and Florence Sutcliffe Braithwaite, Lecturer in 20th Century History at University College, London. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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Walls: A social history of the human made barrier which has divided people into those who should be kept safe and those who should be excluded. From Hadrian?s Wall and the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall. Laurie Taylor talks to David Frye, Professor of History at Eastern Connecticut University and Wendy Pullan, Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Cambridge.
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Motorbikes: Born to be wild. Randy McBee, Professor of Labor and Social History at the Texas Tech University, considers the rise of the American Motorcyclist from its largely working-class roots to the growth in "outlaw" motorcycle culture in the 1950s through to the development of the motorcycle rights movement of the 1960s and the emergence of the rich urban biker more recently. What impact has the 'biker' had on American culture and politics? He's joined by Esperanza Miyake, Lecturer in Digital Media and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, and author of a new study of the 'gendered motorcycle' in film, advertising and TV. She asks why biker culture is often seen as essentially masculine and what happens to gender at 120mph. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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The Class Ceiling

The Class Ceiling: Why it pays to be privileged. Drawing on four in-depth case studies ? acting, accountancy, architecture and television ? Sam Friedman, Associate Professor in Sociology at the LSE, argues that the ?class ceiling? in the elite professions can only be partially attributed to conventional measures of ?merit?. Instead, he suggests that more powerful drivers include the misrecognition of classed self-presentation as ?talent? and the affordances of the ?Bank of Mum and Dad?. He's joined by Louise Ashley, Senior Lecturer in Organization Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London and Anna Williams, Director of Research, Advocacy and Communications at the Sutton Trust. Producer: Jayne Egerton
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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