Thinking AllowedAuthor: BBC Radio 4
18 Jan 2019

Thinking Allowed

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New research on how society works

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    Surveillance

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

  • Posted on 16 Jan 2019

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    Migrants - Refugees

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

  • Posted on 09 Jan 2019

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    Work - what is it good for?

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

  • Posted on 02 Jan 2019

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    Identity

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

  • Posted on 26 Dec 2018

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    Metrics

    Laurie Taylor explores the increasing use of metrics across diverse aspects of our lives. From education to healthcare, charities to policing, we are are target-driven society which places a heavy emphasis on measuring, arguably at times at the expense of individual professional expertise. Laurie is joined by Jerry Muller, Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., who asserts in his book, The Tyranny of Metrics, that we are fixated by metrics, to the extent to which we risk compromising the quality of our lives and most important institutions. He is also joined by Btihaj Ajana, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London, who, in the introduction to the book, Metric Culture - Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices, explains the concept of the 'Quantified Self Movement' - whose philosophy is 'self-knowledge through numbers'. With such a plethora of personal information about ourselves being generated daily are we complicit in creating a culture of surveillance with the blurring of boundaries between the private and public? Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at the University of Cambridge, joins the panel. Producer Natalia Fernandez

  • Posted on 19 Dec 2018

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