Show cover of Uncommon Sense

Uncommon Sense

Our world afresh, through the eyes of sociologists.Brought to you by The Sociological Review, Uncommon Sense is a space for questioning taken-for-granted ideas about society – for imagining better ways of living together and confronting our shared crises. Hosted by Rosie Hancock in Sydney and Alexis Hieu Truong in Ottawa, featuring a different guest each month, Uncommon Sense insists that sociology is for everyone – and that you definitely don’t have to be a sociologist to think like one!Support Uncommon SenseUncommon Sense is a project of the Sociological Review Foundation, an academic charity whose mission is to promote sociological thinking to audiences beyond academia.There is a long and heartening tradition of listener support for independent podcasts. If you enjoy what you’ve learned from our series so far, we’d be grateful for your support for the creation of future Uncommon Sense episodes.Make a one-off or regular donation to Uncommon Sense

Tracks

Making, with Kat Jungnickel
What does it mean to make things? Why are some people valorised as “makers”, while others are rendered invisible? And what duty do sociologists have as makers of knowledge and narratives? The “sewing cycling sociologist” Kat Jungnickel joins Uncommon Sense to discuss all this and more; including her years of research celebrating historic female cyclists as radical inventors, makers and hackers, responding to barriers to their freedom of movement and raising crucial questions about power and space.Rosie (no stranger to DIY) and Alexis (a lifelong fan of taking things apart) ask Kat: what exactly is “Science and Technology Studies” (STS) and what’s the idea of the “black box” all about? How are the factory workers who make “our” clothes regarded in academia and beyond? Aren’t we all “makers” now, feeding our “smart” devices? And what can we learn from “Do It Together” (DIT) communities, like those Kat studied for her doctoral work in Australia, where she met people building their own wi-fi networks? Are they performing radical resistance to capitalism, or simply dealing with its downsides?Plus: Kat celebrates the work of thinkers who inspire her, including Saidiya Hartman. Hartman’s “Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments”, Kat suggests, invites us to interrogate and remake established narratives, and to make space for those previously dismissed and denied a voice. Also discussed: John Urry, John Law, Angela McRobbie, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour and more.Production Note: This episode was recorded before Kat Jungnickel's home institution of Goldsmiths, University of London announced organisational restructuring, which includes plans to make more than 50% of academic staff in the Department of Sociology redundant.Guest: Kat JungnickelHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon SenseEpisode ResourcesBy Kat JungnickelBikes and Bloomers and the project’s open-source sewing patternsPolitics of PatentsMaking Things to make Sense of ThingsMaking WiFiKat’s websiteFrom The Sociological ReviewWords failed us: Repairing sociology’s haunted past means finding new language to write about the social world – Gala Rexer“The Promises of Practice” – Christopher Gad, Casper Bruun Jensen“Fixing the future? How architects make time in buildings for later life care” – Siân M. Beynon-Jones, et al.Further reading“Science in Action” – Bruno Latour“Staying with the Trouble” – Donna Haraway“Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments” – Saidiya Hartman“A Social History of American Technology” (2nd edition) – Ruth Schwartz Cowan, Matthew H. HerschSupport Uncommon SenseUncommon Sense is a project of the Sociological Review Foundation, a charity whose mission is to promote sociological thinking to audiences beyond academia.There is a long and heartening tradition of listener support for independent podcasts. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and learned from Uncommon Sense, we’d be grateful for your support for the creation of future episodes.Make a one-off or regular donation
40:12 5/17/24
Burnout, with Hannah Proctor
Burnout has become a byword for workplace exhaustion, but does it have a deeper history? Hannah Proctor joins us to explain how the notion emerged in the USA’s 1960s countercultural free clinics movement, at first relating to the emotional defeat of idealistic activists but came to be seen as simply the result of working too hard. It’s a story that tracks the trajectory of capitalism itself – as Hannah shows referencing thinkers from Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello to filmmaker Adam Curtis.Rosie and Alexis ask Hannah: are there gendered, classed and racialised aspects to how burnout gets discussed? How do structural conditions prevent us from caring for caregivers? And how do the statements of those in power undermine or validate the causes we care about, and thus compound our feelings of defeat and exhaustion?Hannah explains what psychiatrist Frantz Fanon's work teaches us about the challenges and contradictions of striving to make people “well” in a sick society. Plus, she tells us why the Black Panther phrase “survival pending revolution” is a crucial reminder that while small-scale acts of care remain essential, only wholesale reform can ensure a better, less burnout, world for all.Guest: Hannah ProctorHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon SenseEpisode ResourcesRecommended by Hannah“Hyper” – A. IsmaïlFrom The Sociological ReviewThe Stigma Conversations: Apocalypse and Change – I. Tyler, A. KnoxUncommon Sense: Care – B. Skeggs, R. Hancock, A. H. TruongHealing, knowing, enduring: Care and politics in damaged worlds – M. Tironi, I. Rodríguez-GiraltBy Hannah ProctorBurnout: The Emotional Experience of Political Defeat“Sadistic, grinning rifle-women” in Gender, Emotions and Power, 1750–2020university profile and websiteFurther reading“Burn-out: The High Cost of High Achievement” – H. J. Freudenberger, G. Richelson“Staff Burn‐Out” – H. J. Freudenberger“How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” – A. H. Petersen“Edifice Complex” – B. Ansfield“The making of burnout” – M. J. Hoffarth“Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties” – M. Davis, J. Wiener“The New Spirit of Capitalism” – L. Boltanski, E. Chiapello“The Care Manifesto” – The Care Collective“Revolutionary Suicide” – H. P. Newton“The Case of Blackness” – F. Moten“The Wretched of the Earth” – F. Fanon“Disalienation” – C. RobcisRead about Isabelle Le Pain’s work and watch Adam Curtis's films.Support Uncommon SenseUncommon Sense is a project of the Sociological Review Foundation, a charity whose mission is to promote sociological thinking to audiences beyond academia.There is a long and heartening tradition of listener support for independent podcasts. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and learned from Uncommon Sense, we’d be grateful for your support for the creation of future episodes.Make a one-off or r
48:57 4/19/24
Privilege, with Shamus Khan
What does privilege look like today? How do the advantaged perform “ease”? And why do some of us feel at home in elite spaces, while others feel awkward? Princeton sociologist Shamus Khan joins Uncommon Sense to reflect on elites, entitlement and more. Reminding us that “poor people are not why there’s inequality; rich people are why there’s inequality”, he highlights the importance of studying elites for studying inequality, as the gap between the two grows.Being the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St Paul’s School (2011), Shamus tells Rosie and Alexis about how the way elites justify and see their position has shifted – and how a disability studies perspective helps us to cast a critical eye on the “ease” with which the few seem to nimbly navigate elite institutions. What seems like some of us “have it” and others “just don’t” is, suggests Shamus, socially produced – and what appears to be a “flat” and open world, ripe for the bold to seize, is really far more complex.Plus: why might people who share the same knowledge be valued differently when that knowledge is held in different – racialised, minoritised – bodies? Also: why TV shows and movies about elites don’t stop at Saltburn, Succession and The Kardashians?Guest: Shamus KhanHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon SenseEpisode ResourcesFrom The Sociological ReviewSpatial Delight: Space Invaders – N. Puwar, A. LisiakUncommon Sense: Taste – I. Karademir Hazir, R. Hancock, A. H. Truong‘Talent-spotting’ or ‘social magic’? Inequality, cultural sorting and constructions of the ideal graduate in elite professions – N. Ingram, K. AllenBy Shamus KhanPrivilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's SchoolSaying Meritocracy and Doing Privilege (co-authored with Colin Jerolmack)How Cultural Capital Emerged in Gilded Age America (co-authored with Fabien Accominotti, Adam Storer)Further reading“Flexible Citizenship” – A. Ong“Space Invaders” – N. Puwar“Learning to Labour” – P. Willis“Understanding audience segmentation” – R. Peterson“Reality Television and Class” – B. Skeggs, H. Wood“‘Oh goodness, I am watching reality TV’: How methods make class in audience research” – B. Skeggs, N. Thumim, H. Wood“Capital in the 21st Century” – T. PikettyRead more about  Shey O’Brien, Fabien Acconomoti, Pierre Bourdieu and Frantz Fanon.Support Uncommon SenseUncommon Sense is a project of the Sociological Review Foundation, a charity whose mission is to promote sociological thinking to audiences beyond academia.There is a long and heartening tradition of listener support for independent podcasts. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and learned from Uncommon Sense, we’d be grateful for your support for the creation of future episodes.Make a one-off or regular donation
48:20 3/15/24
Rules, with Swethaa Ballakrishnen
What are rules for? What's at stake if we assume that they're neutral? And if we want rules to be progressive, does it matter who makes them? Socio-legal scholar Swethaa Ballakrishnen joins Uncommon Sense to reflect on this and more, highlighting the value of studying law not just in theory but in action, and drawing on a career spanning law and academia in India and the USA.As the author of "Accidental Feminism", which explores unintended parity in the Indian legal profession, Swethaa talks to Rosie and Alexis about intention and whether it is always needed for positive outcomes. We also ask: in a society characterised as “post-truth”, does anyone even care about rules anymore? Plus, Swethaa dissects the trope of “neutrality” – firmly embedded in legal discourse, from the idea of “blind justice” to the notion of equality before the law. There are dangers, they explain, to assuming that law is neutral, particularly given that it is often those in power who get to make and extend the rules – something critical race scholars have long been aware of.Swethaa also fills us in on their recent interest in the TV show "Ted Lasso" and considers pop culture that speaks to our theme, including the series "Made in Heaven" and "Extraordinary Attorney Woo", plus a short film by Arun Falara.Guest: Swethaa BallakrishnenHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom The Sociological ReviewSocio-legal Implications for Digital Environmental Activism – Audrey Verma et al.The Moral Rhetoric of a Civilized Society – Susanna MenisDepoliticisation, hybridisation and dual processes of stigmatisation – Shaoying ZhangBy Swethaa BallakrishnenAccidental FeminismLaw School as Straight SpaceGender Regimes and the Politics of Privacy (co-authored with Kalpana Kannabiran)“At Odds with Everything Around Me” in Out of Place (forthcoming)“Of Queerness, Rights, and Utopic Possibilities” (interview) – part of Queering the (Court)RoomFurther reading, viewing and listening“Lawyers and the Construction of Transnational Justice” – Yves Dezalay, Bryant Garth (eds)“Criminal Behavior as an Expression of Identity and a Form of Resistance” – Kathryne Young“The Language of Law School” – Elizabeth MertzTV series: “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, “Ted Lasso”, “Made in Heaven”“Sunday” (short film)– Arun FularaUncommon Sense: Performance, with Kareem KhubchandaniRead more about the work of David B. Wilkins and Deborah L. Rhode.
45:20 1/19/24
Spirituality, with Andrew Singleton
What exactly is spirituality? How does it relate to religion? Are both misunderstood? And what stands beyond and behind the idea that it has all simply been commodified to be about wellness, big business and celebrity? Andrew Singleton joins Uncommon Sense to reflect on this and more, including his experience researching young people’s spiritual practices in Australia, and time spent in Papua New Guinea.Andrew describes how what has been called the “spiritual turn” emerged through the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s and led to today’s “spiritual marketplace”. We ask whether the young people of today’s Generation Z are more open-minded than their elders – and whether, across the Global North and Global South, people are meeting a need for betterment in the “here and now” through spirituality, but also religion.Plus: what did Marx really mean when he described religion as the “opium of the people” – and how has that quote taken on a (rather cynical) life of its own? Also, from reactions to the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love to the historical condemnation of female fortune tellers, why do our definitions and dismissals of spirituality seem to be so deeply gendered?Guest: Andrew SingletonHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom The Sociological ReviewThe spiritual turn and the disenchantment of the world: Max Weber, Peter Berger and the religion–science conflict – Galen Watts, Dick HoutmanThe “Belief” issue of The Sociological Review Magazine (May 2022)Capitalising on faith? An intergenerational study of social and religious capital among Baby Boomers and Millennials in Britain – Stuart Fox, et al.By Andrew SingletonFreedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and Diversity (co-authored with M.L. Rasmussen, A. Halafoff, G. Bouma)Religion, Culture and Society: A Global ApproachThe Spirit of Generation Y: Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia (co-authored with M. Mason, R. Webber)Further reading and listening“Selling Yoga” and “Peace Love Yoga” – Andrea Jain“Selling Spirituality” – Jeremy Carrette, Richard King“Selling (Con)spirituality and COVID-19 in Australia” – Anna Halafoff, et al.“Women's Work: The Professionalisation and Policing of Fortune-Telling in Australia” – Alana Piper“Science and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Tasman World” – Alexandra Roginski“The Dream” podcast – Jane MarieRead more on the life and work of Gary Bauma, as well as about Karl Marx and Michel Foucault.
40:13 12/15/23
Anxiety, with Nicky Falkof
Anxiety is part of contemporary life, yet rarely seen as anything other than personal and intimately psychological. Cultural Studies scholar Nicky Falkof joins us to discuss her work on fear and anxiety in South Africa, and how such negative emotions are often collective and collectively constructed – and relate deeply to our identities. Indeed, as Nicky tells us, if you ask yourself what or whom you’re scared of, you quickly face the question of who you think you are. Hear about Nicky’s teenage engagement in goth culture as South Africa approached the end of apartheid, and how it led her to think critically about fear and social change. Plus, she explains why that country, and Johannesburg in particular – as explored in her new book “Worrier State” – is seen as such a fascinating site for studying anxiety. With Rosie and Alexis, she also reflects on the architecture of fear – and why some people are unjustly expected to live in fear while others feel entitled to fight it.We also take on the trope of reflexivity, as Nicky considers how being truly reflexive requires not just introspection and soul-searching but meaningful practical action. With reflection on thinkers from Zygmunt Bauman to Jacob Dlamini and from Sara Ahmed to Sigmund Freud. Plus: what can the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles possibly teach us about anxiety?Guest: Nicky FalkofHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom The Sociological Review‘Under attack’: Responsibility, crisis and survival anxiety amongst manager-academics in UK universities – Vik LovedayDecolonising and re-theorising the meaning of democracy: A South African perspective – Heidi Brooks, Trevor Ngwane, Carin RuncimanSocial class, symbolic domination, and Angst: The example of the Norwegian social space – Andreas Schmitz, Magne Flemmen, Lennart RosenlundBy Nicky FalkofWorrier State: Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South AfricaThe End of Whiteness: Satanism and family murder in South AfricaFind out more on Nicky’s websiteFurther reading“The Cultural Politics of Emotion” – Sara Ahmed“Gender Trouble” – Judith Butler“Liquid Fear” – Zygmunt Bauman“Female Fear Factory” – Pumla Dineo Gqola“Native Nostalgia” – Jacob DlaminiRead more about Sigmund Freud, and the work of Johnny Steinberg.
46:05 11/17/23
Success, with Jo Littler
“If you’re talented and work hard, success (whatever that is) will be yours!” – So says the powerful system and ideology known as “meritocracy”. But if only it were so simple! Jo Littler joins Uncommon Sense to reflect on where this idea came from, how it became mainstream, and how it gets used by elites to convince us we live in a system that is open and fair when the reality is anything but that.But Jo also shows things are changing. Since the crash of 2008 it’s been clear we’re living and working on a far from “level” playing field. Jo describes the recent embrace of non-work and the rise of assertive “left feminisms” as a sign of hope that the tide may be turning against meritocracy and shallow ideas of success, and discusses the work of people leading the way. Plus: we reflect on the trope of escape. Why is it so often that to “succeed” in life, one must leave the place that they’re from and embrace the risky and new? And what’s up with the cliche of the “ladder” as a visual image for success? Jo reflects with reference to everyone from Ayn Rand to Raymond Williams. Also: we consider the 1990s rise of the “Mumpreneur” and the more recent phenomenon of the “Cleanfluencer”.Guest: Jo LittlerHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesJo, Alexis and Rosie recommendC. Carraway’s book “Skint Estate”M. Brown and R. Jones’ book “Paint Your Town Red”D. Aronofsky’s film “Requiem for a Dream”R. Linklater’s film “Slacker”From The Sociological ReviewSociological reflections on ‘doing’ aspiration within the psychic landscape of class – Kim AllenBirds of a Feather – Natalie WreyfordThe price of the ticket revised –  Anthony Miro BornBy Jo LittlerAgainst MeritocracyMrs Hinch, the rise of the cleanfluencer and the neoliberal refashioning of housework (co-authored with Emma Casey)Left Feminisms: Conversations on the Personal and PoliticalFurther reading“The Rise of the Meritocracy” – Michael Young“The Coming of Post-industrial Society” – Daniel Bell“Coloniality and Meritocracy in Unequal EU Migrations” – Simone Varriale“Perceptions of Meritocracy in Singapore” – Terri-Anne Teo“Meritocracy and Elitism in a Global City” – Kenneth Paul Tan“The Tyranny of Merit” – Michael Sandel“Inequality by Design” – Claude Fischer, et al.“Notes on the Perfect”– Angela McRobbie“Culture and Society” – Raymond WilliamsRead more about the industrial sociologist Alan Fox, the work of Bev Skeggs on respectability politics, the work of Nancy Fraser, and the Billionaire Britain 2022 report by The Equality Trust.
43:51 10/20/23
BONUS EPISODE – Public Sociology, with Gary Younge, Chantelle Lewis, Cecilia Menjívar & Michaela Benson
What is public sociology and why does it matter more than ever? Gary Younge, Chantelle Lewis and Cecilia Menjívar join Michaela Benson to reflect on its meaning, value and stakes. In a time of perpetual crisis and gross inequality, how can sociologists best change minds and set agendas? Why are some voices valued over others? And who does being truly “public” involve more than simply being high profile?Gary Younge reflects on what sociologists and journalists can teach each other – and the ongoing struggle in the UK for space in which work on race can be truly incubated and explored. Cecilia Menjívar describes her deep engagement with migration and gender-based violence – and how in Latin America, “public sociology” is simply “sociology”. And Chantelle Lewis describes the lack of value applied to black scholarship in UK academia – and urges us to embrace hope, honesty and solidarity.An essential listening! Discussing thinkers ranging from E.H. Carr on history to Maria Marcela Lagarde on feminicide, plus Stuart Hall, Hazel Carby, bell hooks, ​​Sheila Rowbotham and many more.Guests: Gary Younge, Chantelle Lewis, Cecilia MenjívarHost: Michaela BensonExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom The Sociological ReviewStrategies of public intellectual engagement – Mohamed Amine Brahimi, et al.An interventionist sociologist: Stuart Hall, public engagement and racism – Karim MurjiCurating Sociology – Nirmal Puwar, Sanjay SharmaBy our guestsGary’s books Dispatches from the Diaspora & Another Day in the Death of AmericaChantelle’s co-produced podcast Surviving SocietyCecilia’s work on migration and gender-based violenceFurther reading“Gary Younge: how racism shaped my critical eye” – Gary Younge“Women's Liberation & the New Politics” – Sheila Rowbotham“For Public Sociology” – Michael Burawoy“What is History?” – E.H. Carr“Beyond the blade” – investigation by The GuardianRead more about the work of Hazel Carby, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall and bell hooks, the life and work of Marcela Lagarde and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the work of Jane Addams on public housing, as well as the poet, essayist and activist June Jordan.
59:45 9/29/23
Performance, with Kareem Khubchandani
From Shakespeare to RuPaul, we all love a performance. But what exactly is it? What are its boundaries, its powers, its potential, its stakes? Kareem Khubchandani, who also performs as LaWhore Vagistan – “everyone's favourite desi drag queen aunty” – joins Uncommon Sense to unpack the latest thinking on refusal, repetition and more. And to discuss “Ishtyle”, Kareem’s ethnography of gay Indian nightlife in Chicago and Bangalore, which attends to desire and fun in the lives of global Indian workers too often stereotyped as cogs in the wheels of globalisation.Kareem also reflects on the particular value of queer nightlife, and celebrates how drag kings skilfully unmask what might be the ultimate performance: heteromasculinity. We also ask: what do thinkers like Bourdieu and Foucault reveal about performance? Why is there still a way to go in our understanding of drag and how might decolonising it serve us all? Plus: why calling something “performative” is actually not about calling things “fake”? In fact, performance can make things “real”…With reflection on Judith Butler, “Paris is Burning”, “RuPaul's Drag Race” and clubbing in Sydney and Tokyo.Guest: Kareem KhubchandaniHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom The Sociological ReviewAdvantages of upper-class backgrounds: Forms of capital, school cultures and educational performance – Vegard Jarness, Thea Bertnes Strømme‘You've Gotta Learn how to Play the Game’: Homeless Women's Use of Gender Performance as a Tool for Preventing Victimization – Laura Huey, Eric BerndtPerforming the Disabled Body in Academia – Luke WalkerBy Kareem KhubchandaniIshtyleDecolonize DragQueer Nightlife (co-edited with Kemi Adeyemi and Ramón Rivera-Servera)Dance Floor DivasKareem’s website, including more about LaWhore VagistanFurther reading and viewing“Introduction to Performing Refusal/Refusing to Perform” – Lilian G. Mengesha, Lakshmi Padmanabhan“Everynight Life” – Celeste Fraser Delgado, José Esteban Muñoz (editors)“Cruising Utopia” – José Esteban Muñoz“Gender Trouble” – Judith Butler“Camera Lucida” – Roland Barthes“Paris is Burning” (film) – Jennie LivingstoneRead more about the work of Dhiren Borisa, Saidiya V Hartman, D. Soyini Madison and Joshua Chambers-Letson; as well as Pierre Bourdieu, Erving Goffman, Mikhail Bakhtin and Michel Foucault.
53:35 9/15/23
Nature, with Catherine Oliver
It is increasingly accepted that we cannot take nature for granted. But do we even know what nature is? Catherine Oliver brings her expertise in geography and sociology – plus her love of chickens – to the latest Uncommon Sense to reflect on what’s at stake in how we think of and relate to “nature” – and how we might do better. Along the way, she considers what happens when neoliberalism shapes what “good” nature is – whether in regeneration or meddling with metabolisms.Alexis and Rosie also ask Catherine: how might the chicken be “thriving” yet also “extinct”? What potential is there in speaking of the “more than” and “beyond” human? And what responsibility do social scientists have for the age-old binaries that split humans from wider nature?Plus: a celebration of Andrea Arnold’s “Cow”, Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” trilogy and – Alexis’ favourite – “Captain Planet”.Guest: Catherine OliverHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesCatherine, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedAndrea Arnold’s film “Cow”Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” book trilogyTV series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers”Evia Wylk’s essay collection “Death by Landscape”From The Sociological ReviewPerforming the classification of nature – Claire WatertonDaphne the Cat: Reimagining human–animal boundaries on Facebook – Verónica PolicarpoUnnatural Times? The Social Imaginary and the Future of Nature – Kate SoperBy Catherine OliverRising with the rooster: How urban chickens are relaxing the pace of lifeTransforming paradise: Neoliberal regeneration and more-than-human urbanism in BirminghamThe Opposite of ExtinctionReturning to 'The Good Life'? Chickens and Chicken-keeping during Covid-19 in BritainMetabolic ruminations with climate cattle: towards a more-than-human metabo-politics (co-authored with Jonathon Turnbull)Further reading“Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save” – Tyson Yunkaporta“Toward equality: Including non-human animals in studies of lived religion and nonreligion” – Lori G. Beaman, Lauren Strumos“A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet” – Raj Patel, Jason W. Moore“The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir” – Alice Walker“The Chicken Book” – Page Smith, Charles DanielRead more about the work of Zoe Todd, Adam Searle, Anna Tsing, Anna Guasco, Paige Colton and The Care Collective.
43:39 7/14/23
Europeans, with Manuela Boatcă
Does anyone know what European means? Manuela Boatcă thought she did, until a late 1990s move from Romania to Germany unsettled everything she had taken for granted. In this episode, she challenges mainstream ideas of “Europe” to show how its borders extend to the Caribbean (and beyond) – a fact that’s obvious if we acknowledge colonialism’s past and present, but is an inconvenient truth for some in political power.Alexis and Rosie ask Manuela: How has Brexit revealed the contradictions built into so much discourse about “Europe”? How does “Creolizing” theory differ from “Decolonising” it? And what is the legacy of early sociologist Max Weber’s leading question: why the West?Plus: a celebration of Immanuel Wallerstein’s World Systems approach, which decentres the nation state. With reflection on Stuart Hall, Edouard Glissant, Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih.Guest: Manuela BoatcăHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesManuela, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedArton Capital’s The Passport Index“Europe” travel guidesAntoni Gaudi’s Sagrada FamíliaDaša Drndić’s novel “Canzone Di Guerra”From The Sociological ReviewThe material effects of Whiteness – Aleksandra LewickiPuzzlement of a déjà vu – Nirmal PuwarThe ambiguous lives of ‘the other whites’ – Dominika Blachnika-Ciacek, Irma Budinaite-MackineBy Manuela BoatcăThinking Europe Otherwise(Dis)United KingdomCounter-Mapping as MethodWhat does British citizenship have to do with Global Social Inequalities?Further reading“Provincializing Europe” – Dipesh Chakrabarty“Poetics of relation” – Édouard Glissant“The Creolization of Theory” – Shu-mei Shih, Françoise Lionnet“Sweetness And Power” – Sidney Mintz“The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” – Max Weber“The Essential Wallerstein” – Immanuel WallersteinRead more about the work of Stuart Hall, Fernand Braudel, Aníbal Quijano, Enrique Dussel, Walter Mignolo, Fernando Coronil and Salman Sayyid.
49:43 6/16/23
Solidarity, with Suresh Grover, Shabna Begum & Karis Campion
AUDIO CONTENT WARNING: description of extreme racist violenceIn 1993, Black British teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack that sparked a long fight for justice and led the UK to ask questions of itself and its institutions. Three decades on – with The Runnymede Trust’s Shabna Begum, and Suresh Grover of The Monitoring Group – Karis Campion of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre hosts this special episode to ask: who are we now? What happened to anti-racist solidarity and how can it progress?Karis and guests reflect on the fragmentation of “political blackness”, “monitoring” as a radical act inspired by The Black Panther Party, and the importance of showing systemic racism while doing justice to individual lives. Plus: what does social media offer to anti-racism when the internet provides fertile ground for prejudice? And what are the costs of fighting for change in an unjust world?With reference to the activist writer Ambalavaner Sivanandan, the feminist scholar Audre Lorde, the social geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and more. A collaboration between the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre and The Sociological Review.Guests: Suresh Grover, Shabna BegumHost: Karis CampionExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesFrom Karis, Shabna and SureshKaris’ work at The Stephen Lawrence Research CentreShabna’s book “From Sylhet to Spitalfields”Suresh in conversation with Paul GilroyFurther reading“Abolition Geography” – Ruth Wilson Gilmore“Another Day in the Death of America” – Gary Younge“Here to Stay, Here to Fight” – Paul Field, et al. (eds)“I Write What I Like” – Steve Biko“Policing the Crisis” – Stuart Hall, et al.“Race and Resistance” – Ambalavaner Sivanandan“The Uses of Anger” – Audre LordeOnline resourcesOver-policed and under-protected: the road to Safer Schools – The Runnymede TrustThe Baroness Casey Review (this episode was recorded prior to this publication)The Black Panther Party – US National ArchivesThe Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – Sir William MacphersonFind out more about Quddus Ali and the cases of Michael Menson, Ricky Reel, Rolan Adams and Rohit Duggal, as well as the activist Claudia Jones.And check out The Monitoring Group and The Runnymede Trust, as well as The Stephen Lawrence Centre Archive.
59:30 5/19/23
EPISODE SWAP – Who do we think we are? presents Global Britain: Of Kings, Songs and Migrants
What does Eurovision have to do with the Coronation? In this episode swap, the team at Who do we think we are? is talking about what we learn about “Global Britain” and its imagined community by looking at how migrants understand major cultural events.Elena Zambelli explains what social scientists mean when they talk about the imagined community. Laura Clancy, sociologist of the royal family, joins us to talk about the missing voices in conversations about the future of the British monarchy. Co-hosts Nando Sigona and Michaela Benson reflect on what British citizens living abroad, EU citizens and others who have made the UK their homes told them about how they understand Britain and their place within it following Brexit. What does hearing from them about the monarchy, the Commonwealth Games and Eurovision make visible about the new borders of political membership and symbolic boundaries of belonging?In this episode we cover:The imagined communityThe monarchy and the myth of the British nationEurovision, the Commonwealth Games and Royal EventsActive listening questions:What imagined community, or imagined communities, do you feel that you belong to?  Are there public events during which you do or could celebrate your belonging to this or these communities? Which ones? Who do you think is excluded from this imagined community and how? And what does this tell us about the symbolic boundaries of this community?Find more about:What EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU think about the monarchy in Elena and Catherine’s article in The Sociological Review MagazineThe concept of imagined community in Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities and the critique offered by Partha Chatterjee’s The Nation and its FragmentsLaura’s sociology of the royal family in her book Running the family firm and the Surviving Society podcast miniseries The Global Power of the British MonarchyOur podcast picks for this episode are:Academic Aunties on “Harry and Meghan”The Allusionist on EurovisionConversations with IRiS on Political DemographyFollow Who do we think we are? on all major podcasting platforms or through their RSS Feed, and follow the podcast on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.Get all the latest updates from the MIGZEN research project on Twitter and Instagram.
46:47 5/12/23
Breakups, with Ilana Gershon
“Follow”? “Block”? “Accept”? Anthropologist Ilana Gershon joins us to reflect on breakups in both our intimate and working lives. She tells Alexis and Rosie how hearing her students’ surprising stories of using new media – supposedly a tool for connection – to end romantic entanglements led to her 2010 book “The Breakup 2.0”. She also shares insights from studying hiring in corporate America and describes how, in the febrile “new economy”, the very nature of networking and how we understand our careers have been transformed.Ilana also celebrates Marilyn Strathern’s influential article “Cutting the Network” for challenging our assumptions about endless and easy connection. She responds to the work of sociologists Richard Sennett and Mark Granovetter, and highlights Teri Silvio’s theory of “animation” as a fruitful way of thinking about our online selves.Plus: Rosie, Alexis and Ilana share their pop culture picks on this month’s theme, from the hit TV show “Severance” to the phenomenon of “shitposting” on Linkedin.Guest: Ilana GershonHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesIlana, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedDan Erickson’s TV series “Severance”“shitposting” on Linkedin, as discussed by Bethan Kapur for VICEThe Quebec reality TV show “Occupation Double”Halle Butler’s novel “The New Me”From The Sociological Review“A Sociological Playlist” – Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock“The Sociology of Love” – Julia Carter“Becoming Ourselves Online: Disabled Transgender Existence In/Through Digital Social Life” – Christian J. Harrison“The Politics of Digital Peace, Play, and Privacy during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Between Digital Engagement, Enclaves, and Entitlement” – Francesca SobandeFrom Uncommon Sense: “Intimacy, with Katherine Twamley”By Ilana Gershon“The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media”“The Breakup 2.1: The ten-year update”“Un-Friend My Heart: Facebook, Promiscuity, and Heartbreak in a Neoliberal Age”“Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today”“Neoliberal Agency”Further reading“Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan” – Teri Silvio“Forms of Talk” – Erving Goffman“The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism” – Richard Sennett“The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain” – Francesca Sobande“The Strength of Weak Ties” – Mark S. Granovetter“Cutting the Network” – Marilyn StrathernAnd have a look at the basics of Actor–Network Theory.
47:16 4/14/23
Taste, with Irmak Karademir Hazir
What makes “good” taste? Who decides? And what’s it got to do with inequality? Sociologist Irmak Karademir Hazir grew up watching women in her parents’ clothing boutique. She explains how her fascination for taste emerged from that and why talking about things like fashion, film and music is far from trivial – it’s how we distinguish ourselves from others; how we’re recognised, or dismissed.Irmak tells Rosie and Alexis how sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu have theorised “distinction”, showing how “highbrow” taste is decided by those with money and other kinds of capital. They also discuss the idea of the “cultural omnivore” and ask: Is what looks like broad consumption – of everything from opera to grime – just elitism in disguise?Plus: Why are Marvel blockbusters Irmak’s “guilty pleasure”? Why is “symbolic violence” as scary as it sounds? And do we have a moral duty to be honest about our tastes?Guest: Irmak Karademir HazirHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Production Note: This episode was recorded shortly before the devastating earthquake in southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria.Episode ResourcesIrmak, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedThe movies of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”John Waters’ film “Hairspray”Agnès Jaoui’s film “Le Goût des autres” (The Taste of Others)The BBC documentary series “Signs of the Times”From The Sociological Review“Feminism After Bourdieu” – Lisa Adkins and Bev Skeggs [special issue editors]“Aesthetic labour, class and taste: Mobility aspirations of middle-class women working in luxury-retail” – Bryan Boyle and Kobe De Keere“Taste the Joy: Food, Family, Women and Social Media” – Smriti SinghBy Irmak Karademir Hazir“Cultural Omnivorousness”“How (not) to feed young children: A class-cultural analysis of food parenting practices”“Do Omnivores Perform Class Distinction? A Qualitative Inspection of Culinary Tastes, Boundaries and Cultural Tolerance” (co-author: Nihal Simay Yalvaç)“Exploring patterns of children’s cultural participation: parental cultural capitals and their transmission” (co-authors: Adrian Leguina and Francisco Azpitarte)Further reading and viewing“Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” – Pierre Bourdieu “Formations of Class & Gender: Becoming Respectable” – Bev Skeggs“Reading ‘Race’ in Bourdieu? Examining Black Cultural Capital Among Black Caribbean Youth in South London” – Derron Wallace“Stuart Hall: Selected Writings” – Catherine Hall and Bill Schwarz [book series editors]“Cultural omnivores or culturally homeless? Exploring the shifting cultural identities of the upwardly mobile” – Sam Friedman“‘Anything But Heavy Metal’: Symbolic Exclusion and Musical Dislikes” – Bethany Bryson“The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” – Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer“Follow the algorithm: An exploratory investigation of music on YouTube” – Massimo Airoldi, Davide Beraldo and Alessandro Gandini“Pretty Woman” – Garry Marshall [film director]“Marvel's Defenders of The Status Quo” – Pop Culture Detective
48:09 3/24/23
Listening, with Les Back
What does it mean to really listen in a society obsessed with spectacle? What’s hidden when powerful people claim to “hear” or “give voice” to others? And what’s at stake if we think that using fancy recording devices helps us to neatly capture “truth”?Les Back – author of “The Art of Listening” – tells Alexis and Rosie why listening to society is crucial, but cautions that there’s nothing inherently superior about the hearing sense. Rather, we must “re-tune our ears to society” and listen responsibly, with care, and in doubt.Plus: why should we think critically before accepting invitations to “trust our senses”? And why do so many sociologists also happen to be musicians?Guest: Les BackHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesLes, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedHak Baker’s song “Wobbles on Cobbles”John Cage’s composition “4′33″”The “Walls to Bridges” initiativeHari Kunzru’s novel “White Tears”From The Sociological Review“A Sociological Playlist” – Jack Halberstam“Listening to community: The aural dimensions of neighbouring” – Camilla Lewis“Loudly sing cuckoo: More-than-human seasonalities in Britain” – Andrew WhitehouseBy Les Back“The Art of Listening”“Tape Recorder 1”“Urban multiculture and xenophonophobia in London and Berlin” (co-authors: Agata Lisiak and Emma Jackson)“Trust Your Senses? War, Memory, and the Racist Nervous System”Further reading and viewing“Hustlers, Beats, and Others” – Ned Polsky“The Politics of Listening: Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life” – Leah Basel“The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches” – W. E. B. Du Bois“Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” – bell hooks“White woman listen! Black feminism and the boundaries of sisterhood” – Hazel Carby“Presentation fever and podium affects” – Yasmin Gunaratnam“Ear Cleaning: Notes for an Experimental Music Course” – Murray SchaferAlso, have a look at the scholarly work of Paul Gilroy and Frantz Fanon, and the music of Evelyn Glennie.
45:28 1/20/23
Natives, with Nandita Sharma
In this supposedly “post-colonial” age, the idea of the native continues to be distorted and deployed, whether in Narendra Modi’s India or calls for “British jobs for British workers”. How and why has this word – so powerful in the age of empire – lived on into the 21st century? Who gains? And how has it gone from being a term applied to those ruled over by colonisers, to a label chosen by people promoting their own interests against others?Nandita Sharma joins Alexis and Rosie to discuss all this and more, including the exclusionary logic at the heart of the post-colonial nation state. We further ask: how can true decolonisation occur if the very idea of the nation state still features colonial logic? Does it make the idea of decolonising the “national” curriculum an oxymoron?Also, Nandita exposes the assumptions revealed by researchers’ fears of “going native”, and reflects on the idea of a borderless world. Plus: a celebration of Manuela Zechner’s “Remembering Europe”.Guest: Nandita SharmaHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesNandita, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedManuela Zechner’s film-essay “Remembering Europe”Nakkiah Lui’s playwriting workSnotty Nose Rez Kids’ songs’ lyricsCathy Park Hong’s book “Minor Feelings”Daša Drndić’s book “Canzone Di Guerra”From The Sociological Review“Migrant NHS nurses as ‘tolerated’ citizens in post-Brexit Britain” – Georgia Spiliopoulos and Stephen Timmons“Securitized Citizens: Islamophobia, Racism and the 7/7 London Bombings” – Yasmin Hussain and Paul Bagguley“State containment and closure of gendered possibilities among a millennial generation: On not knowing Muslim young men” – Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and Chris HaywoodDecolonising Methodologies, 20 Years On: The Sociological Review Annual Lecture – Linda Tuhiwai SmithBy Nandita Sharma“Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants”“Against National Sovereignty: The Postcolonial New World Order and the Containment of Decolonization”“No Borders As a Practical Political Project” (co-editors: Bridget Anderson and Cynthia Wright)Further readings“Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider” – Satnam Virdee“Return of a Native: Learning from the Land” – Vron Ware“Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire” – Akala“Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control” – Bridget Anderson“Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism” – Kwame Nkrumah “Decolonization is not a metaphor” – Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang“Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples” – Linda Tuhiwai SmithFrederick Cooper’s work on how people fought against subordination in the French empireGurminder Bhambra’s work on Decolonizing Whiteness
47:43 12/23/22
Emotion, with Billy Holzberg
Emojis! Feminism! Rage! Sociologist Billy Holzberg joins us to talk about emotion. Why is it dismissed as an obstacle to progress and clear thinking – and to whose benefit? How can we let anger into politics without sanctioning far-right violence? And why are some of us freer than others to play with emotional abjection? Billy reflects on all this and more with Alexis and Rosie, celebrating thinkers from Sara Ahmed to Karl Marx, W.E.B. Du Bois to Yasmin Gunaratnam.Billy also reflects on queerness, childhood and shame; the emotional precarity of TV’s Fleabag; the playfulness of emojis; and the desperate but subversive power of the hunger striker. Plus: a welcome clarification of the slippery line between affect and emotion.Guest: Billy HolzbergHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesBilly, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedJim Hubbard’s documentary “United in Anger: A history of ACT UP”The idea of thinking sociologically with EmojisRobert Munsch and Sheila McGraw’s children’s book “Love You Forever”Lesley Jamison’s essay collection “The Empathy Exams”From The Sociological Review“Everyone shows emotions everywhere but class photos” – Laura Harris“‘Serenity Now!’ Emotion management and solidarity in the workplace” – Jordan McKenzie, et al.“Diane Abbott, misogynoir and the politics of Black British feminism’s anticolonial imperatives: ‘In Britain too, it’s as if we don’t exist’” – Lisa Amanda PalmerBy Billy Holzberg“The Multiple Lives of Affect: A Case Study of Commercial Surrogacy”“‘Wir schaffen das’: Hope and hospitality beyond the humanitarian border”“The affective life of heterosexuality: heteropessimism and postfeminism in Fleabag” (co-author: Aura Lehtonen)Further readings“The Cultural Politics of Emotion” – Sara Ahmed“Death and the Migrant: Bodies, Borders and Care” – Yasmin Gunaratnam“Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844” – Karl Marx “Postcolonial Melancholia” – Paul Gilroy“The Souls of Black Folk” – W.E.B. Du BoisThe work of psychologist Paul Ekman“The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” – Audre Lorde“The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy” – Ala Sirriyeh“Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy” – Carolyn Pedwell“The Spiritualization of Politics and the Technologies of Resistant Body: Conceptualizing Hunger Striking Subjectivity” – Ashjan Ajour“On Heteropessimism” – Asa Seresin
46:45 11/18/22
Cities, with Romit Chowdhury
Lonely? Mean? Hostile? Cities get a bad rap. But why? Romit Chowdhury has lived in cities worldwide; from Kolkata to Rotterdam. He tells Alexis and Rosie about the wonder of urban “enchantment” found in a stranger’s smile, our changing ideas of the “urban”, and why anonymity is not always in fact the enemy of civility and friendship in the city.Plus: how did “walking the city” emerge as a revolutionary research method? And why is Romit so fascinated with public transport – from exploring auto-rickshaw drivers’ masculinity in Kolkata, to studying sexual violence on the busy trains of Tokyo.Romit, Alexis and Rosie also share their tips for thinking differently about urban life – from Japanese film to novels that explode norms about bodies in the city.Guest: Romit ChowdhuryHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesRomit, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedClaudia Piñeiro’s novel “Elena Knows”N. K. Jemisin’s book “The City We Became”Shinya Tsukamoto’s filmographyTeju Cole’s novel “Every Day is For the Thief”From The Sociological Review“Karachi” – Shama Dossa“Whose City Now?” – Ray Forrest“Trash Talk: Unpicking the deadlock around urban waste and regeneration” – Francisco Calafate-Faria“Rising with the Rooster: How urban chickens are relaxing the pace of life” – Catherine OliverBy Romit Chowdhury“Sexual assault on public transport: Crowds, nation, and violence in the urban commons”“The social life of transport infrastructures: Masculinities and everyday mobilities in Kolkata”“Density as urban affect: The enchantment of Tokyo’s crowds”Further readings“Dangerous Liaisons – Women and Men: Risk and Reputation in Mumbai” – Shilpa Phadke“For Space” – Doreen Massey“The Metropolis and Mental Life” – Georg Simmel“The Arcades Project” – Walter Benjamin “Delhi Crime” (TV series) – Richie Mehta“The Country and the City” – Raymond Williams“Why Women of Colour in Geography?” – Audrey Kobayashi“‘Delhi is a hopeful place for me!’: young middle-class women reclaiming the Indian city” – Syeda Jenifa Zahan“The Way They Blow the Horn: Caribbean Dollar Cabs and Subaltern Mobilities” – Asha Best“Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City” – Brandi Thompson SummersAnd the work of Ayona Datta, Linda McDowell, Patricia Noxolo, Linda Peake, Tracey Skelton, Andrea Roberts and Gill Valentine
45:25 10/21/22
Bodies, with Charlotte Bates
We each have a body, but every body’s story is unique. In this intimate conversation, sociologist Charlotte Bates tells Alexis and Rosie why studying bodies – and how we talk about them – matters in a society where some are privileged over others, and why ableism harms us all.Charlotte talks about her co-authored work on wild swimming, arguing that despite its commodification, it holds subversive power. She also considers how the unwell body collides with the demands of capitalist life – revealing just how absurd it can be. Plus: what “wellness” fails to capture – and why health is not a lifestyle choice.Guest: Charlotte BatesHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesCharlotte, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedNina Mingya Powles’ book “Small Bodies of Water”Andy Jackson’s poem “The Change Room”Viktoria Modesta’s song “Prototype”Mark O’Connell’s book “To Be A Machine”From The Sociological Review“Making Visible: Chronic Illness and the Academy” – Anna Ruddock“Race and Disability in the Academy” – Moya Bailey“Embodying Sociology” [Supplement Issue]By Charlotte Bates“Vital Bodies: Living with Illness”“Conviviality, disability and design in the city”Research on wild swimming with Kate Moles – including this article and this forthcoming publication.Further readings“Beyond the Periphery of the Skin” – Silvia Federici“Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s” – Donna Haraway“Moving Beyond Pain” – bell hooks“On Being Ill” – Virginia Woolf“Believing Your Pain as Radical Self-Care” – Jameisha Prescod (in this publication)“Wellness Culture is Ableism in Sheep’s Clothing” – Lucy Pasha-RobinsonThe Polluted Leisure Project – Clifton Evers and James DavollThe Moving Oceans project“Illness: The Cry of the Flesh” – Havi Carel Alexandre Baril’s scholarly work“Everybody Needs Beauty: In Search of the Nature Cure” – Samantha Walton“Why climate justice is impossible without racial justice” – Georgia WhitakerOn maternal mortality – Divya Talwar
40:46 9/23/22
How can we help you?
EDUCATORS! STUDENTS! LISTENERS! We want to hear from you ...We’re taking a short summer break, and will be back in September ready and refreshed for the new term, and with a new episode for you!So, while Rosie and Alexis have some well-earned time-outs – and catch up on reading for forthcoming shows on things like cities, emotion and noise – we have a request: Could you use just a few of those spare 45 minutes this month to share some of your thoughts with us? To be precise, we'd like to know how we can help you ...If you're an educator – at whatever level – we'd like to know, do you use podcasts in your teaching? If so, how? And which ones? Maybe you've even asked your students to make their own? And if you don't use them, then why not? What gets in the way of that? And how could Uncommon Sense do more to help you to promote and explain the sociological imagination?And if you're a student or a researcher, we want to know what Uncommon Sense has done for you so far? Has it made you think about how you explain your work to non-academic friends? Maybe even that most challenging of audiences, your parents!?And if you're neither of the above, you're still very much part of the Uncommon Sense community! We want to know what keeps you listening? And whether we've prompted you to "see the world afresh through the eyes of sociologists"? That's what we promise at the top of pretty much every episode ...Share your thoughts with us by email, by Instagram, and on Twitter. You can also read all about using podcasts in the classroom from The Sociological Review's podcast lead Professor Michaela Benson.And recommend us to friends, family and more. It's easy to subscribe – look us up in whatever app you use and tap "follow"!We'll be back in September – See you soon!
02:01 8/26/22
Security, with Daria Krivonos
Too often, talk about security seems to belong to politicians and psychologists; to discussions about terrorism and defence, individual anxiety and insecurity. But how do sociologists think about it? And why care?Daria Krivonos – who works on migration, race and class in Central and Eastern Europe – tells Alexis and Rosie why security matters. What’s the impact of calling migration a “security threat”? How does the security of the privileged rely on the insecurity of the precarious? And, as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, what would it mean to truly #StandwithUkraine – from ensuring better job security for its workers abroad, to cancelling its debt?Plus: pop culture pointers; from Kae Tempest’s “People’s Faces” to the movie “The Mauritanian” – and Alexis’ teenage passion for Rage Against the Machine.Guest: Daria KrivonosHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesDaria, Rosie and Alexis recommendedKae Tempest’s song “People’s Faces”Rage Against the Machine’s song “Without a Face”Kevin Macdonald’s movie “The Mauritanian”From The Sociological Review“Brexit On ‘Plague Island’: Fortifying The UK’s Borders In Times Of Crisis” – Michaela Benson and Nando Sigona“Organised State Abandonment: The meaning of Grenfell” – Brenna Bhandar“Food Insecurity: Upsetting ‘Apple Carts’ in Abstract and Tangible Markets” – Susan Marie MartinBy Daria Krivonos“The making of gendered ‘migrant workers’ in youth activation: The case of young Russian-speakers in Finland”“Ukrainian farm workers and Finland’s regular army of labour”“Who stands with Ukraine in the long term?”“Racial capitalism and the production of difference in Helsinki and Warsaw” (forthcoming)Further readings“The Death of Asylum” – Alison Mountz“What was the so-called ‘European Refugee Crisis’?” – Danish Refugee CouncilWorld Food Programme Yemen and Ethiopia statistics“In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All” – UN Secretary-General“Ukrainian Workers Flee ‘Modern Slavery’ Conditions on UK Farms” – Diane Taylor“Bordering” – Nira Yuval-Davis, Georgie Wemyss and Kathryn CassidyAnthony Giddens’ sociological work; including “Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age”
42:33 7/22/22
Intimacy, with Katherine Twamley
Think of intimacy and, pretty soon, you’ll probably think about sex. But, as sociologist Katherine Twamley explains, intimacy means much more than that: it’s woven through so many of our relationships – including with people whose names we might not even know. She tells Rosie and Alexis how an accidental trip to India got her thinking about the varied meanings of “love” across cultures and contexts, and reflects on whether, to quote the famous song, love and marriage really do “go together like a horse and carriage”.Plus: what could it mean to decolonise love? Why should we be wary of acts performed in the name of love? Will we ever live in a truly “contactless” world, and who wants that? And we get intimate with the artist Sophie Calle.Guest: Katherine TwamleyHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesKatherine, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommendedIan McEwan’s novel “Machines Like Me”Haruhiko Kawaguchi’s photographySophie Calle’s conceptual artAlex Thompson’s film “Saint Frances”From The Sociological Review“The Sociology of Love” – Julia CarterOn asexual people and intimacy – Matt Dawson, Liz McDonnell and Susie Scott On the phenomenon of self-marriage – Kinneret Lahad and Michal Karvel-ToviFurther readings“Love, Marriage and Intimacy Among Gujarati Indians” – Katherine Twamley“Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship” – Kath Weston“Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care” – Eileen Boris and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas (editors)On Emotional Labour – Arlie Hochschild“Decolonising Families and Relationships” – British Sociological Association webinars“Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds” – Zygmunt Bauman“Individualization: Institutionalized Individualism and Its Social and Political Consequences” – Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim and Ulrich BeckNandita Dutta’s research on South Asian beauty salons in London as diasporic sites of intimacyNick Crossley’s sociological workJessica Ringrose’s sociological workGreta Thunberg’s Twitter page (mentioned by Katherine as an intimacy example)James Baldwin’s novel “Giovanni’s Room”Sally Rooney’s novel “Normal People”
41:55 6/24/22
School, with Remi Joseph-Salisbury
School should be about play, fulfilment and learning. But it is also a place of surveillance, discipline and discrimination. Activist scholar Remi Joseph-Salisbury has researched policing, racism and education in the UK. He tells Rosie and Alexis what happens when policing enters the classroom, its impact on students and teachers of colour, and the need for wholesale reform – including a truly anti-racist curriculum.Plus: how can we break the “school-to-prison” pipeline? What is Critical Race Theory and why has it prompted a backlash? What does it mean to really receive “an education”? And what’s the harm in the trope of the “inspirational super teacher”, as found in films from Sister Act to Dead Poets Society?This episode was recorded prior to news being made public of the experience of the pupil known as “Child Q”, reported in mid-March 2022. Remi has since written about this.Guest: Remi Joseph-SalisburyHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerFind more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.Episode ResourcesRemi, Rosie and Alexis recommendedJohn Agard's poem  “Checking Out Me History”Steve McQueen's TV drama “Small Axe: Education”Laurie Nunn's TV series “Sex Education”Jesse Thistle's memoir “From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way”From The Sociological ReviewOn “Prevent”, a counter-extremism policy at UK universities Niyousha Bastani “Social Mixing in Urban Schools” Sumi Hollingworth“School-to-Prison Pipeline” Karen GrahamBy Remi Joseph-Salisbury“Race and Racism in English Secondary Schools”“Afro Hair: How Pupils Are Tackling Discriminatory Uniform Policies”On the demonisation of Critical Race TheoryFurther reading“Racism and Education: Coincidence or Conspiracy?” David Gillborn “Race, Gender and Educational Desire: Why Black Women Succeed and Fail” Heidi Mirza“Lammy Review” MP David Lammy“How the West Indian Child is Made Educationally Sub-normal in the British School System” Bernard CoardThe Halo Collective for a future without hair discriminationNo More Exclusions for racial justice in education
43:31 5/20/22
Home, with Michaela Benson
Home means something to everyone. More than just bricks and mortar, it’s about security and belonging, citizenship and exclusion. Michaela Benson has researched it all: from the UK’s self-build communities, to people seeking a new lifestyle abroad. She tells Alexis and Rosie about this and her own experience of home, including her mother’s relationship to her place of birth: Hong Kong.Plus, Kwame Lowe and Alice Grahame introduce us to the Rural Urban Synthesis Society in London. What does it take to build your own “Grand Design” and why would anyone want to do that? What happens when areas become known as “problem places” and what’s gentrification got to do with it? And who is to blame for the housing crisis?Guests: Michaela Benson, Kwame Lowe, Alice GrahameHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerSpecial thanks to: Kirsteen Paton, Lisa Dikomitis, RUSSUncommon Sense sees our world afresh, through the eyes of sociologists. Brought to you by The Sociological Review, it’s a space for questioning taken-for-granted ideas about society – for imagining better ways of living together and confronting our shared crises. Hosted by Rosie Hancock in Sydney and Alexis Hieu Truong in Ottawa, featuring a different guest each month, Uncommon Sense insists that sociology is for everyone.Episode ResourcesMichaela, Rosie and Alexis recommend:“Fragile Monsters” (2021) by Catherine Menon“Unsheltered” (2018) by Barbara Kingsolver“Foundation” (1942) by Isaac AsimovFrom The Sociological Review:“Unhomely Homes: A visual study of Airbnb” (2020) by Kenneth Kajoranta and Anna PechurinaOn older New Zealanders and the role of home for feeling secure in an uncertain world (1998) by Ann Dupuis and David ThornsA critical review of the existing literature on “home” (2004) by Shelley MallettFurther readings:On being middle-class in contemporary London (2017) by Michaela Benson and Emma JacksonOn Brexit’s hidden costs for Britons living in the EU (2021) by Michaela BensonThe Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) Lewisham, London“Gentrification: A Working-Class Perspective” (2014) by Kirsteen Paton“Your Life Chances Affect Where You Live: A Critique of the ‘Cottage Industry’ of Neighbourhood Effects Research” (2013) by Tom Slater“Cyprus and Its Places of Desire: Cultures of Displacement Among Greek and Turkish Cypriot Refugees” (2012) edited by Lisa Dikomitis“Walters Way and Segal Close: The Architect Walter Segal and London's Self-Build Community” (2017) by Alice GrahameThe film “Minari” (2020) directed by Lee Isaac ChungChris Leslie’s work on demolition and regeneration in GlasgowRead our acknowledgement of the indigenous lands that both Rosie and Alexis work upon.Find more at The Sociological Review.
40:07 4/22/22
Care, with Bev Skeggs
What does care really mean? For feminist sociologist Bev Skeggs, it should be at the heart of how we organise our society – from tax to health, to climate action. She talks to Alexis and Rosie about the costs of complacency, her own shocking experience of care (or lack of it) as her own parents faced the end of life, and why we have every right to expect the state to look after us. Care, she shows, is political: there’s no care without society; no society without care.Plus, Bev casts a sideways glance at “self-care” and explains why browsing a sociology textbook might just be better for you than a trip to a pricey spa. The team also discusses their recommendations for pop culture lessons in care – from Adrienne Rich to Robin Williams.Guest: Bev SkeggsHosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu TruongExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin AnikerSpecial thanks to: Kirsteen PatonUncommon Sense sees our world afresh, through the eyes of sociologists. Brought to you by The Sociological Review, it’s a space for questioning taken-for-granted ideas about society – for imagining better ways of living together and confronting our shared crises. Hosted by Rosie Hancock in Sydney and Alexis Hieu Truong in Ottawa, featuring a different guest each month, Uncommon Sense insists that sociology is for everyone.Episode ResourcesBev, Rosie and Alexis recommend:TV adaptations (various; 1993-2001; 2019) of Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” novels (1974-2014)“Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution” (1976) by Adrienne RichThe movie “What Dreams May Come” (1998), dir. Vincent Ward, starring Robin WilliamsFrom The Sociological Review:“A Crisis in Humanity: What Everyone With Parents Is Likely to Face in the Future” (2017) by Bev SkeggsOn radical care (2020) by Dan Silver and Sarah Marie HallOn caring for plants during Covid-19 (2020) by Gavin MacleanOn care, activism and environmental justice in Chile (2017) by Manuel Tironi and Israel Rodríguez-GiraltOn love labour as a particular kind of care (2007) by Kathleen LynchFurther readings:“Formations of Class and Gender” (1997) by Bev Skeggs“Learning to Labour” (1977) by Paul Willis“The Care Manifesto” (2020) by The Care CollectiveThe Women’s Budget GroupSolidarity and Care During the Covid-19 Pandemic (2020), a public platform by The Sociological Review“Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help” (2008) by Eva Illouz“Who Will Care for the Caretaker’s Daughter? Towards a Sociology of Happiness in the Era of Reflexive Modernity” (1997) by Eva Illouz“Growing Up Girl: Psychosocial Explorations of Gender and Class” (2001) by Valerie Walkerdine, Helen Lucey and June Melody“A Burst of Light” (1988) by Audre Lorde“Self-Help, Media Cultures and the Production of Female Psychopathology” (2004) by Lisa Blackman“It's Different for Girls: Gendering the Audience for Popular Music” (2000) by Diane RailtonFind more at The Sociological Review.
43:20 4/22/22
Introducing Uncommon Sense
This is Uncommon Sense, the podcast that sees our world afresh, through the eyes of sociologists. Brought to you by The Sociological Review, it’s a space for questioning taken-for-granted ideas about society – for imagining better ways of living together and confronting our shared crises. Hosted by Rosie Hancock in Sydney and Alexis Hieu Truong in Ottawa, featuring a different guest each month, Uncommon Sense insists that sociology is for everyone.Hosts: Alexis Hieu Truong, Rosie HancockFeatured Guests: Bev Skeggs, Michaela BensonExecutive Producer: Alice BlochSound Engineer: David CracklesMusic: Joe GardnerArtwork: Erin Aniker
01:30 3/24/22

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