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Uncommon Sense

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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!

Location:

United States

Description:

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!

Language:

English


Episodes

Rules, with Swethaa Ballakrishnen

1/19/2024
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 Ballakrishnen Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From The Sociological Review Socio-legal Implications for Digital Environmental ActivismThe Moral Rhetoric of a Civilized SocietyDepoliticisation, hybridisation and dual processes of stigmatisation By Swethaa Ballakrishnen Accidental FeminismLaw School as Straight SpaceGender Regimes and the Politics of PrivacyOut of PlaceQueering the (Court)RoomFurther reading, viewing and listening Uncommon Sense: Performance, with Kareem Khubchandani Read more about the work of David B. Wilkins and Deborah L. Rhode.

Duration:00:45:20

Spirituality, with Andrew Singleton

12/15/2023
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 Singleton Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From The Sociological Review The spiritual turn and the disenchantment of the world: Max Weber, Peter Berger and the religion–science conflict“Belief” issueCapitalising on faith? An intergenerational study of social and religious capital among Baby Boomers and Millennials in BritainBy Andrew Singleton Freedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and DiversityReligion, Culture and Society: A Global ApproachThe Spirit of Generation Y: Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing AustraliaFurther reading and listening “The Dream” podcast Read more on the life and work of Gary Bauma, as well as about Karl Marx and Michel Foucault.

Duration:00:40:13

Anxiety, with Nicky Falkof

11/17/2023
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 Falkof Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From The Sociological Review ‘Under attack’: Responsibility, crisis and survival anxiety amongst manager-academics in UK universitiesDecolonising and re-theorising the meaning of democracy: A South African perspectiveSocial class, symbolic domination, and Angst: The example of the Norwegian social spaceBy Nicky Falkof Worrier State: Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South AfricaThe End of Whiteness: Satanism and family murder in South AfricaNicky’s websiteFurther reading Read more about Sigmund Freud, and the work of Johnny Steinberg.

Duration:00:46:05

Success, with Jo Littler

10/20/2023
“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 Littler Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Jo, Alexis and Rosie recommend From The Sociological Review Sociological reflections on ‘doing’ aspiration within the psychic landscape of classBirds of a FeatherThe price of the ticket revisedBy Jo Littler Against MeritocracyMrs Hinch, the rise of the cleanfluencer and the neoliberal refashioning of houseworkLeft Feminisms: Conversations on the Personal and PoliticalFurther reading Read 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.

Duration:00:43:51

BONUS EPISODE – Public Sociology, with Gary Younge, Chantelle Lewis, Cecilia Menjívar & Michaela Benson

9/29/2023
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 Menjívar Host: Michaela Benson Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From The Sociological Review Strategies of public intellectual engagementAn interventionist sociologist: Stuart Hall, public engagement and racismCurating SociologyBy our guests Dispatches from the DiasporaAnother Day in the Death of AmericaSurviving Societywork on migration and gender-based violenceFurther reading Read 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.

Duration:00:59:45

Performance, with Kareem Khubchandani

9/15/2023
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 Khubchandani Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From The Sociological Review Advantages of upper-class backgrounds: Forms of capital, school cultures and educational performance‘You've Gotta Learn how to Play the Game’: Homeless Women's Use of Gender Performance as a Tool for Preventing VictimizationPerforming the Disabled Body in AcademiaBy Kareem Khubchandani IshtyleDecolonize DragQueer NightlifeDance Floor DivasKareem’s websiteFurther reading and viewing Read 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.

Duration:00:53:35

Nature, with Catherine Oliver

7/14/2023
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 Oliver Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Catherine, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review Performing the classification of natureDaphne the Cat: Reimagining human–animal boundaries on FacebookUnnatural Times? The Social Imaginary and the Future of NatureBy Catherine Oliver Rising 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-politicsFurther reading Read more about the work of Zoe Todd, Adam Searle, Anna Tsing, Anna Guasco, Paige Colton and The Care Collective.

Duration:00:43:39

Europeans, with Manuela Boatcă

6/16/2023
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 Boatcă Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Manuela, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended The Passport IndexFrom The Sociological Review The material effects of WhitenessPuzzlement of a déjà vuThe ambiguous lives of ‘the other whites’By Manuela Boatcă Thinking Europe Otherwise(Dis)United KingdomCounter-Mapping as MethodWhat does British citizenship have to do with Global Social Inequalities?Further reading Read more about the work of Stuart Hall, Fernand Braudel, Aníbal Quijano, Enrique Dussel, Walter Mignolo, Fernando Coronil and Salman Sayyid.

Duration:00:49:43

Solidarity, with Suresh Grover, Shabna Begum & Karis Campion

5/19/2023
AUDIO CONTENT WARNING: description of extreme racist violence In 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 Begum Host: Karis Campion Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources From Karis, Shabna and Suresh The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre“From Sylhet to Spitalfields”in conversation with Paul GilroyFurther reading Online resources Over-policed and under-protected: the road to Safer SchoolsThe Baroness Casey ReviewThe Black Panther PartyThe Stephen Lawrence InquiryFind 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.

Duration:00:59:30

EPISODE SWAP – Who do we think we are? presents Global Britain: Of Kings, Songs and Migrants

5/12/2023
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: Active listening questions: communitiesFind more about: Elena and Catherine’s articleImagined CommunitiesThe Nation and its FragmentsRunning the family firmThe Global Power of the British MonarchyOur podcast picks for this episode are: “Harry and Meghan”EurovisionPolitical Demography Follow 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.

Duration:00:46:47

Breakups, with Ilana Gershon

4/14/2023
“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 Gershon Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Ilana, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended as discussed by Bethan Kapur for VICEFrom The Sociological Review “A Sociological Playlist”“The Sociology of Love”“Becoming Ourselves Online: Disabled Transgender Existence In/Through Digital Social Life”“The Politics of Digital Peace, Play, and Privacy during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Between Digital Engagement, Enclaves, and Entitlement”“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 And have a look at the basics of Actor–Network Theory.

Duration:00:47:16

Taste, with Irmak Karademir Hazir

3/24/2023
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 Hazir Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find 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 Resources Irmak, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review By 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”“Exploring patterns of children’s cultural participation: parental cultural capitals and their transmission”Further reading and viewing

Duration:00:48:09

Listening, with Les Back

1/20/2023
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 Back Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Les, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended “Wobbles on Cobbles”“4′33″”“Walls to Bridges”“White Tears”From The Sociological Review “A Sociological Playlist”“Listening to community: The aural dimensions of neighbouring”“Loudly sing cuckoo: More-than-human seasonalities in Britain”By Les Back “The Art of Listening”“Tape Recorder 1”“Urban multiculture and xenophonophobia in London and Berlin”“Trust Your Senses? War, Memory, and the Racist Nervous System”Further reading and viewing Also, have a look at the scholarly work of Paul Gilroy and Frantz Fanon, and the music of Evelyn Glennie.

Duration:00:45:28

Natives, with Nandita Sharma

12/23/2022
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 Sharma Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Nandita, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review “Migrant NHS nurses as ‘tolerated’ citizens in post-Brexit Britain”“Securitized Citizens: Islamophobia, Racism and the 7/7 London Bombings”“State containment and closure of gendered possibilities among a millennial generation: On not knowing Muslim young men”Decolonising Methodologies, 20 Years On: The Sociological Review Annual LectureBy 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”Further readings work on how people fought against subordination in the French empirework on Decolonizing Whiteness

Duration:00:47:36

Emotion, with Billy Holzberg

11/18/2022
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 Holzberg Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Billy, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review “Everyone shows emotions everywhere but class photos”“‘Serenity Now!’ Emotion management and solidarity in the workplace”“Diane Abbott, misogynoir and the politics of Black British feminism’s anticolonial imperatives: ‘In Britain too, it’s as if we don’t exist’”By 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”Further readings

Duration:00:46:45

Cities, with Romit Chowdhury

10/21/2022
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 Chowdhury Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Romit, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review “Karachi”“Whose City Now?”“Trash Talk: Unpicking the deadlock around urban waste and regeneration”“Rising with the Rooster: How urban chickens are relaxing the pace of life”By 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 Ayona DattaLinda McDowellPatricia NoxoloLinda PeakeTracey SkeltonAndrea RobertsGill Valentine

Duration:00:45:26

Bodies, with Charlotte Bates

9/23/2022
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 Bates Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Charlotte, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review “Making Visible: Chronic Illness and the Academy”“Race and Disability in the Academy”“Embodying Sociology”By Charlotte Bates “Vital Bodies: Living with Illness”“Conviviality, disability and design in the city”wild swimmingthis articlethis forthcoming publicationFurther readings in this publicationThe Polluted Leisure Project Moving Oceansscholarly workmaternal mortality

Duration:00:40:46

How can we help you?

8/26/2022
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 ... 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!

Duration:00:02:00

Security, with Daria Krivonos

7/22/2022
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 Krivonos Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Daria, Rosie and Alexis recommended From The Sociological Review “Brexit On ‘Plague Island’: Fortifying The UK’s Borders In Times Of Crisis”“Organised State Abandonment: The meaning of Grenfell”“Food Insecurity: Upsetting ‘Apple Carts’ in Abstract and Tangible Markets”By 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?”Further readings “The Death of Asylum”“What was the so-called ‘European Refugee Crisis’?”YemenEthiopia“In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All”“Ukrainian Workers Flee ‘Modern Slavery’ Conditions on UK Farms”“Bordering”sociological work“Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age”

Duration:00:42:33

Intimacy, with Katherine Twamley

6/24/2022
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 Twamley Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong Executive Producer: Alice Bloch Sound Engineer: David Crackles Music: Joe Gardner Artwork: Erin Aniker Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review. Episode Resources Katherine, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended From The Sociological Review “The Sociology of Love”asexual people and intimacythe phenomenon of self-marriageFurther readings “Love, Marriage and Intimacy Among Gujarati Indians”“Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship”“Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care”Emotional Labour“Decolonising Families and Relationships”“Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds”“Individualization: Institutionalized Individualism and Its Social and Political Consequences”research on South Asian beauty salons in London as diasporic sites of intimacysociological worksociological workTwitter page“Giovanni’s Room”“Normal People”

Duration:00:41:55