BBC “Analysis” Podcasts

Over the past 10 years BBC Radio 4’s Analysis series has created a range of podcasts “examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics”.

There are over 200 podcasts to trawl through, many of which won’t be of any interest or use to sociology teachers and students, but a relatively smaller number just might. To save you a lot of time and trouble (there’s no need to thank me, I’m nice like like) I’ve had a quick look through the list to select what I think might be the sociological highlights.

Selected  Podcasts You May Find Interesting…

A Subversive History of School Reform  Is the real story of school reform really one of continuity?

Adventures in Social Mobility What are the unwritten rules you must learn to get a top job?

Money for Nothing Should the state pay everyone a Universal Basic Income?

Marxism Today Robin Aitken comes from a conservative political viewpoint to a man who has inspired mass movements on the left: Karl Marx

The New Young Fogeys Young people today drink and smoke much less than previous generations. The rates of teenage pregnancy and youth crime have fallen dramatically.

Beyond Binary In communities around the globe, genderqueer, gender-variant and gender-fluid people are rejecting the categories of male and female, and attempting to re-define gender identity.

How Gay Became OK Why have British attitudes towards homosexuality changed so far and so fast? Less than 50 years ago, sex between men was a criminal act. Now they can marry.

Two-Nation Britain Is the real political divide between those who feel comfortable in liberal, diverse, urban Britain and those who do not – the cosmopolitans vs the rest

Caring in the New Old Age Is it time to rethink how we care for older people, to enable them to have fulfilling lives?

The End of Development Over recent decades, the richer world has poured money towards poorer countries, in the form of aid and loans for development over many decades.

Downward Social Mobility Social mobility is a good thing – right? Politicians worry that not enough people from less-privileged backgrounds get the opportunity to move up in life. But are we prepared to accept that others lose out

Meet the Family Politicians love talking about supporting families. But, asks Jo Fidgen, do they understand modern family life? And how far can or should the state change the way families live?

Life by Lottery Should we use chance to solve some of our most difficult political dilemmas? From US Green Cards to school place allocation, lotteries have been widely used as a means of fairly resolving apparently intractable problems

Last Rites for the Church of England? Andrew Brown asks if the Church of England has become fatally disconnected from society.

The Quantified Self: Can Life Be Measured? Self knowledge through numbers is the motto of the “quantified self” movement. Calories consumed, energy expended, work done, places visited or how you feel.

Who Decides if I’m a Woman? Jo Fidgen explores the underlying ideas which cause so much tension between radical feminists and transgender campaigners, and discovers why recent changes in the law and advances in science are fuelling debate.

The School of Hard Facts E.D. Hirsch is a little-known American professor whose radical ideas about what should be taught in schools are set to have a profound effect on English schools.

Do Schools Make a Difference? The government’s brought in new style league tables to help parents choose schools. But do we really know what makes a good school? And how far can schools really transform lives?

Non-Riotous Behaviour Is it fear of arrest or is it morality that makes most of the people abide by the law for most of the time? In search of the causes of mass civil obedience.

Testing the Emotions Investigative journalist and author Fran Abrams looks at a popular but controversial programme designed to teach children emotional and social skills in schools

Britishness Gordon Brown’s government attempted to create a shared British identity based on values

What’s Wrong with Child Labour? What is childhood for? It is commonly seen as a time for play and learning, but should employment play a more important part

Trust Me, I’m a Patient  Michael Blastland asks if patients are fit to take charge in what is being described as a historic shift in power

Revealing Religion Andrew Brown explores how believers and sceptics see the role of religion in thought and action.

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