Thinking Allowed 2016

OU/BBC's Thinking Allowed puts the focus on the latest thinking about how society works. Read exclusive academic insights every week as each show airs.

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 26th January 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Thinking Allowed
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Copyrighted image Copyright: BBC Thinking Allowed is BBC Radio 4's weekly focus on the social sciences in partnership with The Open University.

To complement the series, we've brought you exclusive content from The Open University's academic experts and host Laurie Taylor. You might like to:

You can also view the upcoming epiosdes for this series and gain a wealth of learning content that ties in with that particular epiosde. Additionally, we have provided some free social sciences courses for you to enjoy. 

Thinking Allowed is on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 4.00pm and repeated on Monday mornings at 12.15am. Full broadcast details, and listen again links, can be found on

Missed the 2015 series? Catch up here

Hear Laurie Taylor's view on social sciences

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'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageants

When and where

Wednesday, 25th May 2016 16:00 - BBC Radio 4
Monday, 30th May 2016 00:15 - BBC Radio 4

For more information about Thinking Allowed 2016 visit Subscribe to our What's On feed

'Queer' Wars: The claim that LGBT rights are human rights meets fierce, sometimes deadly opposition in many parts of the world. Politicians and religious leaders invoke tradition to deflect such universal claims, accusing Western activists of neo colonial interference. Laurie Taylor talks to Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University, Melbourne, who has examined the international polarisation over sexual rights. He asks how best we can advocate for change in contexts where people face violence and imprisonment for their sexuality and gender. They're joined by Lama Abu- Odeh, Professor in Law at Georgetown University, Washington.

Also, Nigerian Beauty Pageants. Juliet Gilbert, a Ph student at the University of Birmingham, reflects on the popularity of such spectacles in a country where crowned winners use pageantry as a 'platform' for success, hoping to overcome the double bind of gender and generation in a deeply religious and patriarchal society.

Explore some of the topics in more detail

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
The Creative Economy, 'Grudge' Spending Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the creative economy and whether this world of work lacks the security of previous... Read more
Consumerism, Work-life balance Laurie Taylor and guests look into our want for an abundance of possessions and the middle class bias in work-life... Read more
Weather forecasting, Young people and politics In this episode of Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor and guests explore whether weather forecasters are excellent... Read more
Museums and nationalism, Imagining utopias Laurie Taylor and guests look at nationalism through the country's museums and the role of impossible dreams shaping... Read more
Refusing adulthood, How young people feel about being poor Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the Peter Pan effect (why do some people refuse to mature?) and how young people... Read more
The debt collection industry, Spousal job loss On this week's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor and guests look at debt collection and spousal job loss. Read more
Small towns, Patient rescue and resuscitation Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the social aspects of small towns and people who become acutely unwell. Read more
Philanthropy - Charity Laurie Taylor and guests discuss philanthropy and the charitable sector. Read more
Eviction, Self-building Laurie Taylor and guests look at homes (those who are evicted and those who build their own homes) in this week's... Read more
Dance halls, Male 'pick up artists' Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the social history of dance halls and look at studies into the 'seduction community'. Read more
The BSA and Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award Shortlist Thinking Allowed's Ethnography Awards are back - find out who has been shortlisted. Read more
Ethnography Award winner, Transcultural football The BSA and Thinking Allowed Ethnography award winner, Maxim Bolt, talks to Laurie Taylor about his groundbreaking... Read more
Happiness and government, Good parenting Should the government promote happiness? Do 'good parenting guides contain a class bias'? Laurie Taylor and guests... Read more
The Flaneur - Walking in the City In this themed programme Laurie Taylor and guests look at the meaning of the urban stroller, past and present. Read more
Migrant Women What have the generations of immigrant women living in Britain got to say about their experiences? Read more
Prison TV, Prison Blues Laurie Taylor and guests look at how TV sets can manage the emotions of prisoners and how BB King would perform in... Read more
Glasgow gangs - Russian gangs Laurie Taylor and guests look at what drives Glasgow and Russian gangs and how they find their place in their... Read more
'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageants Laurie Taylor and guests looks at the international polarisation over sexual rights and beauty contests in a... Read more