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Thinking Allowed 2020
Thinking Allowed explores how society works, with leading social science experts.
16th March 2020 at 12:15AM
Fay Bound Alberti, Reader in History at the University of York, charts the emergence of loneliness as a contemporary emotional state. Also, Janne Flora, a postdoctoral scholar at Aarhus University, explores the deep connections between loneliness and modernity in the Arctic, tracing the history of Greenland and analysing the social dynamics that shaped it. Listen to the programme.
Millions of people live, travel, and work in areas with significant kidnap risks, yet kidnaps of foreign workers, local VIPs, and tourists are surprisingly rare and the vast majority of abductions are peacefully resolved. Anja Shortland, Reader in Political Economy, King's College London, explores this lucrative but tricky business. Listen to the programme.
Discover more on the subjects discussed in Thinking Allowed
How does the criminal law adapt to rapid changes in modern technology? Does the use of drones to fly drugs and other items into prisons challenge the ability of the law to tackle new forms of offending effectively?Read now ❯New Technology and Crime: Drones
During the recent election campaign, the Tories insisted there was no such thing as a magic money tree. But, as Alan Shipman explains, low bond yields might be the next best thing.Read now ❯Have vanishing debt costs created a magic money tree?
The characters in the world's longest running soap opera tell you who they are whenever they talk. Pour yourself a glass of Tumble Tussock and Rob Drummond will explain.Listen now ❯Ambridge accents: How The Archers use accent to depict class
More on Social Science
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
The Laurie Taylor interviews
Why does Laurie Taylor think sociology is important? What advice does he have for our students? In this series of videos the Thinking Allowed host answers questions on social sciences.Watch now ❯The Laurie Taylor interviews
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform others – from police officers to civil servants to business executives – who want to base their decisions on the best evidence. The BA (Honours) Combined Social Science is designed to be very flexible, enabling you to develop a variety of knowledge and skills from a combination of subjects including psychology, sociology, social policy, criminology, geography, politics and economics. You can choose to follow a named specialism by concentrating on one of these areas, or create your own combination of subjects. This degree course will equip you with skills highly valued by employers, such as using IT for the retrieval and effective presentation of information and data; critical evaluation; and concise writing. You’ll have your own specialist, subject-based academic support as well as opportunities to join in online communities of other social sciences students for teaching, learning and peer support.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Social Sciences
BA (Honours) Criminology and Law
Crime, justice and the workings of the law are matters that affect us all and often dominate the news. This degree takes a critical and analytical view of the role and functions of the legal system, and examines its relationship with criminal behaviour. You’ll explore issues such as anti-social behaviour, poverty, discrimination, hate crimes, child labour, as well as global threats from cyber-crime, terrorism and human rights violations, and their implications for justice.Read more❯BA (Honours) Criminology and Law
Building on the OU's reputation for cutting-edge criminological and sociological teaching and research, this joint degree offers you the chance to study lively, topical and sometimes controversial subject matter. You'll investigate questions of crime, criminalisation and social harm to determine whether society's responses to these questions are adequate and appropriate. You'll also explore how social worlds are made and how we, as individuals, are shaped by the societies in which we live.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Criminology and Sociology
You’ll explore a wide range of topics which shape the nature of contemporary UK society; from questions of identity, inequalities and differences to consumerism and environment, and issues of social order, disorder and governance.Read more❯Introducing the social sciences
Our Free Learning
This free course will help you to navigate your own path through the complex landscape of smart cities. You’ll hear from smart city innovators and entrepreneurs, city leaders, communities and business, connecting with learners from around the world to reflect on issues facing smart cities of different sizes and situations.Learn more ❯Smart cities
This free course will enable you to understand how arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences. Using extracts from a Radio 4 broadcast, you will look at the different viewpoints that are taken by the participants and analyse how the different arguments are being put together.Learn more ❯How arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences
This free course, From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?, sets the experience of Brexit in the context of the UK. It first analyses Brexit as a symptom of the political, economic and social geography of the UK, focusing on its uneven development in a country increasingly dominated by London and the South East of England. It then considers how the divisions within the UK (within England as well as between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) were reflected in the voting patterns of the 2016 referendum. Finally, the course reflects on the implications of these short-term and long-term trends for the UK’s future as a multinational state.Learn more ❯From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?
Professor Sophie Watson
Sophie is a Professor in Sociology, in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at The Open University. She is the Principal Investigator on a HERA European grant 'Moving Market Places' looking at the mobilities of street market traders across Europe.
Prior to joining The Open University, she held several high-profile academic positions at leading institutions including University College London, University of Sydney, and the University of Bristol.
Professor Watson's current research areas include urban water cultures, Society, and Street markets as Transcultural/Transnational Spaces and public space. Her recent publications are City Water Matters: Cultures, Practices, and Entanglements of Urban Water. Palgrave Macmillan. 2019. and Spatial Justice in the City Routledge 2019.
Professor Louise Westmarland
Louise’s research interests broadly focus on the police and their occupational culture. This has included studies of gender and policing, homicide investigations, and most recently corruption, integrity, and ethics.
She has published many notable articles from her research on police informers, the way they are regulated, and the effect this has on rights and justice.