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Thinking Allowed: A lost avant garde and biologising parenthood

Updated Friday, 6th March 2015

Laurie Taylor and guests discuss the exclusive nature of art and parenting being central to a child's development. 

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Thinking Allowed, hosted by Laurie Taylor, is BBC Radio 4's weekly focus on the social sciences.

On this week's programme

Art museum interiors in black and white Creative commons image Icon Astrid Westvang under CC-BY-NC-ND licence under Creative-Commons license

A lost avant garde:

Laurie Taylor examines the tension between art & money in the contemporary art museum. He talks to Matti Bunzl, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, and author of a study which takes a rare look behind the scenes of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. He found that a commitment to new and difficult work came into conflict with an imperative for growth, leading to an excessive focus on the entertaining and profitable.

Biologising parenthood:

Recent years have seen claims about children's brains becoming central to child health & welfare policies. Pam Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University, Birmingham, argues that this has led to a simplistic construction of the child and one which claims parenting to be the main factor in child development.

This edition of Thinking Allowed is first broadcast on Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 4.00pm on BBC Radio 4. For further broadcast details, and to listen again where available, please visit

View the other episode guides in this series.

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