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Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award winner 2015

Updated Friday, 17th April 2015

In this episode of BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor announces the Ethnography award winner 2015. 

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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:

Silver trophy cup on white podium Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Roman Milert | This year, the BBC's Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, launched the second year of its award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub-culture. Laurie Taylor presents a special edition of Thinking Allowed to mark the announcement of the winner of the 2015 award.

Laurie and a team of leading academics - Professor Beverley Skeggs, Professor Adam Kuper, Dr Coretta Phillips and Dr Louise Westmarland - were tasked with judging the study that has made the most significant contribution to ethnography over the past year. Ethnographic studies in the past have often illuminated lives which were little understood or stigmatised such as the urban poor in 1930s Chicago and the mods and rockers of 50s Britain. Typically, the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study.

This year's entries covered an extraordinary diversity of worlds from Zimbabwean communities in the UK to prisons gangs in the American penal system and female drug mules in the international cocaine trade. The judges were taken on an international journey by submissions whose reach extended from the East End of London, Bulgaria and Botswana to Northern Ireland and post Soviet Russia. After much passionate and lively debate, the winner can be announced.

This edition of Thinking Allowed is first broadcast on Wednesday 23rd April 2015 at 4.00pm on BBC Radio 4. For further broadcast details, and to listen again where available, please visit

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