Society and Culture

1. Researching Drugs Cultures

Hilary Pilkington is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. In this podcast I talk to her about two research projects she led on drug use in Russia, as well about researching drug cultures more generally. The interview encompasses the findings of the research in Russia, as well as wider theoretical and methodological issues which drugs cultures pose for social researchers.

2. The Sociology of Sleep

In this podcast Simon Williams talks about his new book the Politics of Sleep. While sleep is often taken to be a entirely private and natural part of human life, in recent years it has been the subject of a rich vein of interdisciplinary research.

As well as exploring the political dimensions to contemporary discourses and practices of sleep, the interview addresses some of the broader questions which sleep raises, situating these issues in terms of theories of modernity and human nature.

3. Swimming the Channel

As part of her research into channel swimmers, Dr Karen Throsby recently swam the English channel herself and was kind enough to talk to the Sociological Imagination about it as the first in a new series of podcasts.

As Karen put it on her research Blog, ““I will just say that it was an extraordinary, brutal, intoxicating, frustrating, exciting, painful, exhilarating, exhausting day that I will never forget.”

4. Modafinil and Cognitive Enhancement

In this podcast Catherine Coveney uses the case study of Modafinil (a revolutionary ‘wakefulness’ drug reportedly subject to increasingly widespread use amongst students, academics, professionals and shiftworkers) to explore the status and practice of cognitive enhancement within contemporary society.

5. The Wellcome Collection

In this podcast Mark Carrigan interviews Danny Birchall, web editor at the Wellcome Collection. The interview discusses the process and thinking behind the Collection’s innovative use of digital media, as well as the recent High Society exhibition in particular.

6. Homophobia and Team Sports

Team sports are often seen a traditionally homophobia arena within society. Yet in this interview Dr Eric Anderson argues that this widespread assumption is increasingly inaccurate. Through analysing the relationship between sport and wider society he offers an account of how wider cultural and social changes in relation to homophobia are starting to manifest themselves in more relaxed and tolerant attitudes within team sports. Drawing on his extensive empirical research he argues that young people today are increasingly comfortable with the presence of homosexuality and that all the evidence suggests this trend looks set to continue. He also discusses his own experiences as America’s first openly gay high school coach.

7. Gender Segregation in Sports

Gender segregation in sports is usually seen as entirely natural and a fact of life. Yet in this challenging interview Dr Eric Anderson explores the social and economic roots of gender segregation in sport before questioning whether we have any real grounds for treating gender segregation differently to racial segregation. In doing so he offers an account of the impact that gender segregation in sports has on wider society and sketches out a few ideas about what a gender integrated sports might look like.

8. Political Economy of Football

The commercialisation of football is a widely remarked upon phenomena and yet the causes driving this process remain too little understood. In this podcast Professor Wyn Grant tackles the political economy of football. In doing so he explores a variety of topics including: the impact of globalization upon football, the divergence between higher and lower division football clubs, the significance of ever increasing transfer fees, different models of club ownership across the globe and the financial sustainability of football clubs under current conditions.