E023 Les Back: Migrant City

This week we are super excited to be joined by one of our favourite sociologists and teachers Professor Les Back to talk about his latest book, Migrant City, which he has co-written with Dr Shamser Sinha. After an introduction from Les and Charlynne Bryan, who contributed to Migrant City, Les tells us about the ten-year project in which he and Shamser have followed the lives of 30 migrants, some of whom are refugees and asylum seekers, as they seek to establish their lives in London in the face of brutal UK immigration policies. As well as discussing the racism and colonialism that continues to shape British social, economic and political life, the four of us think together about sociable sociology in a time of division and political unrest, the potential of everyday conviviality as an alternative to racism, and how as sociologists we can attempt to contribute to the humanity and dignity of people who bear the brunt of anti-migrant politics. Huge thanks to Les for taking the time to talk to us, and also to Les, Shamser and your participants for what is a beautiful piece of sociology and a powerful intervention in anti-migrant times.

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E019 Surviving Society with The Sociological Review: Satnam Virdee

In the first of our collaborations with The Sociological Review, Professor Satnam Virdee talks to Tissot, Chantelle and Saskia about the importance of ‘race’ when it comes to understanding class and capitalism. Satnam argues that, looking at the last three centuries of capitalism in Britain and its empire, we can see that ‘‘race’ and nation, when it comes to thinking about Britain, run hand in hand’. As informative about the current political moment as he is about histories of capitalism, we especially love Satnam’s challenge to the idea that Britain was ever a ‘white’ nation, and the hope he offers about the role migrants can and have played in the democratisation of our society.

Warning: This episode contains some academic jargon.

Edited by Art of Podcast

Recorded in Gateshead at The Sociological Review conference, June 2018

Special thanks to Michaela Benson and everyone at The Sociological Review


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E006 Mugabe, Meghan Markle and migration

What’s wrong with the way we talk about Africa? Who cares if Meghan Markle is ‘mixed race’? And why do British citizenship tests matter? We tackle all this and more in this episode on how ‘race’, gender and Britain’s former colonies are portrayed in the media. With some swearing and plenty of historical insights from Tissot.

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