E027 Surviving Society with Ben Rogaly

In this episode we are lucky enough to be talking to Professor Ben Rogaly, human geographer at the University of Sussex, activist, and one of Saskia’s PhD supervisors. Ben tells us about his work with residents of Peterborough, what ‘gangmastering’ is, and why Peterborough is an important place when it comes to thinking about Englishness, migration and racisms. As well as talking about whiteness in rural England, we ask Ben to help us out in thinking about the debate around anti-semitism in the Labour party – why is it such a big political issue? Why is it so complicated to talk about? And what is Zionism? Along the way, Saskia gets to whip out her 16th Century History A Level knowledge, Tissot contributes his info from the Daily Stormer, and Chantelle brings in her insider view on the Midlands. Thank you so much Ben for coming on the pod and for helping us to survive society!

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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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E016 Black women in education with April-Louise Pennant

What does it mean to be a Black woman in the English education system? Special guest April-Louise Pennant talks about why she is researching the educational experiences of Black women, how those women have negotiated racism and sexism in schools and universities, and why it is important that those experiences are heard. Chantelle tells us about her activist work on getting more Black students to do PhDs, and we pull apart the reasons behind the media obsession with ‘grade inflation’. As usual, we’re ranty, we’re sweary, and we’re having a good time!

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E014 Surviving Society with Priyamvada Gopal

In this very special episode, Chantelle and Tissot chat to Dr Priyamvada Gopal, English lecturer at the University of Cambridge and brilliant anti-racist activist. Between the three of us, we pull apart racism and representation in universities, colonialism and its collaborators and the abuse that comes with anti-racist activism. There might be a few swear words in there, but mainly it’s an essential conversation that gives context to the struggles people of colour continue to face in UK higher education.

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E013 Rima Saini on ‘race’ and class

How middle class are middle class people of colour? This week we’re joined by Rima Saini, a PhD student who is researching South Asian middle classes in the UK. She unpacks how complicated being middle class can be for people of South Asian origin due to the racisms they face on a daily basis, and how they manage the clash between privilege and prejudice. We also talk about whether Meghan Markle can be an activist and a royal, how theorists of race and class are competing with each other when it comes to explaining Brexit, and why ‘race’ and class can never truly be separated. In an episode which sometimes strays into academic jargon (sorry!), we unravel issues of essentialism, respectability, tokenism, and whether you can ever really escape the ‘race’ and class other people see you as. As usual, there’s a lot of laughing, a bit of ranting, and some strong language!

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E012 The Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s Hour: Intersectionality

In our second Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s hour we are breaking down intersectionality! Special guest Brenda talks us through her role as a children’s counsellor, arguing that women and children who have been victims of domestic abuse suffer further violence at the hands of the state due to cuts to vital services, Saskia discusses one of the ultimate feminist conundrums of body image, and Chantelle wants early career researchers to recognise that, despite shitty contracts and precarity, to work in academia is to be in a position of privilege. Throughout the episode, we try to bear in mind the ways in which oppressions can intersect along the lines of gender, class, ‘race’, migration status and perceived body size. Expect the usual strong language, ranting and laughter!

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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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E004 The Brexit Special: Racism, Jo Cox and passports

Brace yourselves, people: this week, we’re tackling Brexit. We talk about racism in the UK, how Jo Cox’s murderer was motivated by the far-right, and what it means to feel like a migrant since the referendum. With strong language that some may find offensive, and laughter that some may find too loud, we explain why Brexit makes us angry, and how the Leave result has affected our lives.

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