iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Front Row
Damon Albarn, Art Fund Prize shortlist, Sophie Hannah, Proms line-up
Image for 19/05/2010

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player


30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 19 May 2010

Genealogical research has become a passion for a growing number of people. Programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? and websites like Genes Reunited feed a voracious interest in family origins and the lives of ancestors. But what impact does this kind of research have on the families which are being studied? Hidden pregnancies...mental illnesses...shunned relatives... Laurie Taylor talks to sociologist Anne-Marie Kramer, whose research has unveiled some of the conflicts which arise when family skeletons are dragged into the light, and to the cartoonist Martin Rowson who has performed some geneaological research of his own.
Also, how did a Danish stew of left-over vegetables and scrag end of lamb come to epitomise a proud and enduring British city culture? Ciara Kierans discusses a cultural history of Scouse.

Producer: Charlie Taylor.

  • Anne-Marie Kramer

    Dr Anne-Marie Kramer
    Research Fellow in the Development of Sociology, University of Warwick

    Dr Anne-Marie Kramer’s paper to the BSA Annual Conference 2010 “Bringing families together or exposing secrets and creating family rifts?: Tracing the consequences of family history research” (This unpublished paper is part of a larger study on The Cultural Status of Genealogical Research funded by the Leverhulme Trust)

    Find out more about Anne-Marie Kramer
  • Martin Rowson

    Martin Rowson, Author and Cartoonist

    Publisher: Vintage
    ISBN-10: 0099502658
    ISBN-13: 978-0099502654

    Find out more about Martin Rowson
  • Ciara Kierans

    Ciara Kierans, Medical anthropologist in the Division of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Liverpool

    The ‘Social Life’ of Scouse: Understanding Contemporary Liverpool through Changing Food Practices
    Ciara Kierans and Jane Haeney
    Cultural Sociology, Vol. 4, No. 1, 101-122 (2010)
    DOI: 10.1177/1749975509356864

    Find out more about Ciara Kierans


The Open University

Open University logo

Analysis and insights related to Thinking Allowed programmes.

Nominations for the Thinking Allowed Award for Ethnography are now closed

Laurie Taylor

A new annual award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography

Free download

  1. Image for Thinking Allowed

    Thinking Allowed

    Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works and discusses current ideas on how…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.