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Twitter; Elite University Admissions

Laurie Taylor discusses social communication in the Twitter age. Also, how do elite university students judge the 'fairness' of admissions?

TWITTER - Laurie Taylor talks to the sociologist, Dhiraj Murthy, about his new book 'Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age'. This form of social media is now a household name, discussed for its role in political movements, national elections and natural disasters. But what's the real significance of this 'electronically diminished turn to terseness' as Murphy describes it? Using case studies including citizen journalism and health, his groundbreaking study deciphers the ways in which Twitter is re-making contemporary life.

Also, elite university admissions. Harvard Professor of Education, Natasha Kumar Warikoo, discusses her research into the perceptions of meritocracy and inequality among undergraduates at Oxford University - part of a wider study of students at the highest ranking universities in the United States and Britain.Given the frequent critiques of such universities for admitting low numbers of state school graduates and, more recently, British Afro-Caribbean students, how do their students make meaning of the admissions process? Melissa Benn, writer and education campaigner joins the discussion.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes

Dhiraj Murthy

Senior Lecturer of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London


Find out more about Dhiraj Murthy


Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age
Publisher: Polity Press
ISBN-10: 0745652395
ISBN-13: 978-0745652399

Natasha Kumar Warikoo

Assistant Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Education (HGSE)


Find out more about Natasha Kumar Warikoo


Abstract: Legitimating status: perceptions of meritocracy and inequality among undergraduates at an elite British university
Warikoo, N. K. and Fuhr, C. (2013)
British Educational Research Journal
doi: 10.1002/berj.3108



Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN-10: 0520262115
ISBN-13: 978-0520262119

Melissa Benn

Writer, journalist and campaigner



Find out more about Melissa Benn



School Wars: The Battle for Britain's Education
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN-10: 1844670910
ISBN-13: 978-1844670918

Ethnography Award

Thinking Allowed in association with the British Sociological Association announces a new annual 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.


Are you involved in social science research and completing or will have completed an ethnography this year? The Award is open to any UK resident currently employed as a teacher or researcher or studying as a postgraduate in a UK institution of higher education.


An entry should be a completed ethnography, a qualitative research project which provides a detailed description of the practices of a group or culture. Any sole authored book or peer reviewed research article published during the calendar year of the award will be eligible.


The judges for the Award are Professor Dick Hobbs, Professor Henrietta Moore, Dr Louise Westmarland, Professor Bev Skeggs. The Chair is Professor Laurie Taylor. (Please do not contact any judges directly).



Find out more on how to participate


  • Wed 9 Oct 2013 16:00
  • Mon 14 Oct 2013 00:15

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