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Richard Hoggart; The Anti-Social Family

Laurie Taylor discusses the first biography of this leading cultural commentator and academic. Plus changing conceptions of the family.

Richard Hoggart: Laurie Taylor talks to Professor of Cultural Studies, Fred Inglis, about his biography of this leading cultural commentator and academic. Hoggart's 1957 book 'The Uses of Literacy' documented the lives and hardships of the life of the poor in pre-World War Britain as well as providing an account of the transition from working class to 'mass' culture in the post War period. Inglis considers some of Hoggart's key ideas including his emphasis on working class community and family life as a source of support and sanctuary. Also, the sociology of the family, then and now. Hoggart's views about the family form part of an ongoing sociological debate to which the late Mary McIntosh made a major contribution. Professor of Sociology, Carol Smart, pays tribute to her classic 1982 book 'The Anti Social Family' which offered a socialist and feminist critique of the traditional nuclear family, arguing that it was as often a site of inequality and conflict as of refuge, particularly for women. Deborah Chambers, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, joins the debate.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes

Fred Inglis

Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sheffield and Honorary Professor of Cultural History at the University of Warwick



Find out more about Fred Inglis



Richard Hoggart: Virtue and Reward
Publisher: Polity Press
ISBN-10: 0745651712
ISBN-13: 978-0745651712

Carol Smart

Professor of Sociology in the Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life, University of Manchester



Find out more about Carol Smart



The Anti-Social Family
Michelle Barrett and Mary Mclntosh
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN-10: 086091545X
ISBN-13: 978-0860915454

Deborah Chambers

Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Newcastle 



Find out more about Deborah Chambers



Social Media and Personal Relationships: Online Intimacies and Networked Friendship
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10: 0230364179
ISBN-13: 978-0230364172


A Sociology of Family Life: Change and Diversity in Intimate Relations
Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition
ISBN-10: 0745647790
ISBN-13: 978-0745647791

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 6 Nov 2013 16:00
  • Mon 11 Nov 2013 00:15

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