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History of Surfing; Coffee Shops and Idleness

New research on how society works. Laurie Taylor looks beyond the crashing waves and suntanned bodies. Also, idling in coffee shops.

Surfing - a political history. Laurie Taylor looks beyond the tanned bodies, crashing waves and carefree pleasure, talking to Scott Laderman, Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. His study traces the rise of surfing in the context of the rise of imperialism and global capitalism. From its emergence in post annexation Hawaii and its use as a diplomatic weapon in America's Cold War to the low wage labour of the surf industry today; he uncovers a hidden history involving as much blood and repression as beachside bliss. Also, Pelle Valentin Olsen, graduate student at the University of Oxford, explores the Baghdad coffee shop, idleness and the emergence of the bourgeoisie. He's joined by Graham Scambler, Emiritus Professor of Sociology at University College, London.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

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28 minutes

Scott Laderman

Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Duluth



Find out more about Scott Laderman


Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN-10: 0520279115
ISBN-13: 978-0520279117

Pelle Valentin Olsen

MPhil candidate in Modern Middle Eastern History at St Antony’s College, Oxford


Find out more about Pelle Valentin Olsen



Paper: 'Idle Days in Baghdad: The emergence of bourgeois time and the coffee shop as a site of procrastination’
Procrastination: Cultural Explorations

An Interdisciplinary Conference
Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 2 July

Graham Scambler

Emeritus Professor of Sociology at University College London


Find out more about Graham Scambler


Café Society
Aksel Tjora and Graham Scambler (editors)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10: 1137275928
ISBN-13: 978-1137275929


  • Wed 25 Jun 2014 16:00
  • Mon 30 Jun 2014 00:15

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