Society matters

Academic insights into real world matters

Society matters is a podcast from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) at Aston University. Presented by journalist Steve Dyson, the podcast series explores some of the fascinating work of academics within the School on current issues facing society.

Society matters can be found on all major streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Series 2 episodes

S2E2 - The slave trade: Birmingham’s industrial links to this shameful history

Dr Joseph Yannielli, a lecturer in history at Aston University’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities, reveals how Birmingham's industrial pioneers were deeply linked to the slave trade. He also discusses the importance that digital archives play in our understanding of the personal and very human stories emanating from this shameful part of our history.

Release date: Wednesday 6th October 2021

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S2E1 - Overcoming local community language barriers during Covid-19

Sue Campbell, a teaching fellow in translation studies at Aston University, reveals there are more than 100 languages spoken in Birmingham schools, but that vital information about Covid-19 was only translated into 17 of them. Her research project has mapped the city's language clusters to assist the authorities and is now training 'translation champions' to help local communities.

Release date: Wednesday 8th September 2021

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Series 1 episodes

S1E8 - Disaster ethics: intervention policies for natural hazards

Dr Lauren Traczykowski, a senior lecturer in ethics at Aston University, discusses what obligations the international community has to intervene and assist when a state is unable or unwilling to help its own population in the aftermath of a natural hazard.

Release date: Wednesday 28th July 2021

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S1E7 - Why football fans' European Super League fury was no surprise

Dr Danny Fitzpatrick, a 'politics of sport' specialist in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations at Aston University, discusses how football fans’ fury over the European Super League was 30 years in the making. His research traces how fans’ activism has been growing since protests against the ‘breakaway’ Premier League in the 1990s.

Release date: Wednesday 2nd June 2021

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S1E6 -Tackling the inequalities of Covid-19

Dr Alexis Paton, a social epidemiology and sociology lecturer at Aston University's School of Social Sciences and Humanities, discusses how ethnic minorities and other groups have not been treated equitably during Covid-19. She argues that ethics could create more fairness when tackling future pandemics.

Release date: Wednesday 12th May 2021

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S1E5 - How storytelling is helping people with dementia

Dr Stephen Fay, a lecturer in Spanish at Aston University's School of Social Sciences and Humanities, describes how a new narrative therapy project carried out via Zoom in Latin America has improved the lives of people with dementia. He's hoping to spread the work to Cuba and bring it back to the West Midlands.

Release date: Wednesday 14th April 2021

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S1E4 - Live music: surviving Covid-19

Dr Patrycja Rozbicka, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at Aston University’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities, describes how the live music sector will survive, despite being devastated by the lockdowns resulting from Covid-19.

Release date: Wednesday 10th March 2021

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S1E3 - Online abuse: understanding what's offensive

Dr Tamineh Tayebi, a lecturer at the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, hopes her research into online abuse and why people are offended by certain words and phrases will help to combat digital hate crime and cyberbullying.

Release date: Wednesday 10th February 2021

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S1E2 - The superiority complex of super-rich Russians

Dr Elisabeth Schimpfössl, senior lecturer in sociology and policy at Aston University’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities, discusses how her research found that many super-rich Russians often saw themselves as ‘biologically superior’.

Release date: Wednesday 27th January 2021

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S1E1 - Understanding the language used to report abuse

Dr Emma Richardson, research fellow in forensic linguistics at the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, discusses how her methodology initially used to study pub-talk is now helping police interviewers understand victims of sexual assault and call handlers to assist domestic abuse victims.

Release date: Wednesday 13th January 2021

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