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WonderLabs with Chris Richardson

Mar 7, 2021

Lesley Groom and Chris Sparrow have had fruitful careers in sociology and social work. They’ve spent much of their time in Greater Manchester, North West England—the part of the world in which I was born, and a part of the world that’s close to my heart.

In this episode, we talk about a community space they helped to set up in 1981, and how that space evolved organically over time. We also discuss our lost tradition of radicalism and culture of risk, the shifting aspirations of the working class, the intentional limits of the state education system, and the power of social media in promoting both narcissism and social change.

Lesley cites many books and studies throughout the conversation, including:

“Family and Kinship in East London”, a 1957 sociological study

“Adult Education and Community Action: Popular Social Movements” by Tom Lovett, Chris Clarke, and Avila Kilmurray

“Goliath: Britain's Dangerous Places” by Beatrix Campbell

“One No, Many Yeses” by Paul Kingsnorth