Are human beings less violent than before? Why do we adopt certain moral and political judgements? Why is the gap between rich and poor getting bigger? How do we decide which criminal policies are effective? What is the Population Challenge for the 21st Century? What is social science? In Big Ideas in Social Science, David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton put these and more of our society’s burning questions to 18 of the world’s leading social scientists including Steven Pinker, Ann Oakley, Lawrence Sherman, Kate Pickett, Robert J. Shiller and Doreen Massey. The result is a collection of thought-provoking discussions that span the fields of sociology, politics, economics, criminology, geography and many more. From the people who brought us the Philosophy Bites series, Big Ideas in Social Science is a fascinating and accessible introduction to the key ideas and findings of the social sciences. The interviews for this book are based on a series of podcasts, Social Science Bites, sponsored by SAGE. Social Science Bites was inspired by the popular Philosophy Bites podcast (, which was founded by David and Nigel in 2007 and has so far had 26 million downloads. Philosophy Bites has spawned three books, Philosophy Bites, Philosophy Bites Back and Philosophy Bites Again.



Trevor Marchand

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Trevor Marchand is Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS and recipient of the RAI Rivers Medal (2014). He is trained in architecture (McGill), anthropology (SOAS), and fine woodwork (Building Crafts College). Marchand has conducted fieldwork with masons and craftspeople in Yemen, Mali, and East London. He is the author of Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen (2001), The Masons of Djenné (2009), and The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work (forthcoming), and editor of, among others, Making Knowledge (2010) and Craftwork as Problem Solving (2016). He has produced and directed documentary films, and curated exhibitions at the RIBA and the Smithsonian Institution.

David Edmonds: It’s an unusual approach for an academic: a hands-on approach. Literally ...

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