Brown Don't Frown was borne out of a personal journey with womanhood. As a British Bangladeshi, navigating mainstream Feminism often felt exclusionary to me because it didn’t seem to value the experiences or views which shaped my grandmother’s, aunts’, mother’s or friends’ lives. Through this podcast, we seek to build a more inclusive discourse, which breaks down presumptions about different cultures, and shines a positive light on the stories of underrepresented women. Featuring new guest(s) from different walks of life in each episode, Brown Don’t Frown seeks to engage ordinary women and facilitate openness towards entirely new perspectives. It hopes to spark honest and meaningful conversations about intersectional feminist themes in contemporary society with the acknowledgement that our views are shaped by our cultural, racial, religious, social and political experiences. Whether it's discussing society's preconceptions about the Hijab with a British-born Jamaican Muslim woman or examining the impact of gendered expectations on our ability to grieve on our own terms, we hope listeners finish each episode feeling more rounded than they did before. Follow us on: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/browndontfrownpodcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdfpodcast?lang=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/browndontfrownpodcast LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/browndontfrownpodcast
Sunday Jun 13, 2021
Sunday Jun 13, 2021
Today’s guest is Dr Lisa Mckenzie, Assistant Professor, Ethnographer and Sociologist, currently based at Durham University who has written and spoken extensively about classism, social inequality and leftist politics. We begin the conversation talking about her roots coming from a mining town in Nottingham and the pride of her working class identity growing up, defined by values of community, family, and hard work.
We speak about our unhealthy obsession with class hierarchies in the UK, and the inherent prejudice against the working class. The recent Sewell Report, albeit heavily criticised, identified the defining roles that class and geographical inequalities play in people’s life chances and we talk about the intersection of class, race, ethnicity, gender and location when it comes to discrimination and inequality in the UK. Lisa speaks about her latest kickstarter project, “Lockdown Diaries of the Working Class” which comprises a collection of diary entries from 38 working class people in the first month of lockdown. She tells us about her motivations behind spotlighting the illustrations and stories of the working class.
Lisa is a vocal opponent of social mobility. I ask her why she thinks it is ineffective and whether aspiration can ever be a bad thing. Cultural Capital now forms part of Ofsted’s teaching framework and requires education providers to give learners “the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life”. Given its historical association with who you know, not what you know, and having the right networks, we talk about how, in some ways, it might polarise the middle and working classes by equating self-worth with an idealised way of life.
Follow Lisa on Twitter: @redrumlisa. If you enjoy listening to this podcast, please consider supporting it so it can continue to provide you with engaging, meaningful content. You can donate via Patreon: www.patreon.com/browndontfrownpod.