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The rise of digital technology is transforming the world in which we live. Our digitalized societies demand new ways of thinking about the social, and this short book introduces readers to an approach that can deliver this: digital sociology. Neil Selwyn examines the concepts, tools and practices that sociologists are developing to analyze the intersections of the social and the digital. Blending theory and empirical examples, the five chapters highlight areas of inquiry where digital approaches are taking hold and shaping the discipline of sociology today. The book explores key topics such as digital race and digital labor, as well as the fast-changing nature of digital research methods and diversifying forms of digital scholarship. Designed for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses, this timely introduction will be an invaluable resource for all sociologists seeking to focus their craft and thinking toward the social complexities of the digital age.
This book explores prison arts in Australia, USA, UK, and Chile, and creates a new framework for understanding its practices. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests music, theatre, poetry, and dance can contribute to prisoner wellbeing, management, rehabilitation, and reintegration. Performing Arts in Prison represents a range of distinct perspectives on the subject, from an inspector of prisons to the voice of the prisoner. The book includes a spectrum of arts approaches and models of practice alongside theory, critical commentary, and accounts of personal experience to present a full analysis of the value and effects of creative arts in prison.
This new book is a wide-ranging, contemporary and accessible analysis of familiar and recurring myths about mass education in the United Kingdom. Looking at a variety of important issues and problems, each chapter begins by dispelling myths and assumptions about the classroom, going beyond class, race and gender, to offer analysis of topics such as discipline, youth cultures, information technology and globalisation. Utilising an interdisciplinary lens, this book offers knowledge from disciplines as diverse as sociology, philosophy, jurisprudence and cultural studies. Gordon Tait examines the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches to education, from critical theory to postmodernism, and Foucaultian governance to post-colonialism. Analysing the many assumptions about education taken for granted in British public discourse, important conclusions are drawn about which of these assumptions are fair and reasonable, and which we should challenge. This book is an essential resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the sociology of education, culture and education, and the philosophy of education.
A fast-growing social media marketing company, TechCo encourages all of its employees to speak up. By promoting open dialogue across the corporate hierarchy, the firm has fostered a uniquely engaged workforce and an enviable capacity for change. Yet the path hasn't always been easy. TechCo has confronted a number of challenges, and its experience reveals the essential elements of bureaucracy that remain even when a firm sets out to discard them. Through it all, TechCo serves as a powerful new model for how firms can navigate today's rapidly changing technological and cultural climate. Catherine J. Turco was embedded within TechCo for ten months. The Conversational Firm is her ethnographic analysis of what worked at the company and what didn't. She offers multiple lessons for anyone curious about the effect of social media on the corporate environment and adds depth to debates over the new generation of employees reared on social media: Millennials who carry their technological habits and expectations into the workplace. Marshaling insights from cultural and economic sociology, organizational theory, economics, technology studies, and anthropology, The Conversational Firm offers a nuanced analysis of corporate communication, control, and culture in the social media age.
In his major investigation into the nature of humans, Peter Sloterdijk presents a critique of myth - the myth of the return of religion. For it is not religion that is returning; rather, there is something else quite profound that is taking on increasing significance in the present: the human as a practising, training being, one that creates itself through exercises and thereby transcends itself. Rainer Maria Rilke formulated the drive towards such self-training in the early twentieth century in the imperative 'You must change your life'.
In making his case for the expansion of the practice zone for individuals and for society as a whole, Sloterdijk develops a fundamental and fundamentally new anthropology. The core of his science of the human being is an insight into the self-formation of all things human. The activity of both individuals and collectives constantly comes back to affect them: work affects the worker, communication the communicator, feelings the feeler.
It is those humans who engage expressly in practice that embody this mode of existence most clearly: farmers, workers, warriors, writers, yogis, rhetoricians, musicians or models. By examining their training plans and peak performances, this book offers a panorama of exercises that are necessary to be, and remain, a human being.
In The Geometry of Genocide, Bradley Campbell argues that genocide is best understood not as deviant behavior but as social control?a response to perceived deviant behavior on the part of victims. Using Donald Black's method of pure sociology, Campbell considers genocide in relation to three features of social life: diversity, inequality, and intimacy. Campbell applies his approach to five cases to attempt to explain an array of factors, including why genocide occurs and who participates. By situating genocide among these broader phenomena, The Geometry of Genocide provides a novel and compelling explanation of genocide, while furthering our understanding of why humans have conflicts and why they respond to conflict as they do.
Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum bring together leading scholars
from a wide array of disciplines to address a crucial question: How
does the world's most populous democracy survive repeated assaults
on its pluralistic values? India's stunning linguistic, cultural,
and religious diversity has been supported since Independence by a
political structure that emphasizes equal rights for all, and
protects liberties of religion and speech. But a decent
Constitution does not implement itself, and challenges to these
core values repeatedly arise---not least in the first decade of the
twenty-first century, when the rise of Hindu Right movements
threatened to destabilize the nation and upend its core values, in
the wake of a notorious pogrom in the state of Gujarat in which
approximately 2000 Muslim civilians were killed.
Political revolutions, economic meltdowns, mass ideological conversions and collective innovation adoptions occur often, but when they do happen, they tend to be the least expected. Based on the paradigm of 'leading from the periphery', this groundbreaking analysis offers an explanation for such spontaneity and apparent lack of leadership in contentious collective action. Contrary to existing theories, the author argues that network effects in collective action originating from marginal leaders can benefit from a total lack of communication. Such network effects persist in isolated islands of contention instead of overarching action cascades, and are shown to escalate in globally dispersed, but locally concentrated networks of contention. This is a trait that can empower marginal leaders and set forth social dynamics distinct from those originating in the limelight. Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action provides evidence from two Middle Eastern uprisings, as well as behavioral experiments of collective risk-taking in social networks.
"Cultural Sociology: An Introduction" is the first dedicated student textbook to address cultural sociology as a legitimate model for sociological thinking and research. Highly renowned authors present a rich overview of major sociological themes and the various empirical applications of cultural sociology.
A timely introductory overview to this increasingly significant field which provides invaluable summaries of key studies and approaches within cultural sociology Clearly written and designed, with accessible summaries of thematic topics, covering race, class, politics, religion, media, fashion, and music International experts contribute chapters in their field of research, including a chapter by David Chaney, a founder of cultural sociology Offers a unified set of theoretical and methodological tools for those wishing to apply a cultural sociological approach in their work
Cross-border solidarity has captured the interest and imagination of scholars, activists and a range of political actors in such contested areas as the US-Mexico border and Guantanamo Bay. Chandra Russo examines how justice-seeking solidarity drives activist communities contesting US torture, militarism and immigration policies. Through compelling and fresh ethnographic accounts, Russo follows these activists as they engage in unusual and high risk forms of activism (fasting, pilgrimage, civil disobedience). She explores their ideas of solidarity and witnessing, which are central to how the activists explain their activities. This book adds to our understanding of solidarity activism under new global arrangements, and illuminates the features of movement activity that deepen activists' commitment by helping their lives feel more humane, just and meaningful. Based on participant observation, interviews, surveys and hundreds of courtroom statements, Russo develops a new theorization of solidarity that will take a central place in social movement studies.
'A beautifully written, eminently readable, and uniquely important challenge to conventional wisdom' J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy
Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. Groups unite us, fostering a sense of belonging and taking care of some of our most basic needs. They have also, throughout history, divided us.
Today the West - and particularly the United States - sees the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles: democracy vs. authoritarianism, communism vs. capitalism, the 'free world' vs. the 'axis of evil'. Abroad, our inability to recognise ethnic, religious, sectarian and clan-based tribes has led to stunning oversights in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. This hasn't always been the case. During its imperial heyday, for instance, Britain exploited the power of group identities by practicing ruthlessly successful, acutely group-conscious divide-and-rule policies to its advantage.
Now political correctness has seen group-blindness become the norm, leading to disasters at home and abroad. Pundits miscalled the US election and Brexit because they failed to pay heed to the deep significance of political tribes at home. They didn't understand, and even looked down on, what matters most to ordinary citizens: not equality, not democracy, not grand ideals, but belonging to a group.
If we are to transcend our political tribes, we must rediscover a broader, more nuanced unity that acknowledges the reality of our group differences. Insightful, challenging and provocative, Political Tribes is Amy Chua at her best.
SOCIOLOGY: THE ESSENTIALS, Ninth Edition, uses the theme of debunking myths to look behind the facades of everyday life, encourage you to question common assumptions, and help you better understand how society is constructed and sustained. This thorough yet streamlined text provides exceptional coverage of diversity, including social factors such as age, religion, sexual orientation, and region of residence, in addition to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Updated with coverage of the latest findings, trends, and themes, this new edition's reader-friendly presentation teaches you the concepts, methods, and research that will sharpen your "sociological imagination" and help you view the world from a different perspective.
The idea of a graduate art program likely conjures up images of young artists in lofty studios, learning advanced techniques and honing the physical practice of their creativity. In truth, however, today's MFA culture is centered almost entirely around discussing art rather than actually making it. In Talking Art, ethnographer Gary Alan Fine gives us an eye-opening look at the culture and practices of the contemporary university-based master's level art program. Central to this culture is the act of the critique, an often harrowing process-depicted here in dramatic and illuminating detail-where artists in training must defend their work before classmates and instructors. Through analysis of the practice of the critique and other aspects of the curriculum, Fine reveals how art schools have changed the very conception of the artist: no longer a misunderstood loner toiling away in a garret, now an artist is closer to being an articulate tour guide through the maze of contemporary art rhetoric. More importantly, he tells us, MFA programs have shifted the goal of creating art away from beauty and toward theory. Contemporary visual art, Fine argues, is no longer a calling or a passion-it's a discipline, with an academic culture that requires its practitioners to be verbally skilled in the presentation of their intentions. Talking Art offers a remarkable and disconcerting view into the crucial role that universities play in creating that culture.
Political parties are central to democratic life, yet there is no standard definition to describe them or the role they occupy. "Voter-centered" theoretical approaches suggest that parties are the mere recipients of voter interests and loyalties. "Party-centered" approaches, by contrast, envision parties that polarize, democratize, or dominate society. In addition to offering isolated and competing notions of democratic politics, such approaches are also silent on the role of the state and are unable to account for organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the African National Congress, which exhibit characteristics of parties, states, and social movements simultaneously. In this timely book, Cedric de Leon examines the ways in which social scientists and other observers have imagined the relationship between parties and society. He introduces and critiques the full range of approaches, using enlivening comparative examples from across the globe. Cutting through a vast body of research, de Leon offers a succinct and lively analysis that outlines the key thinking in the field, placing it in historical and contemporary context. The resulting book will appeal to students of sociology, political science, social psychology, and related fields.
A leading expert challenges the prevailing gloomy outlook on higher education with solid evidence of its successes Crushing student debt, rapidly eroding state funding, faculty embroiled in speech controversies, a higher-education market disrupted by online competition--today's headlines suggest that universities' power to advance knowledge and shape American society is rapidly declining. But Steven Brint, a renowned analyst of academic institutions, has tracked numerous trends demonstrating their vitality. After a recent period that witnessed soaring student enrollment and ample research funding, universities, he argues, are in a better position than ever before. Focusing on the years 1980-2015, Brint details the trajectory of American universities, which was influenced by evolving standards of disciplinary professionalism, market-driven partnerships (especially with scientific and technological innovators outside the academy), and the goal of social inclusion. Conflicts arose: academic entrepreneurs, for example, flouted their campus responsibilities, and departments faced backlash over the hiring of scholars with nontraditional research agendas. Nevertheless, educators' commitments to technological innovation and social diversity prevailed and created a new dynamism. Brint documents these successes along with the challenges that result from rapid change. Today, knowledge-driven industries generate almost half of U.S. GDP, but divisions by educational level split the American political order. Students flock increasingly to fields connected to the power centers of American life and steer away from the liberal arts. And opportunities for economic mobility are expanding even as academic expectations decline. In describing how universities can meet such challenges head on, especially in improving classroom learning, Brint offers not only a clear-eyed perspective on the current state of American higher education but also a pragmatically optimistic vision for the future.
What is work? Is it simply a burden to be tolerated or something more meaningful to one's sense of identity and self-worth? And why does it matter? In a uniquely thought-provoking book, John W. Budd presents ten historical and contemporary views of work from across the social sciences and humanities. By uncovering the diverse ways in which we conceptualize work such as a way to serve or care for others, a source of freedom, a source of income, a method of psychological fulfillment, or a social relation shaped by class, gender, race, and power The Thought of Work reveals the wide-ranging nature of work and establishes its fundamental importance for the human experience. When we work, we experience our biological, psychological, economic, and social selves. Work locates us in the world, helps us and others make sense of who we are, and determines our access to material and social resources.
By integrating these distinct views, Budd replaces the usual fragmentary approaches to understanding the nature and meaning of work with a comprehensive approach that promotes a deep understanding of how work is understood, experienced, and analyzed. Concepts of work affect who and what is valued, perceptions of freedom and social integration, identity construction, evaluations of worker well-being, the legitimacy and design of human resource management practices, support for labor unions and labor standards, and relationships between religious faith and work ethics. By drawing explicit attention to diverse, implicit meanings of work, The Thought of Work allows us to better understand work, to value it, and to structure it in desirable ways that reflect its profound importance."
Austerity and Law in Europe presents an interdisciplinary collection of essays that challenge traditional narratives of austerity. The contributions recast austerity as a historically contingent political rationality that operates through law and technocracy. * A collection of essays that tackles the relationship between austerity and law within and outside the European Union * Draws on a set of interdisciplinary contributions, incorporating insights from European law, economic history, legal theory, and economics * Reveals how austerity measures in Europe were not implemented as an outcome of legal or economic necessity, but were a political choice * Presents austerity as a historically contingent political rationality which gained a legal endorsement in the EU law and policy without foreclosing the possibilities for contestation either through law or politics
With an entire discipline devoted to political science, what is distinctive about political sociology? This concise book explains what a sociological perspective brings to our understanding of the emergence, reproduction, and transformation of different forms of political order. Crucially, political sociology expands the field of view to the politics that happen in other social settings in the family, at work, in civic associations as well as the ways in which social attributes such as class, religion, age, race, and gender shape patterns of political participation and the distribution of political power. Political sociology grapples with these issues across an enormous range of historical and geographic settings, from the intimate relations that constitute family politics to the geo-political scales of war and trade. It requires an analytic toolkit that includes concepts of power, social closure, civil society, and modes of political action. Using these central concepts, What is Political Sociology? discusses the major forms of political order (states, empires, and nation-states), processes of regime formation and revolution, the social bases for political participation, policy formation as well as feedbacks, and the possibilities for new forms of transnational politics. In sum, the book offers an insightful introduction to this core perspective on social life.
This is not a diary: while these observations were recorded in autumn 2010 and spring 2011 in the form of dated entries, they are not a personal reflection but an attempt to capture signs of our times in their movement - possibly at birth, at a stage when they are still barely perceptible, and in any case before they have matured into common, all too familiar forms, escaping our attention due to their banality. Some will perhaps settle in our daily life for a long time to come, others will fade and vanish before they would otherwise have a chance to be noted, recorded and explored in depth: in our fast-moving, protean and kaleidoscopic world, it is hardly possible to predict their future course and to decide in advance which of them will grow in volume and significance and which will prove to have been still-born. Whatever their fate, the author tried to take a leaf from William Blake's precept of seeing the universe in a grain of sand - and, having done so, alert us to what is or may be happening to our individual lives, forms of togetherness, shared prospects; to the ways we perceive and relate to each other, the forces that shape our life chances and itineraries; and to the ways we try to control, or at least influence, and sometimes even reform for the better, some or all those dimensions of our existence.
These timely meditations by one of the most perceptive social thinkers of our time will appeal to a wide range of readers.
The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition by famed sociologist and black rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois offered a view into the lives of black Americans, conveying a literal and figurative representation of "the color line." From advances in education to the lingering effects of slavery, these prophetic infographics-beautiful in design and powerful in content- make visible a wide spectrum of black experience. W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits collects the complete set of graphics in full color for the first time, making their insights and innovations available to a contemporary imagination. As Maria Popova wrote, these data portraits shaped how "Du Bois himself thought about sociology, informing the ideas with which he set the world ablaze three years later in The Souls of Black Folk."
Drawing on fifteen years of work in the antislavery movement, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick examines the systematic oppression of men, women, and children in rural India and asks: How do contemporary slaveholders rationalize the subjugation of other human beings, and how do they respond when their power is threatened? More than a billion dollars have been spent on antislavery efforts, yet the practice persists. Why? Unpacking what slaveholders think about emancipation is critical for scholars and policy makers who want to understand the broader context, especially as seen by the powerful. Insight into those moments when the powerful either double down or back off provides a sobering counterbalance to scholarship on popular struggle. Through frank and unprecedented conversations with slaveholders, Choi-Fitzpatrick reveals the condescending and paternalistic thought processes that blind them. While they understand they are exploiting workers' vulnerabilities, slaveholders also feel they are doing workers a favor, often taking pride in this relationship. And when the victims share this perspective, their emancipation is harder to secure, driving some in the antislavery movement to ask why slaves fear freedom. The answer, Choi-Fitzpatrick convincingly argues, lies in the power relationship. Whether slaveholders recoil at their past behavior or plot a return to power, Choi-Fitzpatrick zeroes in on the relational dynamics of their self-assessment, unpacking what happens next. Incorporating the experiences of such pivotal actors into antislavery research is an immensely important step toward crafting effective antislavery policies and intervention. It also contributes to scholarship on social change, social movements, and the realization of human rights.
Drawing from her extensive classroom and field experience, Jeane W. Anastas merges the "practice wisdom" of today's social work educators with contemporary theories on instruction and learning. Built around a teacher- and student-in-situation framework, "Teaching in Social Work" examines the effect of social issues, professional norms and needs, and various educational settings on the interactions among educators, students, and the subjects they learn. The result is a singular volume that focuses specifically on teaching within the field of social work, identifying the factors that result in effective educational outcomes.
Anastas draws on the theories and selected research findings of higher education and social work education literature. She illuminates the critical aspects of teaching and learning as an adult, the best uses of different modalities of instruction, and the issues of diversity that influence all aspects of teaching and learning. Her book includes guest-authored chapters on field learning and the latest advances in teaching technology. It also engages with ethics, teaching and learning assessments, and faculty work in full-time social work education.
How toxic are the products we consume on a daily basis? Whether it's triclosan in toothpaste, formaldehyde in baby shampoo, endocrine disruptors in water bottles, or pesticides on strawberries, chemicals in food and personal care products are of increasing concern to consumers. This book chronicles how ordinary people try to avoid exposure to toxics in grocery store aisles using the practice of "precautionary consumption." Through an innovative analysis of environmental regulation, the advocacy work of environmental health groups, the expansion of the health-food chain Whole Foods Market, and interviews with consumers, Norah MacKendrick ponders why the problem of toxics in the U.S. retail landscape has been left to individual shoppers--and to mothers in particular. She reveals how precautionary consumption, or "green shopping," is a costly and time-intensive practice, one that is connected to cultural ideas of femininity and good motherhood but is also most available to upper- and middle-class households. Better Safe Than Sorry powerfully argues that precautionary consumption places a heavy and unfair burden of labor on women and does little to advance environmental justice or mitigate risk.
We celebrate, talk about, and worry a great deal about transitions in life. Going to college, having a first child, losing a job, and retiring constitute just a few of the pivotal moments in the lives of many. Sociologists and psychologists have devoted considerable attention to life transitions. Yet we know very little about whether there exists a common thread to our understandings of life transitions in general. How do journalists, leading politicians, sport icons, bestselling authors, government agencies, Hallmark cards, popular TV shows, and other "voices" of popular culture talk about transitions in life? Do these voices provide a coherent picture of how we make sense of life transitions? In this book, Francesco Duina shows how the dominant American discourse articulates two basic approaches to transitions in life. The first approach depicts transitions as exciting, individualistic opportunities for new beginnings: the past is cast aside, the future is wide open, and the self has the opportunity to recreate itself anew. The second paints transitions as having to do with continuity, our connections to others, and the life-cycle, with an emphasis on acceptance and adaptation. Though contrasting, the two approaches ultimately complement each other. Their analysis reveals a great deal about American culture and society, and will be of great interest to students of the life course and the sociology of culture.
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