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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is one of the most controversial forms of social welfare in the United States. Although it's commonly believed that such federal programs have been cut back since the 1980s, Maggie Dickinson charts the dramatic expansion and reformulation of the food safety net in the twenty-first century. Today, receiving SNAP benefits is often tied to work requirements, which essentially subsidizes low-wage jobs. Excluded populations-such as the unemployed, informally employed workers, and undocumented immigrants-must rely on charity to survive. Feeding the Crisis tells the story of eight families as they navigate the terrain of an expanding network of assistance programs in which care and abandonment work hand in hand to make access to food uncertain for people on the social and economic margins. Amid calls at the federal level to expand work requirements for food assistance, Dickinson shows us how such ideas are bad policy that fail to adequately address hunger in America. Feeding the Crisis brings the voices of food-insecure families into national debates about welfare policy, offering fresh insights into how we can establish a right to food in the United States.
This comprehensive collection of writings on class, struggle and the state in Nepal flows out of the authors commitment to a reflexive, socially engaged anthropology and raises issues widely pertinent to developmental, political and cultural processes in the subcontinent. The different chapters were written in the years 1989-95, a key transitional period of Nepals history that saw popular uprising, basic constitutional change, parliamentary wrangling and instigation of an armed guerilla insurgency in the countryside. Refusing to take these events at face value, the author seeks to bring wider theoretical, historical and regional perspectives to disclose the social content and significance of these events. The book starts by explicating the authors theoretical and methodological framework, with an emphasis on human agency and process as opposed to the normative and structural approaches that characterize much of South Asian ethnography. Next come critical appraisals of the history of the struggles, constitutional changes and parliamentary processes of the 1989-95 period, followed by case studies of intellectuals and the constitutional, legal and institutional processes used to domesticate and co-opt struggle. Struggle is strategised in terms of class development and comparison with contemporary struggles elsewhere in the world. Identifying commercialisation as the preponderant process of the modern period, the penultimate section scrutinises the merchant bazaar as the institutional and cultural mechanism of commercial subjugation of Nepal. The last two chapters first correlate caste with citizenship, not class as commonly done, and second, in a review of Levis Bhaktapur, criticize the reduction of urban social analysis to ritual while providing a historical materialist alternative.
This work makes a detailed study of the structure of the Mughal nobility and the role played by the nobles during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir in the light of an in-depth investigation of the fluctuating fortunes of nine leading families. The study begins with a brief survey of the working of nobility under Babur and Humayun for a better understanding of the complex problem of nobility during the early years of Akbars reign. The author has chosen at least one family from each of the important racial group that made up the nobility, viz., the Turani, Irani, Indian Mulsims, Rajputs and Afghans to make the study more comprehensive. In addition the author has, in the concluding chapter, also looked at the Mughal nobility as a whole while assessing the role of individual family groups. Three appendices provide list of nobles, family charts and two letters of Mirza Aziz Koka addressed to Akbar and Jahangir respectively. This well researched study enhances our understanding of the role played by nobility during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir.
In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear
and ridicule. From "Little Britain"'s Vicky Pollard to the
demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike dismiss as
feckless, criminalized and ignorant a vast, underprivileged swathe
of society whose members have become stereotyped by one,
hate-filled word: chavs.
Many Americans still envision India as rigidly caste-bound, locked in traditions that inhibit social mobility. In reality, class mobility has long been an ideal, and today globalization is radically transforming how India's citizens perceive class. Living Class in Urban India examines a nation in flux, bombarded with media images of middle-class consumers, while navigating the currents of late capitalism and the surges of inequality they can produce. Anthropologist Sara Dickey puts a human face on the issue of class in India, introducing four people who live in the ""second-tier"" city of Madurai: an auto-rickshaw driver, a graphic designer, a teacher of high-status English, and a domestic worker. Drawing from over thirty years of fieldwork, she considers how class is determined by both subjective perceptions and objective conditions, documenting Madurai residents' palpable day-to-day experiences of class while also tracking their long-term impacts. By analyzing the intertwined symbolic and economic importance of phenomena like wedding ceremonies, religious practices, philanthropy, and loan arrangements, Dickey's study reveals the material consequences of local class identities. Simultaneously, it highlights the poignant drive for dignity in the face of moralizing class stereotypes. Through extensive interviews, Dickey scrutinizes the idioms and commonplaces used by residents to justify class inequality and, occasionally, to subvert it. Along the way, Living Class in Urban India reveals the myriad ways that class status is interpreted and performed, embedded in everything from cell phone usage to religious worship.
'...classic Winlow and Hall - bleak, brilliant and unmatched in the art of rethinking crucial social issues. Enlightening, and rather scary.' - Professor Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmiths, University of London 'This superb book inhabits a unique theoretical space and demonstrates Winlow and Hall at their brilliant best as theorists of contemporary social exclusion.' - Professor John Armitage, University of Southampton '...making exemplary use of critical theory, this book represents a powerful, rallying response to Benjamin's notion that "It is only for the sake of those without a hope that hope is given to us"'. - Dr Paul A. Taylor, author of Zizek and the Media '... an intellectual tour de force. Winlow and Hall, outriders of a radically different political economy for our era, have done it again. Their latest book is the critical criminology book of the decade, and the best account of capitalism since the 2008 crash... A devastating critical analysis of the effects of neo-liberalism.' - Professor Steve Redhead, Charles Sturt University 'I had long regarded "social exclusion" to be another zombie-concept that retained no analytic or political purchase whatsoever. This book has changed my mind.' - Professor Roger Burrows, Goldsmiths, University of London In their quest to rethink the study of 'social exclusion', Winlow and Hall offer a startling analysis of social disintegration and the retreat into subjectivity. They claim that the reality of social exclusion is not simply displayed in ghettos and sink estates. It can also be discerned in exclusive gated housing developments, in the non-places of the shopping mall, in the deadening reality of low-level service work - and in the depressing uniformity of our political parties. Simon Winlow is Professor of Criminology at the Social Futures Institute, Teesside University. Steve Hall is Professor of Criminology at the Social Futures Institute, Teesside University.
The Princess Nun tells the story of Bunchi (1619-1697), daughter of Emperor Go-Mizunoo and founder of Enshoji. Bunchi advocated strict adherence to monastic precepts while devoting herself to the posthumous welfare of her family. As the first full-length biographical study of a premodern Japanese nun, this book incorporates issues of gender and social status into its discussion of Bunchi's ascetic practice and religious reforms to rewrite the history of Buddhist reform and Tokugawa religion. Gina Cogan's approach moves beyond the dichotomy of oppression and liberation that dogs the study of non-Western and premodern women to show how Bunchi's aristocratic status enabled her to carry out reforms despite her gender, while simultaneously acknowledging how that same status contributed to their conservative nature. Cogan's analysis of how Bunchi used her prestigious position to further her goals places the book in conversation with other works on powerful religious women, like Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila. Through its illumination of the relationship between the court and the shogunate and its analysis of the practice of courtly Buddhism from a female perspective, this study brings historical depth and fresh theoretical insight into the role of gender and class in early Edo Buddhism.
This book is based on a study of household indebtedness in an upper-middle income economy known as Mauritius, and authored by a vibrant team of researchers from the University of Mauritius. The novelty of this publication is that it fills the gap with respect to the paucity of microeconomic studies pertaining to and relevant for developing countries. At the local and regional level, there is no consolidated work that studies household indebtedness with so much rigour and with such deep-rooted analysis. All in all, this publication uses different data sources and a mixed methodology approach to investigate the factors related to household indebtedness. The main advantage of this publication is that it is based on a comprehensive survey of indebted households in Mauritius. While the survey questionnaire tracks micro-socioeconomic characteristics of households, the empirical analysis is highly scientific and uses the latest statistical and econometric tools, techniques and softwares. It has a good review of literature backed by sound macroeconomic analysis and puts into practice the state of the art of econometric analysis. The discussions are clear and provide insights into expenditure patterns, financial constraints and vulnerability of households both within and among different income categories. The findings uncover specific traits of the typical Mauritian household debtor. The findings in this book are also compared with studies based on other developed and developing countries. Moreover, the book probes deeper into cases of over-indebtedness and the different reasons that could explain various financial commitments of a typical household debtor. Policy recommendations are provided to open the outreach to policy makers and researchers. Lastly, the book is also useful to the academic community and students in terms of its academic endeavors and achievements.
First published in 1999, Mary Pattillo's "Black Picket Fences
"explores an American demographic group too often ignored by both
scholars and the media: the black middle class. Nearly fifteen
years later, this book remains a groundbreaking study of a group
still underrepresented in the academic and public spheres. The
result of living for three years in "Groveland," a black
middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, "Black Picket
Fences" explored both the advantages the black middle class has and
the boundaries they still face. Despite arguments that race no
longer matters, Pattillo showed a different reality, one where
black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal.
To best understand and address the inequality in India today, Arundhati Roy insists we must examine both the political development and influence of M. K. Gandhi and why B. R. Ambedkar's brilliant challenge to his near-divine status was suppressed by India's elite. In Roy's analysis, we see that Ambedkar's fight for justice was systematically sidelined in favor of policies that reinforced caste, resulting in the current nation of India: independent of British rule, globally powerful, and marked to this day by the caste system. This book situates Ambedkar's arguments in their vital historical context-- namely, as an extended public political debate with Mohandas Gandhi. "For more than half a century--throughout his adult life--[Gandhi's] pronouncements on the inherent qualities of black Africans, untouchables and the laboring classes remained consistently insulting," writes Roy. "His refusal to allow working-class people and untouchables to create their own political organizations and elect their own representatives remained consistent too." In The Doctor and the Saint, Roy exposes some uncomfortable, controversial, and even surprising truths about the political thought and career of India's most famous and most revered figure. In doing so she makes the case for why Ambedkar's revolutionary intellectual achievements must be resurrected, not only in India but throughout the world. "Arundhati Roy is incandescent in her brilliance and her fearlessness." --Junot Diaz "The fierceness with which Arundhati Roy loves humanity moves my heart." --Alice Walker
Americans are taught to believe that upward mobility is possible for anyone who is willing to work hard, regardless of their social status, yet it is often those from affluent backgrounds who land the best jobs. Pedigree takes readers behind the closed doors of top-tier investment banks, consulting firms, and law firms to reveal the truth about who really gets hired for the nation's highest-paying entry-level jobs, who doesn't, and why. Drawing on scores of in-depth interviews as well as firsthand observation of hiring practices at some of America's most prestigious firms, Lauren Rivera shows how, at every step of the hiring process, the ways that employers define and evaluate merit are strongly skewed to favor job applicants from economically privileged backgrounds. She reveals how decision makers draw from ideas about talent--what it is, what best signals it, and who does (and does not) have it--that are deeply rooted in social class. Displaying the "right stuff" that elite employers are looking for entails considerable amounts of economic, social, and cultural resources on the part of the applicants and their parents. Challenging our most cherished beliefs about college as a great equalizer and the job market as a level playing field, Pedigree exposes the class biases built into American notions about the best and the brightest, and shows how social status plays a significant role in determining who reaches the top of the economic ladder.
The Sociology of the Professions is a key addition to the literature on the sociology of work. A comprehensive study of knowledge-based occupations, this new volume includes authoritative discussions of accountancy, law, and medicine, as well as the more traditional professions, like the clergy and the military. Macdonald's analysis of the professions is illustrated with numerous substantive examples and also provides comparisons between the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe. An examination of the history of the professions prefaces a detailed analysis of professionalism and power. Macdonald goes on to examine the relationship between professionalism, knowledge, the state, social stratification, organizations, and bureaucracy. The study concludes with a discussion of the future of the professions, which focuses on the issues of the state, bureaucracy, and social power. The Sociology of the Professions is essential reading for any student of this increasingly important area of study. Lucid, clearly written and argued, Keith M. Macdonald has written an essential primer on sociology and the professions. "Keith M. Macdonald's work is richly nuanced, eminently comparative, and singularly suggestive--and thoroughly engrossing, to boot. It begins with the assertion that the currently regnant framework for dealing with professions is considerably less illuminating than that provided by scholars in the symbolic interactionist tradition, i.e., the 'collective mobility project' of the drive of occupations toward professional status. For Macdonald, this is 'the professional project' whose components he describes. Macdonald explores the degree to which different cultural contexts facilitate or deter the project: the part played by the state, the stratification order, patriarchy, and the role of knowledge as both the outcome of cognition and metaphor for behavior. The author undertakes a detailed analysis of the professional project of accountancy, primarily in terms of British data but with some comparative material from Scotland and the U.S., bringing together previous ideas and deftly applying them to a continuing story." --Choice
Simon Kordonsky divides the social structure of contemporary Russia into distinct estates or social groups and describes each organization's unique resource-based political and economic nature. As he guides readers through Russia's peculiar service and support estate system, Kordonsky reveals how remarkably effective inventing and institutionalizing threats can be in the distribution of scarce resources in a social system of this kind. His book emphasizes the fundamental differences between resource-based economies and traditional risk-based economies and their role in Russia's future.
Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women and indentured servants had their own ideas about freedom and equality, ideas that would change history. Marshaling lost stories unearthed over a decade of original research, The Many-Headed Hydra recounts the role of these forgotten revolutionaries in the making of the modern world.
The country house, chateau or rural palazzo set in extensive grounds may have been the ultimate badge of social pre-eminence but invariably their owners spent much of the year in the city. To this extent urban living was common to all elites worthy of the name, whatever their origin or source of wealth or power. Needless to say, though, how different elite groups experienced town life varied greatly. Focussing on the most basic aspect of urban living, this collection is concerned with the study of the places and types of residence of urban elites. Recently a number of historians have begun to explore the residential choices made by elites in the urban context, both as an important constituent of lifestyle and as a marker of elite identity and difference. However, whereas these studies have tended to focus on one particular elite group, a single place or one type of urban residence - such as aristocratic hotels - the current volume is original in exploring the patterns and logic of residential choices made by different elite groups in a variety of urban settings, in Britain, France and Italy, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Each of the book's nine substantive chapters is written in either English or French (with an abstract in the other language) by a leading specialist either on elites or in the field of urban history. The volume arises out of two meetings of the specialists concerned, which gives it a degree of coherence rarely achieved in collections of this sort. A substantial essay by the editors points to similarities and contrasts between the specific cases and identifies key issues requiring further research. English and French text.
The West has seen the rise of the organic movement. In the Muslim world, a similar halal movement is rapidly spreading. Exploring consumption practices in urban Malaysia, this book shows how diverse forms of Malay middle-class consumption (of food, clothing and cars, for example) are understood, practised and contested as a particular mode of modern Islamic practice. It illustrates ways in which the issue of 'proper Islamic consumption' for consumers, the marketplace and the state in contemporary Malaysia evokes a whole range of contradictory Islamic visions, lifestyles and debates articulating what Islam is or ought to be. Its rich empirical material on everyday consumption in a local context will reinvigorate theoretical discussions about the nature of religion, ritual, the sacred and capitalism in the new millennium.
How and why did the caste system emerge in South Asia? Why do contemporary anthropologists and Indologists experience so much difficulty with this problem? Morton Klass addresses both these questions in this book, and the result is an intellectual adventure story, an essay in ethnohistorical deduction and reconstruction. Klass begins by examining the assumptions underlying the older explanations of the origin of caste, tracing their roots in dubious history, ethnocentrism, and outmoded theory. Then, using contemporary anthropological writings on ecology, economy, social structure, and cultural evolution, he develops a scenario in which caste emerges as a transformation of an earlier clan structure that until now has been considered an evolutionary dead end. His radically new explanation is the result of a pioneering effort in theoretical synthesis. By employing the tools of what he calls 'eclectic anthropology' -- an approach frequently attacked by proponents of more rigid and exclusionary strategies -- he brings together elements from the seemingly unconnectable approaches of such major theorists as Claude Levi-Strauss. Marvin Harris, and Karl Polanyi. Caste offers a challenge to scholars to free themselves of their theoretical fetters, to open themselves to ideas from all corners of their discipline.
First Chance: How Kids with Nothing Can Change Everything examines the remarkable triumphs of young people considered least likely to attain a college degree: those who have experienced foster care (three percent graduation rate) or the incarceration of a parent, especially a mother (two percent graduation rate). Some 2.7 million schoolchildren have experienced parental incarceration, while nearly 500,000 are declared wards of the state annually. Yet their experiences receive little attention. The young people themselves are frequently hesitant to talk about their lives, burdened with a sense of shame, even though they are blameless.Philanthropist and author Robert O. Carr has turned the focus of his college scholarship program, Give Something Back, on these often forgotten and neglected kids. As their stories reveal, they have the smarts and drive to compete with peers from more comfortable backgrounds. The author argues that these young people can draw on their special and painful insights to forge powerful change, provided society acknowledges them-and extends a first chance.
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