Points the way toward a world in which we might feel more connected to and responsible for each other.
Bringing together the work of leading academics in media and cultural studies, this book questions the ways in which emerging forms of political style relate not only to new conventions of celebrity and publicity but to ideas about representation, citizenship and the democratic process.
In the wake of tensions between modern and postmodern sensibilities, what larger directions now emerge in cultural anthropology? In this major work, Bruce Knauft takes stock of important recent initiatives in cultural and critical theory. By combining critical reviews and ethnographic engagements with fresh readings of major figures and approaches, the work develops a larger vantage point for considering the dispersing influence of practice theories, postmodernism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, modern/post-positive feminism, and multicultural criticisms.
In this unique and agenda-setting examination of the relation between nature and culture, Klaus Eder demonstrates our ideas of nature are culturally determined, and explains how the relation between modern, industrial societies and nature is increasingly violent and destructive. Through an analysis of symbolism, ritual and taboo, Eder questions the view of nature as an object. Showing how nature is socially constructed, he presents a critique of Marx and Durkheim while offering a radical reinterpretation of the relationship among society, culture and nature. Eder concludes with an examination of the symbolic order of society and of the role of religion in modern culture. Using a culturalist interpretation,
This sparkling Handbook offers an unrivalled resource for those engaged in the cutting edge field of social network analysis. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are: Network theory Interdisciplinary applications Online networks Corporate networks Lobbying networks Deviant networks Measuring devices Key Methodologies Software applications. The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students which offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. The Handbook provides a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.
Russian youth culture has been a subject of great interest to researchers since 1991, but most studies to date have failed to consider the global context. Looking West? engages theories of cultural globalization to chart how post-Soviet Russia&’s opening up to the West has been reflected in the cultural practices of its young people. Visitors to Russia&’s cities often interpret the presence of designer clothes shops, Internet caf&és, and a vibrant club scene as evidence of the &"Westernization&" of Russian youth. As Looking West? shows, however, the younger generation has adopted a &"pick and mix&" strategy with regard to Western cultural commodities that reflects a receptiveness to the global alongside a precious guarding of the local. The authors show us how young people perceive Russia to be positioned in current global flows of cultural exchange, what their sense of Russia&’s place in the new global order is, and how they manage to &"live with the West&" on a daily basis. Looking West? represents an important landmark in Russian-Western collaborative research. Hilary Pilkington and Elena Omel&’chenko have been at the heart of an eight-year collaboration between the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and Ul&’ianovsk State University (Russia). This book was written by Pilkington and Omel&’chenko with the team of researchers on the project&—Moya Flynn, Ul&’iana Bliudina, and Elena Starkova.
The Mirth of Nations is a social and historical study of jokes told in the principal English-speaking countries. It is based on use of archives and other primary sources, including old and rare joke books. Davies makes detailed comparisons between the humor of specific pairs of nations and ethnic and regional groups. In this way, he achieves an appreciation of the unique characteristics of the humor of each nation or group.A tightly argued book, The Mirth of Nations uses the comparative method to undermine existing theories of humor, which are rooted in notions of hostility, conflict, and superiority, and derive ultimately from Hobbes and Freud. Instead Davies argues that humor merely plays with aggression and with rule-breaking, and that the form this play takes is determined by social structures and intellectual traditions. It is not related to actual conflicts between groups. In particular, Davies convincingly argues that Jewish humor and jokes are neither uniquely nor overwhelmingly self-mocking as many writers since Freud have suggested. Rather Jewish jokes, like Scottish humor and jokes are the product of a strong cultural tradition of analytical thinking and intelligent self-awareness.The volume shows that the forty-year popularity of the Polish joke cycle in America was not a product of any special negative feeling towards Poles. Jokes are not serious and are not a form of determined aggression against others or against one's own group. The Mirth of Nations is readable as well as revisionist. It is written with great clarity and puts forward difficult and complex arguments without jargon in an accessible manner. Its rich use of examples of all kinds of humor entertains the reader, who will enjoy a great variety of jokes while being enlightened by the author's careful explanations of why particular sets of jokes exist and are immensely popular. The book will appeal to general readers as well as those in cultural stu
According to some politicians and much of the mainstream media, immigrant populations only contribute crime to their communities. Seen as unmotivated and unemployed, these immigrants are thought to be a threat to society's moral fiber, and a burden to its justice system. Ramiro Martinez tells a very different story in Latino Homicide. Studying five major cities--Chicago, El Paso, Houston, Miami, and San Diego--Martinez reveals Latino homicide rates to be markedly lower than one would expect, given the economic deprivation of these urban areas. Far from dangerous or criminal, these communities often have exceptionally strong social networks precisely because of their shared immigrant experiences. With fascinating case studies drawn from police reports and actual cases, Latino Homicide refutes negative stereotypes in a coherent and critically rigorous analysis of the issues.
This groundbreaking study marks the culmination of over twenty years of research by one of this country's most prominent Mexico scholars. Roderic Ai Camp provides a detailed, comprehensive examination of Mexico's power elite—their political power, societal influence, and the crucial yet often overlooked role mentoring plays in their rise to the top. In the course of this book, he traces the careers of approximately four hundred of the country's most notable politicians, military officers, clergy, intellectuals, and capitalists. Thoroughly researched and drawn from in-depth interviews with some of Mexico's most powerful players, Mexico's Mandarins provides insight into the machinations of Mexican leadership and an important glimpse into the country's future as it steps onto the global stage.
In 1972—a period of social upheaval much like today—sociologist Colin Campbell posited a 'cultic milieu': An underground region where true seekers test hidden, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge. Ideas and allegiances within the milieu change as individuals move between loosely organized groups, but the larger milieu persists in opposition to the dominant culture. Jeffrey Kaplan and Helene Loow find Campbell's theory especially useful in coming to grips with the varied oppositional groups of today.
A RIVETING, GROUNDBREAKING ACCOUNT OF HOW THE WAR ON CRIME HAS TORN APART INNER-CITY COMMUNITIES Forty years in, the tough on crime turn in American politics has spurred a prison boom of historic proportions that disproportionately affects Black communities. It has also torn at the lives of those on the outside. As arrest quotas and high tech surveillance criminalize entire blocks, a climate of fear and suspicion pervades daily life, not only for young men entangled in the legal system, but for their family members and working neighbors. Alice Goffman spent six years in one Philadelphia neighborhood, documenting the routine stops, searches, raids, and beatings that young men navigate as they come of age. In the course of her research, she became roommates with Mike and Chuck, two friends trying to make ends meet between low wage jobs and the drug trade. Like many in the neighborhood, Mike and Chuck were caught up in a cycle of court cases, probation sentences, and low level warrants, with no clear way out. We observe their girlfriends and mothers enduring raids and interrogations, "clean" residents struggling to go to school and work every day as the cops chase down neighbors in the streets, and others eking out a living by providing clean urine, fake documents, and off the books medical care. This fugitive world is the hidden counterpoint to mass incarceration, the grim underside of our nation's social experiment in punishing Black men and their families. While recognizing the drug trade's damage, On The Run reveals a justice system gone awry: it is an exemplary work of scholarship highlighting the failures of the War on Crime, and a compassionate chronicle of the families caught in the midst of it. "A remarkable feat of reporting . . . The level of detail in this book and Goffman's ability to understand her subjects' motivations are astonishing—and riveting."—The New York Times Book Review
Hans Joas is one of the foremost social theorists in Germany today. Based on Joas’s celebrated study of George Herbert Mead, this work reevaluates the contribution of American pragmatism and European philosophical anthropology to theories of action in the social sciences. Joas also establishes direct ties between Mead’s work and approaches drawn from German traditions of philosophical anthropology. Joas argues for adding a third model of action to the two predominant models of rational and normative action—one that emphasizes the creative character of human action. This model encompasses the other two, allowing for a more comprehensive theory of action. Joas elaborates some implications of his model for theories of social movements and social change and for the status of action theory in sociology in the face of competition from theories advanced by Luhmann and Habermas. The problem of action is of crucial importance in both sociology and philosophy, and this book—already widely debated in Germany—will add fresh impetus to the lively discussions current in the English-speaking world.
Ideas about social structure and social networks are very old. People have always believed that biological and social links among individuals are important. But it wasn't until the early 1930s that systematic research that explored the patterning of social ties linking individuals emerged. And it emerged, not once, but several times in several different social science fields and in several places. This book reviews these developments and explores the social processes that wove all these "schools" of network analysis together into a single coherent approach.
After exploring this genealogy of ethnicity in Sri Lanka, Sabaratnam explains how the present civil war is actually due to competitive politics, which in turn have heightened differences in religion and language, and not the reverse."--Jacket.
Multidisciplinary research into cooperation and the implications for public policy, drawing on insights from economics, anthropology, biology, social psychology, and sociology.
Compares industrial management in two late-industrializers Japan and Russia as a basis for an original theory of institution-building "

Best Books