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A Critical Analysis Of Pierre Bourdieu's Theoretical Framework
Jacek Tittenbrun, University of Poznan, Poland
Availability: In stock
366pp. ¦ $75 £65 €72
This book offers an in-depth examination of Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework. The book is not just a collection of more or less critical remarks but constitutes a coherent whole, underpinned by an original analytical framework. This conceptual apparatus makes it possible to present some alternative solutions to the theoretical problems under consideration. The book goes largely against the grain of views that are dominant in the literature on Bourdieu. Therefore, its conclusions may be surprising to many a reader. The book demonstrates that Bourdieu's well-known theory of 'capital' forms is untenable, resembling more an illegitimate metaphor rather than a scientific concept. In a similar vein, the Bourdesian class theory should be largely regarded as a variant of social stratification rather than class. There are many theoretical and empirical problems with Bourdieu's theory of social and cultural reproduction as well. There is more to the above criticisms than meets the eye. The point is that many weaknesses of Bourdieu's style of theorising seem to stem from his intellectual dependence upon structuralism, especially in Claude Lévi-Strauss' version. It is this affinity that accounts for such features of Bourdieu's approach as its essentialism, formalism and epistemic idealism. The book will be of interest primarily to students of Bourdieu's many and varied contributions to social theory. In view of Bourdieu's immense influence, it will also hold interest to critical scholars in political science, economic sociology and political philosophy.
How Social Relations rebuild Space(s)
Roberta Iannone, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Availability: In stock
230pp. ¦ $70 £55 €60
The present volume attempts to critically evaluate claims that modern society may be read and understood as a network. Accepting that this perspective holds some potential, the question becomes how to best capitalize on it. To analyze society as a network means to respond not only to the “actual needs”, but also to highlight the "opportunities" and the "utilities", and to investigate whether society is increasingly relational or just perceived as such, as e.g. digital "social networks" and related concepts exemplify. From a strictly scientific perspective to answer the question "how to" read society as a network means to ask ourselves: a) if the conceptual categories (especially the concepts of structure and exchange) and the paradigms of traditional analysis (holism and individualism, both in the functionalist and the conflictive versions) are still sufficient; b) if new conceptual categories/theories/instruments are needed to represent more properly the reality we face: to investigate it, to explain it or, at least, to understand it. Starting from a reflection on already established social networks (Scott, 2003), the fundamental differences between groups and networks (Vergati, 2008), the logics of networks (Serra, 2003) as well as social capital formation and links (Di Nicola, 2006; Mutti, 1998), we seize the spatial dynamics, seemingly following opposite paths, but which revert to a common denominator: de-spatialization and re-spatialization, namely the processes of dematerialization of space(s) and its reconstruction by specific relational dynamics and forms. The study of networks is therefore not attributable to a single theory but to several theories converging towards a unique perspective (spaces) and logical reasoning (Serra, 2001) each one with its own uniqueness. The strength of this volume and the difference with respect to other attempts at explaining the Network Society lies in the multidimensional and interrelated perspectives it offers emerging from converging multidisciplinary perspectives (sociological, anthropological and linguistic), and from applications that the Network Society provides, namely, international (European Governance), institutional, public (linguistic landscape of the city of Rome) and mediated ones (communication technology).
Frederick Douglass Alcorn, University of Puget Sound
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $45 £32 €40
This book is a culturally situated study of the experiences and perspective garnered from of a group of post-secondary Black African American, bi-multi-racial male students aged 19-37. The undergirding interest was to see if there was an awareness of the group's manly inclinations, tendencies and predispositions and understand how such awareness projects and influences their quest and discipline for learning and to academically achieve. The sociological construct of "habitus", as conveyor of dispositions, inclinations, and tendencies, provides an analytical framework permitting an appreciation of interactions between personal identity, social belonging and approaches to learning and education. The result is an original and powerful account of the ways in which unspoken dominant mainstream intergroup cultural relationships, involving social-political attitudes, decision making, and behavioral reactions and responses, interact with internalized self-in-group or in ascription with group, oppression, repression, intellectual-cognitive-physical strategies, determination, and work, that have brought men of Black African American, bi-multi-racial descent, in the U.S., to their current social position. Unlike some public discourse in U.S. society, this is not a blame game, nor is it one of relinquishing self or group responsibility, but one based upon and motivated by a deeper understanding of complex facts. The prose can be best described as an ethnographical narrative, synthesizing a wealth of original observations with insights from scholarly and popular literature and media. Its original and engaging style may appeal to a broad audience including postsecondary educators and students, researchers studying the sociology of gender, African American identity, intercultural relational communications, student services, social work, and social psychology as well as mental and physical healthcare practitioners.
Enrico Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy et al.
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $55 £45 €50
The concept of design has been defined in a multitude of ways and used in a variety of academic fields, ranging from the classics of organizational and system design to studies on corporate culture, aesthetics and consumption. However, in mainstream organization and management studies, the concept of design has been ‘black-boxed’ and easily implied as an updated (and more fashionable) version of the traditional idea of structuring organizational processes. At the same time, working and organizing seem to be embedded nowadays in increasingly complex and situated technologies and practices. If the spreading of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has changed workplaces (and even the very meaning of 'workplace' as an area marked by the physical presence of different human actors), working and organizing mobilizes the joint action of humans, technologies and knowledges. The aim of the book is thus to discuss the relations among technologies, work and organisations from multiple theoretical perspectives and to engage with questions about design as well as the sociomaterial foundations of working and organising. The book focuses on the close study of practices and processes that inextricably link work and organisation to the use of artefacts and technological systems (and vice versa), exploring by means of different cases of organizational and design research articulations and disarticulations of daily work and design; the doing of objects and technologies in everyday organizational life; the reconstruction of organizational processes through technological and design practices; the relation between learning, innovations and technologies in organizational settings. The book is addressed to graduate students, PhDs, scholars and researchers interested in the fields of Organization Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology and Design, as well as to professionals and practitioners interested in new methodological approaches towards the relations between technology, work and organization.
The Agapic Dimension of Societal Life
Gennaro Iorio, University of Salerno, Italy
Availability: In stock
134pp. ¦ $25 £16 €20
This short book deals with a sociological concept: love-agape. It is an attempt to demonstrate that love-agape resists, indeed insists, as a fact that cannot be reduced or concealed. Its simple goal is to introduce agape into the vocabulary of sociological analysis by demonstrating its potential to demarcate and to interpret social phenomena. Love-agape is presented as a critical concept. On the one hand, love-agape denounces the risks linked to the needs of closed groups, often absolutist and fundamentalist. On the other hand, it represents a concrete reality, lying at the root of a particular type of sociality. A sociality that, rather unconventionally, recognizes differences and distances, but also characterizes their condition of being together, as community founded on the recognition and respect of subjectivity.