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Subject: Sociology

Answering the New Atheists: How Science Points to God and to the Benefits of Christianity

Anthony Walsh, Boise State University

May 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-390-3
Availability: In stock
208pp. ¦ $59 £42 €48

In the face of increasing attacks on Christianity by militant new atheists, Christians should be able to robustly defend their beliefs in the language spoken by Christianity’s detractors—science. Atheists claim that science and religion are incompatible and in constant conflict, but this book argues that this is assuredly not true. In order to rebut the polemic agenda of the new atheists who want God banned from the public square, this book engages with the physical and natural sciences, social science, philosophy, and history. It shows that evidence from these diverse disciplines constitutes clear signposts to God and the benefits of Christianity for societies, families, and individuals. Answering the New Atheists begins by examining what new atheism is, before demolishing its claim that Christianity is harmful by showing the many benefits it has for freedom and democracy, morality, longevity, and physical and mental health. Many historians of science contend that science was given its impetus by the Christian principle that a rational God wants us to discover his fingerprints on nature. Thus, in subsequent chapters, Walsh presents a well-informed and philosophical-based analysis of the Big Bang and cosmic fine-tuning, the unimaginable improbability of factors that make this planet habitable, and the multiverse often called the “last refuge of the desperate atheist.” Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book adeptly explores the very problematic issues of the origin and evolution of life that have forced many top-rate scientists including Nobel Prize winners, who have thought deeply about the philosophical meaning of their work, to accept God as the Creator of everything.

A Global Perspective on Friendship and Happiness

Edited by Tim Madigan, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and Bertrand Russell Society and Tim Delaney, State University of New York at Oswego

March 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-376-7
Availability: In stock
206pp. ¦ $59 £42 €48

In A Global Perspective on Friendship and Happiness, editors Tim Delaney and Tim Madigan have organized a collection of original articles on the subjects of friendship and happiness. Each of these chapters offers a unique perspective and serves as worthy contributions to the field of friendship and happiness studies. The chapters found in this publication are the result of the "Happiness & Friendship" conference held June 12-14, 2017 at Mount Melleray Abbey, Waterford, Ireland. The contributing authors come from many diverse countries and academic disciplines thus enhancing this outstanding volume.

Symbolic Interactionism: The Basics

Charles Quist-Adade, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

March 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-374-3
Availability: In stock
218pp. ¦ $60 £42 €48

This book is a survey of Symbolic Interaction. In thirteen short chapters, it traces the history, the social philosophical roots, the founders, “movers and shakers” and evolution of the theory. Symbolic Interactionism: The Basics takes the reader along the exciting, but tortuous journey of the theory and explores both the meta-theoretical and mini-theoretical roots and branches of the theory. Symbolic interactionism or sociological social psychology traces its roots to the works of United States sociologists George Hebert Mead, Charles Horton Cooley, and Herbert Blumer, and a Canadian sociologist, Erving Goffman; Other influences are Harold Garfinkel’s Ethnomethodology and Austrian-American Alfred Schutz’s study of Phenomenology. Symbolic Interactionism: Basics explores the philosophical sources of symbolic interactionism, including pragmatism, social behaviorism, and neo-Hegelianism. The intellectual origins of symbolic interactions can be attributed to the works of William James, George Simmel, John Dewey, Max Weber, and George Herbert Mead. Mead is believed to be the founder of the theory, although he did not publish any academic work on the paradigm. The book highlights the works of the intellectual heirs of symbolic interactionism— Herbert Blumer, Mead’s former student, who was instrumental in publishing the lectures his former professor posthumously with the title Symbolic Interactionism, Erving Goffman and Robert Park.

Messy Ethnographies in Action

Edited by Alexandra Plows, Bangor University

May 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-329-3
Availability: In stock
216pp. ¦ $59 £43 €48

This edited collection of chapters showcases original and interdisciplinary ethnographic fieldwork in a range of international settings; including studies of underground pub life in North East England; Finnish hotels; and bio-scientific institutions in the Amazonian rainforest. Informed by John Law’s concept of ethnographic “mess,” this book makes a unique, empirically-informed, contribution to an understanding of the social construction of knowledge and the role that ethnography can and does play (Law, 2004). It provides a range of colourful snapshots from the field, showing how different researchers from multiple research environments and disciplines are negotiating the practicalities, and epistemological and ethical implications, of “messy” ethnographic practice as a means of researching “messy” social realities. Law notes that “social…science investigations interfere with the world…things change as a result. The issue, then, is not to seek disengagement but rather with how to engage” (ibid p14). Drawing on their own situated experiences, the book’s contributors address the “messy” implications of this and also explore the (equally messy) issue of why engage. They reflect on the process of undertaking research, and their role in the research process as they negotiate their own position in the field. What is ethnography “for”? What impact should, or do, we have in the field and after we leave the research site? What about unintended consequences? When (if ever) are we “off duty?” What does “informed consent” mean in a constantly shifting, dynamic ethnographic context? Is ethnography by its very nature a form of “action research?” By providing a wide range of situated explorations of “messy ethnographies,” the book presents a unique, hands-on guide to the challenges of negotiating ethnography in practice, which will be of use to all researchers and practitioners who use ethnography as a method.

Political Routes to Starvation

Why Does Famine Kill?

Bas Dianda

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-309-5
Availability: In stock
432pp. ¦ $68 £49 €55

This book seeks to reclassify famine by offering an in-depth look at the phenomenon that continues to affect millions of people across the world every year. Defined as a widespread scarcity of food, Dr. Basilio Dianda argues that the causes of famine cannot be reduced exclusively to a shortfall in agricultural output or to economic dynamics. Instead, an analysis of famine must take into account political and economic factors as well as agricultural, climatologic and demographic data. ‘Political Routes to Starvation’ is the result of an all-encompassing analysis of eighty famines from across the globe. This extensive piece of research demonstrates that there are not only multiple factors at play in the genesis of a food crisis, but also in its evolution to starvation. Dianda contends that in order to fully understand the causes of famine it is necessary to reinstate a hierarchy between foundation and concomitant causes, especially when cross-comparing cases. Importantly, Dianda maintains that only a comprehensive approach to famine can appropriately answer the questions: What is famine? How does famine occur? Why does famine kill?

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