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Subject: Sociology

Neither Capital, Nor Class

A Critical Analysis Of Pierre Bourdieu's Theoretical Framework

Jacek Tittenbrun, University of Poznan, Poland

June 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-207-4
Availability: In stock
$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.

Taboo Issues in Social Science

Questioning Conventional Wisdom

Anthony Walsh, Boise State University

June 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-206-7
Availability: In stock
$78 £70 €75

This book is an expedition into a number of controversial issues in the social sciences with the intention of challenging the conventional wisdom on those issues. While most social science research is interesting and important, a fair amount of social science research is thinly disguised advocacy research in which conclusions too often precede inquiries. The primary topics are those that the journal Nature described as "Taboo". In order of the degree of censure, the topics are: race, sex differences, intelligence, and violence. The only way to examine these topics with the social science seal of approval attached is through a strictly environmental lens. To bring biological factors to bear on them is politically incorrect and can bring the wrath of the academy down on one’s head. Although many researchers successfully bring biology into their research on these issues, they are said to risk career and reputation for doing so. Speech codes stifling free intellectual exchange pervade the ivory tower, and an overwhelmingly liberal faculty hell-bent on eliminating any vestiges of opposition to their ideology. This is unconscionable in an institution that is supposed to value free exchange of all ideas and opinions. The current state of academic social science is examined before entering the substantive realm to try to explore how the topics I explore have become protected from any claims of "naturalness." Because the left rejects the idea of human nature, it insists that these things are products of social learning and/or social construction and are entirely fluid. To maintain this position in light of the huge and exponential successes of the natural sciences, the left embraces such frames of reasoning as postmodernism, radical relativism, multiculturalism, and political correctness, all of which are examined in this book. Also discussed are human nature, whiteness studies, political temperaments, various criminal justice issues, and capitalism versus socialism.

Global Responsible Intergenerational Leadership

A conceptual framework and implementation guidance for intergenerational fairness

Julia M. Puaschunder, The New School

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-178-7
Availability: In stock
$65 £54 €61

Today's grand policy dilemmas, from climate change, to over-indebtedness, to demographic shifts, have momentous long-term implications. Future generations will be constrained by our present decisions to an extent that is without precedent in advanced capitalist democracies. This book is an extensively researched and reasoned appeal in favor of intergenerational fairness - the ability to provide to future generations an at least as favorable standard of living as that enjoyed today. Intergenerational equity is an essential consideration in finding lasting solutions to the multifaceted crises of our time. As an implicit contract and transfer between living and future generations, intergenerational equity avoids discriminating against future generations. The book aims to theoretically define intergenerational equity and to frame it as a natural behavioral law, capturing human ethicality bounds. It follows a long and distinguished tradition of scholarly discourse in turning to natural law for solutions to major social predicaments. Outlining some of the causes of the current intergenerational imbalances regarding climate change and over-indebtedness it sets the basis for understanding their drivers and implications. A central proposition is that the natural human drive towards intergenerational fairness can be the basis for the necessary behavioral responses: the human-imbued moral compass of natural law can be a useful complement, if not alternative, to public policy. This book fills an important gap. Despite a resurgence of literature, the economic and social dimensions of intergenerational equity remain underexplored. Existing literature misses a holistic ethical framework of decision-making failures that addresses intergenerational concerns. Whilst evolutionary grounded, intergenerational fairness has not been recognized as a natural behavioral law – a human-imbued drive being bound by human fallibility. Practical implications and recommendations in advancing an agenda for the advancement of intergenerational equity are provided. Attention is drawn to the problem of providing the required leadership to promote the idea of intergenerational equity as a guiding principle in corporate, social and policy action. This book contributes both theoretical and practical insights and will be of interest to economists, sociologists, public policy makers and corporate executives tasked with tackling the most pressing contemporary challenges of mankind.

The American Untouchables: America & the Racial Contract

A historical perspective on race-based politics

Andre Smith, Harris Stowe State University

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-147-3
Availability: In stock
$60 £52 €58

The issue of race is often a scab Americans choose to ignore. However social science has a responsibility and an obligation to examine not simply the amenable subjects but also the controversial. This work, in a word, is controversial. Thomas Franks (2004) argued that cultural differences led white Kansans to abandon the Democratic Party for the Republican Party during the 1980s. He specifically argued that abortion was the unifying issue in this ideological migration. Simultaneously, future President Ronald Reagan opened his campaign for the presidency in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the sight of the massacre of four young civil rights activists over a decade earlier. Race has and is a factor in the American experience; Franks’ premise is simply that the absence of the concentration of African Americans in the Kansas area negated the influence of the “black threat hypothesis” on the observed ideological switch of white Kansans. This work argues that Franks’ premise fails to incorporate the over arching ideological switch of white voter migration to the Republican party that was occurring during the same period, and that Reagan’s speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi was an overt cue that he was rejecting the civil rights consensus for an historically established “race-based social contract” that positioned people of color outside the traditional bounds of the social contract. The study is a sociopolitical analysis of the African American experience utilizing the “racial contract” framework developed by Charles Mills. The “racial contract” holds that the social contract explicitly dictates interactions and transaction costs between citizens and government. Mills supposition is that historically non-Western Europeans were excluded from the penalties for violations of the social contract, and a tacit race based contract dictated transaction costs and interactions between Europeans and non-Europeans. The work utilizes the framework to trace the sociopolitical environment from the first appearance of Africans in America to the present. It has the supposition that the initial sociopolitical status of Africans in America was as a result of the reformation of the Western feudal agrarian culture, with African captives attached to the land as the neo-serfs; but that the reformation of feudalism was only possible within the context that Africans were implicitly viewed as outside the bounds of the codified social contract. It traces American sociopolitical conflict over the expansion of the “racial contract,” which was the basis of the American Civil War; and the establishment of an implicit sociopolitical order within the bounds of the racial contract at the end of the Civil War, with codified sanctions for violations of commensality and endogamy.

Revitalizing History

Recognizing the Struggles, Lives, and Achievements of African American and Women Art Educators

Edited by Ami Kantawala, Teachers College, Columbia University and Paul Bolin, University of Texas at Austin

April 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-107-7
Availability: In stock
$70 £58 €65

Historical inquiry forms the foundation for much research undertaken in art education. While traversing paths of historical investigation in this field we may discover undocumented moments and overlooked or hidden individuals, as well as encounter challenging ideas in need of exploration and critique. In doing so, history is approached from multiple and, at times, vitally diverse perspectives. Our hope is that the conversations generated through this text will continue to strengthen and encourage more interest in histories of art education, but also more sophisticated and innovative approaches to historical research in this field. The overarching objective of the text is to recognize the historical role that many overlooked individuals—particularly African Americans and women—have played in the field of art education, and acknowledge the importance of history and historical research in this digital age. This text opens up possibilities of faculty collaborations across programs interested in history and historical research on a local, national, and international level. By assembling the work of various scholars from across the United States, this text is intended to elicit rich conversations about history that would be otherwise beyond what is provided in general art education textbooks.