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Subject: Sociology

The Solitary Voice of Dissent

Using Foucault and Giddens to Understand an Existential Moment

Martin Kay

April 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-472-6
Availability: In stock
$28 £18 €22

This book urges respect for solitary dissent rather than censure. It equips a wide audience to understand what previously seemed unimaginable, much less comprehensible. It shows the reader how to reach beyond those first conclusions and into the heart of the matter. The lone voice explains that something has been hidden away, something which the individual now dissenting can no longer acquiesce in. It raises the possibility that more may be seriously wrong. Those who need to understand range from academics, to researchers, to managers, to elected representatives, to journalists. We all have an interest in knowing not just what has gone wrong but also why this person, and no other, decided they could take no more. If we are to correct a bad situation, rather than just patch it up, we need clarity at every level of the individual’s deepening unease. The book uses four case studies (two in Ireland, one in UK, all on the record, and one authoritative biography of a well-known Italian personality), to demonstrate an approach to analyzing solitary dissent. The methods used are academic but, in the way they are presented, certainly intelligible to the lay-reader. Indeed, the author (who is one of the case studies) writes with a degree of affection for his two authorities, Michel Foucault and Anthony Giddens, which is engaging, anything but formal, but no less authoritative for that. Another persuasive output of the book is the resonance of solitary dissent with Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialism which is also analysed. The Solitary Voice of Dissent is limited by the extent to which the author has been able to delve into the personal privacy of the case studies offered. With commendable detachment, he is able to examine his own experience; and the biography he has selected allows a similarly deep investigation into the fourth case study. While each personality investigated was male, the author also identifies certain contemporary female dissenters. This is an area increasingly impacting upon the public’s awareness but which no-one has written about before. If we are to mend our society, we need to start a conversation. A wide audience will wish to follow it.

Confessions and Declarations of Multicolored Men

Frederick Douglass Alcorn, University of Puget Sound

April 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-059-9
Availability: In stock
$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.

Public Assistance of the Poor in France

From the Middle Ages to the Late 19th Century (New Edition)

Emily Greene Balch

October 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-041-4
Availability: In stock
$30 £20 €25

This book is a historical assessment of state institutions and other social arrangements put in place to alleviate poverty in France. It draws from both primary (notably archives of the Church) and secondary sources (such as Monnier’s Histoire de l’Assistance Publique). It offers a comparative perspective with respect to contemporary arrangements in Britain and the United States, including some early poverty statistics. The result is a useful and concise account of the history of social institutions which continues to be of relevance over a century after its initial publication. This New Edition has been typeset with modern techniques. It has been painstakingly proofread to ensure that it is free from errors.

Designing Technology, Work, Organizations and Vice Versa

Edited by Enrico Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy et al.

September 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-028-5
Availability: In stock
$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.

Titans of the Forests

The Economic Evolution of the Human Species and that of Our Cultures

Gregory V. Short

June 2015 / ISBN: 9781622730278
Availability: In stock
$45 £32 €38

Instead of dwelling on the biological, physiological, or even the genetic aspects of our evolution, “Titans of the Forests” takes a completely different approach, which could be referred to as the unchartered and neglected field of macroevolution. Uniquely captivating, controversial, and very readable, it is the author’s contention that we as a species were continuously forced to change our way of obtaining nourishment, or rather our various economies, in order to adapt to the ever-changing world. And as a result of this economic adaptation, our species would then and only then begin to slowly change into the modern humans of today. For much too long, the world’s scientific community has directed the discussion of our incredible evolution. As a matter of fact, our species’ biological, physiological, psychological, and cultural evolution has been instigated, propelled, and shaped by our economic adaptation to a fluctuating environment. In a very real sense, the scientists are so far into the trees that they have actually ignored the forest. Consequently, we teach human evolution as a hodgepodge of different theories within the realm of microevolution, thus failing to understand or even to recognize the economic thread that binds them altogether. By integrating the timeline of our prehistoric past with that of our earliest known economies (food gathering, scavenging, and nomadism), the author was able to synthesize a sequence of events that illustrates the economic basis of our remarkable ascension and the beginnings of our present day institutions. He not only reveals the genesis behind the cultural forces that exist within every human society, but for the first time, he has created a systematic and holistic approach in explaining the “how” and the “why” we have economically, physiologically, and then culturally evolved. For unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we have possessed the extraordinary ability to change our economy, which has made us an extremely adaptable species.

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