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Series: Critical Perspectives on Social Science

Many Rivers to Cross: Black Migrations in Brazil and the Caribbean

Edited by Elaine P. Rocha, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

November 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-767-2
Availability: In stock
213pp. ¦ $90 £72 €84

Since the first contact with Europeans, the Americas have been a continent of immigrants as much as a continent of continuous migrations. Black migrations represent more than the transit of people between countries and regions and from rural areas to urban centers. It contributed to constructing networks that made survival possible, creating neighborhoods and cultural expression, impacting dietary habits, exchanging crops and agricultural techniques, and uplifting families from slavery and misery to ownership, education, and political representation. The most dangerous elements that moved from place to place with blacks were the ideas of freedom and citizenship. This book brings together articles from authors dedicated to the study of black migrations in diverse countries as well as in diverse historical periods to highlight that the movement of black people has been continuous over the centuries. Sometimes voluntarily, others coerced, people have moved from one place to another, carrying with them history and important cultural traditions such as language, music, and religion. Moreover, dangerous ideas of liberty and equality would spread through the African Diaspora. Ten authors from renowned universities contributed with their works on black migrations from a transnational perspective, exploring how people have transited between regions, countries, and continents, carrying their ideas, costumes, beliefs, and strategies for survival. In their trajectories, migrants built communities, created religions, musical traditions, languages, and much more. They influenced politics, contributed to revolutions and wars, to the economy, and shaped societies. For centuries, Latin America's official history has pushed black immigrants' histories to the margins, keeping them in the shadows and denying their importance in the construction of the modern world. The works brought together in this book aim to contribute to breaking this pattern, bringing the experiences of black migrants from the margins to the center.

The Labyrinth of Multitude and Other Reality Checks on Being Latino/x

Julio Marzán

October 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-677-4
Availability: In stock
266pp. ¦ $76 £61 €69

Seventies “Hispanics,” identifying with Latin American emergence and increasing immigration to the U.S., adopted the epithet 'latino', soon written as Latino. Media fast-tracked, English Latino would eventually tilt presidential elections, advocate national programs, and protest policies, with native and immigrant subgroups presumed homogenous. Enunciated identically as 'latino' and presumed to be 'latino' or its exact translation, “Latino” proved to be a transliteration that since its coining started diverging from 'latino'. Latino became the political mask of unity over discrete subgroups; its primary agenda identity politics as a racialized, brown consciousness divested of its Hispanic cultural history. In contrast, 'latino' retains its Spanish transracial semantics, invoking an 'hispano' cultural history. Nationally Latino represents the entire Hispanic demographic while internecinely not all subgroups identify as Latinos. Latino is defined by immediate sociopolitical issues yet when needed invokes the 'latino' cultural history it presumably disowns. Intellectual inconsistency and semantic amorphousness make Latino a confusing epithet that subverts both speech and scholarship. Collective critical thinking on its semantic dysfunction, deferring to solidarity, is displaced with politically correct but circumventing tweaks, creating Latino/a, Latin@, Latinx. On the other hand, Latino exists because its time had come, expressing an aspiration for a more participatory identity in a multicultural America. Julio Marzán, author of 'The Spanish American Roots of William Carlos Williams', suspends solidarity to articulate the intellectual challenges of his Latino identity. Writing to academic standards in a style accessible to the general reader, Marzán argues that from 'latino' roots Latino evolved into an American identity as a demographic summation implying a culture that actually origin cultures provide, ambiguously an ethnicity and a nostalgic assimilation. “Latino” are American-germane sociopolitical extrapolations of 'latino' experiential details, the often-conflicted distinction illustrated in Marzán’s equally engaging essays that revisit iconic personages and personal events with more nuance than seen as Latino.

Plasti(e)cological Thinking: Working out an (Infra)structural Geoerotics

Abhisek Ghosal, BGR Campus, Bengaluru, India

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-596-8
Availability: In stock
108pp. ¦ $39 £31 €37

This monograph, 'Plasti(e)cological Thinking: Working out an (Infra)structural Geoerotics,' seeks to put forward ‘plasti(e)cological thinking’ as an advanced and ‘new’ epistemic framework which can facilitate readers to think beyond the stratified planetarity that ends up breaking the earth down into territories and strata, blocs and codes, fragments and pieces, ‘sides’ and ‘besides.’ ‘Plasti(e)cological thinking’ is at once grounded in the logics of ‘deterritorialization’ and ‘rhizomatics’ thereby calling the structured and well-thought-out ways of looking into planetary phenomena into question and at times contingent upon the pervasive trajectories of ‘zoe-politics’ which enables it to cut across varied segmentarities on the ‘Plane of Consistency’. Divided into three chapters, this book draws on critical theory, continental thinking, and certain Indian eco-texts to put a spotlight on the nuanced operation of ‘plasti(e)cological thinking’. In a nutshell, this book stands wedded to the production of the ‘new’ and is a contribution to the domain of planetary thinking.

The Good, Green Gold of Spring: A Conservation Sociology of the Island Marble Butterfly

Jon Dahlem, Bellevue University

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-523-4
Availability: In stock
168pp. ¦ $52 £41 €49

This book presents a case study of Island Marble Butterfly (IMB) conservation from an environmental sociological perspective. Using qualitative methods, the study explicates various social components of a collaboration of stakeholders working together to protect the species from extinction. Rediscovered in 1998 after being presumed extinct for nearly a century, the IMB persists exclusively among the San Juan Islands, WA, where the efforts of scientists, local conservationists, government employees, and non-profit organizations have sustained the species, even achieving a listing under the Endangered Species Act. For these reasons and many others, the IMB presents a case in some ways fascinating for its idiosyncrasies and in other ways indicative of broader trends in conservation work in an era of rapid global biodiversity loss. From the study emerges a call for increased sociological research that contributes knowledge beneficial to conservation practice, or what the book calls “conservation sociology.” The book reviews existing literature in this space and provides a framework for constructing research, theory, and application in conservation sociology. As the social components of IMB conservation are explored, so too are components of conservation sociology. The book describes competing norms and beliefs among IMB stakeholders, demonstrating the capacity of conservation sociology to describe and interpret social phenomena in conservation work; explores power dynamics in the collaboration, using sociological theory to interpret significant events in IMB conservation; and analyzes the significance of time in IMB conservation while providing suggestions for applied conservation work based in sociological perspectives. The book accomplishes three main goals. First, it provides an account of details and events in Island Marble Butterfly conservation. Second, it defines, positions, and develops conservation sociology. Third, it demonstrates original research in conservation sociology, resulting in a deep look at the complexities of the social components of species conservation.

Dimensions of Shared Agency: A Study on Joint, Collective and Group Intentional Action

Giulia Lasagni, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany

July 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-127-4
Availability: In stock
233pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

"Dimensions of Shared Agency" investigates the way in which standard philosophical accounts have been dealing with the issue of collective actions. In particular, the book focuses on the ‘Big Five’ of analytical social ontology (namely, Michael Bratman, Margaret Gilbert, Philip Pettit, John R. Searle and Raimo Tuomela) and their accounts of shared/collective intentions and actions. Through systematic readings of different positions in the debate, the author proposes original ways of analyzing and classifying current theories of shared agency according to whether they advance a member-level or a group-level account of shared agency. While member-level accounts (MLA) are theories of shared agency based on individuals’ attitudes and actions, group-level accounts (GLA) give attention to the group of individuals considered as a whole, i.e., as an agent itself. Criticism arises against the idea that the Big Five have proposed stable group-level accounts suitable for explaining the case of shared agency as a group-level phenomenon. The widespread tendency in the debate is to endorse a perspective called holistic individualism, which maintains that high-level explanations are objective even though social facts are ontologically reducible to facts about individuals. Lasagni argues that as long as holistic individualism is held, the GLA is reducible to the MLA because holistic individualism upholds ontological individualism based on a deep individualistic premise, fixing the special status of individual agents as natural persons. The premise makes the claim to treat groups as agents contradictory to the general framework of the theory. This book profiles an alternative interpretation according to which agency should be considered as a functional kind, which is equally instantiated by different systems, such as individual human beings and organized social groups. In this way, the author claims, the reduction of the social can be avoided. "Dimensions of Shared Agency" will be of interest to doctoral students, researchers, and scholars interested in social ontology and the philosophy of the social sciences. It can also be utilised as supplementary reading or an introduction to philosophy students and scholars who are first approaching the philosophy of collective intentionality and shared agency.

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