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Series: Vernon Series in Anthropology

Post-Industrial Precarity: New Ethnographies of Urban Lives in Uncertain Times

Edited by Gillian Evans, University of Manchester

November 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-768-0
Availability: In stock
240pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

The United Nations predicts that by the year 2050 almost 70% of the planet’s population will be living in cities. The onus on social scientists is to explain the contemporary challenges posed by the urbanization of the world. A growing body of literature raises the alarm about the precarity of human existence in the uncertain conditions of rapidly transforming contemporary cities. This volume brings together a diverse collection of new ethnographies of precarious lives in various cities of the world. The specific focus on post-industrial cities in the UK allows for a wider consideration of the urban conditions and the political and economic climates which combine to produce extremely precarious living conditions for urban populations elsewhere in the world.The productive consequence of the comparisons and contrasts of various urban contexts, made possible by the volume, is an analytical focus on what it means for humans to live and occupy different subject positions under the advancing conditions of contemporary global capitalism. The volume’s chapters are also united by the shared commitment of early career social science scholars to ethnography as a research method. This gives a common methodological focus to diverse topics of substantive concern located in various cities of the world from Manchester, Newcastle and Salford in the north of England, to Detroit in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Turin in Italy and Beirut in Lebanon. Ethnography, relying as it does on long-term participant observation and in-depth open-ended interviewing, is uniquely valuable as a resource for bringing to life the unpredictable ways in which humans survive and develop forms of resilience among, for example, the ruins of dying cities. Ethnography also enables social scientists to understand and add depth to the surprising stories and apparent contradictions of everyday protest in the face of the increasing privatization of the public good and extreme inequalities of wealth. Ethnographically grounded analyses of urban life are therefore uniquely positioned to explain and critically analyse the new politics of popular resistance as the people who feel ‘left behind’ by society, or expelled from what might be described as the ‘exclusification’ of urban environments, push back against an economy and politics that appears to exist only for the private benefit of an indifferent elite population.

Post-Industrial Precarity: New Ethnographies of Urban Lives in Uncertain Times

Edited by Gillian Evans, University of Manchester

November 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-871-7
Availability: In stock
240pp. [Color] ¦ $89 £66 €75

The United Nations predicts that by the year 2050 almost 70% of the planet’s population will be living in cities. The onus on social scientists is to explain the contemporary challenges posed by the urbanization of the world. A growing body of literature raises the alarm about the precarity of human existence in the uncertain conditions of rapidly transforming contemporary cities. This volume brings together a diverse collection of new ethnographies of precarious lives in various cities of the world. The specific focus on post-industrial cities in the UK allows for a wider consideration of the urban conditions and the political and economic climates which combine to produce extremely precarious living conditions for urban populations elsewhere in the world.The productive consequence of the comparisons and contrasts of various urban contexts, made possible by the volume, is an analytical focus on what it means for humans to live and occupy different subject positions under the advancing conditions of contemporary global capitalism. The volume’s chapters are also united by the shared commitment of early career social science scholars to ethnography as a research method. This gives a common methodological focus to diverse topics of substantive concern located in various cities of the world from Manchester, Newcastle and Salford in the north of England, to Detroit in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Turin in Italy and Beirut in Lebanon. Ethnography, relying as it does on long-term participant observation and in-depth open-ended interviewing, is uniquely valuable as a resource for bringing to life the unpredictable ways in which humans survive and develop forms of resilience among, for example, the ruins of dying cities. Ethnography also enables social scientists to understand and add depth to the surprising stories and apparent contradictions of everyday protest in the face of the increasing privatization of the public good and extreme inequalities of wealth. Ethnographically grounded analyses of urban life are therefore uniquely positioned to explain and critically analyse the new politics of popular resistance as the people who feel ‘left behind’ by society, or expelled from what might be described as the ‘exclusification’ of urban environments, push back against an economy and politics that appears to exist only for the private benefit of an indifferent elite population.

Nomads of Mauritania

Diane Himpan Sabatier and Brigitte Himpan

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-456-6
Availability: In stock
552pp. ¦ $71 £53 €60

Nomads of Mauritania aims at understanding the cultural identity (religious beliefs, language, values, relationships with others) of the Mauritanian nomads through their geographical environment, an original history, their lifestyle, caste system, diet, housing and crafts and how it is revealed by their art, materially expressed on the everyday objects and the body and defined for the first time as geometrical-abstract and respectively as ephemeral usual art and ephemeral living art. Furthermore, what has become of the nomads of Mauritania with the climate warming and the economic and cultural globalization and to what extent are they still the pillars and heart of the Mauritanian society of today?

How Sex Got Screwed Up: The Ghosts that Haunt Our Sexual Pleasure - Book One

From the Stone Age to the Enlightenment

Jon Knowles

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-361-3
Availability: In stock
1078pp. ¦ $81 £61 €69

The ghosts that haunt our sexual pleasure were born in the Stone Age. Sex and gender taboos were used by tribes to differentiate themselves from one another. These taboos filtered into the lives of Bronze and Iron Age men and women who lived in city-states and empires. For the early Christians, all sex play was turned into sin, instilled with guilt, and punished severely. With the invention of sin came the construction of women as subordinate beings to men. Despite the birth of romance in the late middle ages, Renaissance churches held inquisitions to seek out and destroy sex sinners, all of whom it saw as heretics. The Age of Reason saw the demise of these inquisitions. But, it was doctors who would take over the roles of priests and ministers as sex became defined by discourses of crime, degeneracy, and sickness. The middle of the 20th century saw these medical and religious teachings challenged for the first time as activists, such as Alfred Kinsey and Margaret Sanger, sought to carve out a place for sexual freedom in society. However, strong opposition to their beliefs and the growing exploitation of sex by the media at the close of the century would ultimately shape 21st century sexual ambivalence. Book One of this two-part publication traces the history of sex from the Stone Age to the Enlightenment. Interspersed with ‘personal hauntings’ from his own life and the lives of friends and relatives, Knowles reveals how historical discourses of sex continue to haunt us today. This book is a page-turner in simple and plain language about ‘how sex got screwed up’ for millennia. For Knowles, if we know the history of sex, we can get over it.

Nomads of Mauritania

Diane Himpan Sabatier and Brigitte Himpan

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-410-8
Availability: In stock
552pp. [Color] ¦ $106 £80 €90

Nomads of Mauritania aims at understanding the cultural identity (religious beliefs, language, values, relationships with others) of the Mauritanian nomads through their geographical environment, an original history, their lifestyle, caste system, diet, housing and crafts and how it is revealed by their art, materially expressed on the everyday objects and the body and defined for the first time as geometrical-abstract and respectively as ephemeral usual art and ephemeral living art. Furthermore, what has become of the nomads of Mauritania with the climate warming and the economic and cultural globalization and to what extent are they still the pillars and heart of the Mauritanian society of today?

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