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Series: Vernon Series in Anthropology

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?

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

From Victoria to Our Own Times

Jon Knowles

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-416-0
Availability: In stock
1034pp. ¦ $81 £60 €68

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 Two of this two-part publication traces the history of sex from the Victorian Era to present day. 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.

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.

Cultural Landscape Transaction and Values of Nupe Community in Central Nigeria

Isa Bala Muhammad, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria

August 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-230-2
Availability: In stock
122pp. ¦ $53 £43 €50

The book provides readers with insights on how cultural landscapes are conceptualised under two major realms of tangible and intangible values as exemplified in this study of a rural Nupe community in central Nigeria. Equally important are the people-space and place relationship which results in a sense of place. The cultural values of communities are a product of both natural as well as the social setting which begins with the family. Accordingly, this book showcases how the concept of family structure shapes the architecture of the domestic space. Similarly, it also exemplifies how tangible and intangible cultural values are constituted within the domestic space as well as the entire cultural landscape. The uniqueness of this book is on the empirical evidence which is based on the documentation of an eight-month ethnographic study which brought about the native’s resident perception of their cultural landscape. This aligns with the global call in which UNESCO is at the forefront advocating the need for the preservation of values and identities of cultural landscapes. More also is that scholars in Human geography, Anthropology, Ethnography, Architecture and Cultural landscape studies can relate to the cultural transactions discussed in different chapters this book. The concluding chapter of this book gives the deductions drawn from the cultural landscape values of Nupe community which resulted in the formulation of Grounded Theory with spatial implications.

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