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Series: Vernon Series in Sociology

In the making: Digital fabrication and disability

Ursula Kate Hurley, University of Salford

October 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-330-9
Availability: In stock
144pp. ¦ $43 £32 €36

Digital fabrication combines virtual and material worlds; transforming thoughts into things, and things into data. It fosters complex and varied communities while enabling the pursuit of unique individual outputs. Current literature on digital fabrication concentrates on its technical and economic potential, with little attention yet being paid to the fundamental questions of how the technology might affect our understanding of identity, embodiment, or creative processes. Using case studies and experiences gained from ground-breaking fieldwork, "In the Making" explores these processes and their products from both cultural and aesthetic perspectives; with emphasis on its human interactions, not on technology. Embracing the absence of established methodologies in their emerging area of investigation, this volume offers a series of wide-ranging and original interdisciplinary framings which arise from the materials themselves. That very act of imagining, of selecting and committing to an envisaged but not yet physically present product, offers insights into needs and desires. What is the story of that design? How did it come to be? The basic principles of digital fabrication – the transformation from concept to physical entity – offer intriguing possibilities for aesthetic and cultural readings, particularly from the perspectives of disability. Online, open access maker communities mean that anyone with an internet connection and a desktop 3D printer is able to download and print a wide variety of replicable and customisable objects. What might this mean for disabled people? As digital fabrication technologies enter mainstream society, In the making poses urgently applicable questions about presence, existence, and authenticity and begins to suggest how we might explore them.

Monsters, Monstrosities, and the Monstrous in Culture and Society

Edited by Diego Compagna, University of Applied Sciences Munich, Germany and Stefanie Steinhart, University of Klagenfurt, Austria

November 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-536-5
Availability: In stock
426pp. ¦ $68 £51 €58

Existing research on monsters acknowledges the deep impact monsters have especially on Politics, Gender, Life Sciences, Aesthetics and Philosophy. From Sigmund Freud’s essay ‘The Uncanny’ to Scott Poole’s ‘Monsters in America’, previous studies offer detailed insights about uncanny and immoral monsters. However, our anthology wants to overcome these restrictions by bringing together multidisciplinary authors with very different approaches to monsters and setting up variety and increasing diversification of thought as ‘guiding patterns’. Existing research hints that monsters are embedded in social and scientific exclusionary relationships but very seldom copes with them in detail. Erving Goffman’s doesn’t explicitly talk about monsters in his book ‘Stigma’, but his study is an exceptional case which shows that monsters are stigmatized by society because of their deviations from norms, but they can form groups with fellow monsters and develop techniques for handling their stigma. Our book is to be understood as a complement and a ‘further development’ of previous studies: The essays of our anthology pay attention to mechanisms of inequality and exclusion concerning specific historical and present monsters, based on their research materials within their specific frameworks, in order to ‘create’ engaging, constructive, critical and diverse approaches to monsters, even utopian visions of a future of societies shared by monsters. Our book proposes the usual view, that humans look in a horrified way at monsters, but adds that monsters can look in a critical and even likewise frightened way at the very societies which stigmatize them.

Conversations on Irving Street: Josiah Royce’s Contribution to Symbolic Interactionism

Edited by Corey Reiner and Frank Tridico

May 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-505-1
Availability: In stock
124pp. ¦ $42 £31 €36

What influence did Josiah Royce’s academic work (1913-1917) have on the development of classical Symbolic Interactionist thought? And which philosophical influences shaped Royce’s social and philosophical thought? This book provides a holistic approach to Royce’s academic work and the social philosophy that shaped Symbolic Interactionist theory. By critically evaluating the works of Royce, this book reveals how his ideas and social philosophy made significant contributions to both Symbolic Interactionist thought and sociological theory. Situating his contributions within a socio-historical time frame, Royce’s social philosophy is compared and contrasted to the major concepts of George Herbert Mead (Mind, Self, and Society) and Herbert Blumer’s core synthesized components of classical symbolic interactionist thought (Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method). Thus, demonstrating that Royce’s later academic works closely resemble not only the basic ideas of Mead but also have a strong correspondence with Blumer’s synthesis of the three basic premises and eight root images that outline the theoretical core of Symbolic Interactionist thought. For those looking to investigate or discover new aspects of symbolic interactionist theory from a classical viewpoint, this book offers a unique insight into an American philosopher whose contribution to the development of Symbolic Interactionism has been largely unnoticed.

Help is just a click away: Social Network Sites and Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

I-Jung Grace Lu, University of Manchester, UK

March 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-607-2
Availability: In stock
201pp. ¦ $58 £44 €49

Feeling alone, searching for help, searching for a sense of belonging and identity: parents of children with special needs face various difficulties in their daily lives. But help and support can be extremely hard to obtain for these parents since they are limited by resources, location and time. However, things started to change when the World Wide Web began to connect people together. We now live in an era when networks of power can be achieved and maintained through virtual connections on the internet, where instant communication can be a form of power. This book hopes to shed light on how the simple act of “clicking” can empower (and, contrariwise, in some cases, disempower) parents to locate help and support. This book also discusses the shifting role of these parents from those seeking help to those who provide help for other parents through the virtual networks they have built on various social networking sites. When examining these issues, this book takes into consideration the Asian concept of Face, in which identity is an image agreed by society. This book will offer insights for parents, researchers and social workers, as well as for anyone else who hopes to understand what is taking place on the ‘net’ and how to be involved in the networking process of providing support for people around you. It allows the readers to see how support nowadays can really be just a click away.

New Perspectives on African Childhood

Constructions, Histories, Representations and Understandings

Edited by De-Valera NYM Botchway, University of Cape Coast, Ghana et al.

January 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-534-1
Availability: In stock
278pp. ¦ $53 £40 €45

What does it mean to be a child in Africa? In the detached Western media, narratives of penury, wickedness and death have dominated portrayals of African childhood. The hegemonic lens of the West has failed to take into account the intricacies of not only what it means to be an African child in local and culturally specific contexts, but also African childhood in general. Challenging colonial discourses, this edited volume guides the reader through different comprehensions and perspectives of childhood in Africa. Using a blend of theory, empiricism and history, the contributors to this volume offer studies from a range of fields including African literature, Afro-centric psychology and sociology. Importantly, in its eclectic geographical coverage of Africa, this book unashamedly presents the good, the bad and the ugly of African childhood. The resilience, creativity, pains and triumphs of African childhood are skilfully woven together to present the myriad of lived experiences and aspirations of children from across Africa. As an important contribution to African childhood studies, this book has the potential to be used by policymakers to shape, sustain or change socio-cultural, economic and education systems that accommodate African childhood dynamics and experiences at different levels.

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