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Series: Vernon Series in Sociology

Searching for a Self: Identity in Popular Culture, Media and Society

Arthur Asa Berger, San Francisco State University

November 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-328-5
Availability: In stock
192pp. ¦ $46 £34 €38

How do people turn out the way they do? How do they “arrive” at themselves and attain an identity? How are our identities affected by our birth order, our hair color, how tall or short we are, our intelligence, our occupation, our race, our religion, our nationality, the socio-economic level of our parents (or our being raised in a single-parent family), where we are born and where we grow up, the language we learn, the way we use language, our fashion tastes, our gender, our education, our psychological makeup, chance experiences we have, the people we marry (if we marry), and countless other factors? There are numerous matters to consider when dealing with identity, which, as Nigel Denis, the author of 'Cards of Identity', reminds us, “is the answer to everything.” 'Searching for a Self' takes a deep dive into the question of identity formation from various perspectives; it is written in a reader-friendly accessible style and makes use of insightful quotations from seminal thinkers who have dealt with the topic. Split into two parts, the first “Theories of Identity,” offers evaluations of identity from semioticians, psychologists, sociologists and Marxists while the second, “Applications,” offers case studies on topics such as Russian identity, Donald Trump’s identity, fashion and identity, LGBTQIA+ identity, Orthodox Jewish identity, elite university education and identity, tattoos and identity, travel and identity, and politics and identity. Covering a wide array of subject areas, this book will be a valuable resource for undergraduate students taking courses in identity, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, and other related fields.

Work Appropriation and Social Inequality

Edited by Antonia Kupfer, Technical University Dresden, Germany

June 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-041-3
Availability: In stock
197pp. ¦ $65 £47 €54

This volume is a collection of subject-oriented studies on paid work. Each chapter refers to the social structures that form conditions for peoples’ working contexts and interprets workers’ and employees’ narrations on work. Work appropriation—a process of formation of subjectivity, in which workers and employees relate to the social status of their occupations and the use-value of their work in actively dealing with the work’s content and conditions—serves as a comprehensive concept for each varying subject-oriented approach in the volume. ‘Work Appropriation and Social Inequality’ focuses on social inequality, understood as the distribution of life chances that privilege some and discriminate others and reveals the unequal conditions for, and outcomes of, work appropriation. By analyzing work appropriation, it uses a broader concept than that of ‘meaning of work’ or ‘meaningful work’ as it includes the practice and processes of working. The volume’s subject-oriented approach to work differs from the stream ‘subjectivation’ in going beyond individuals’ desires for self-realization in work and to companies’ requirements of accessing emotional and personal dimensions of their workforce. The volume contains three parts: the first lays out basic approaches to work appropriation and social inequality, the second analyses current threats to work appropriation in the UK and Germany, and the third consists of a philosophical outlook on work in the Anthropocene. The book’s impact lies in pushing forward the debate on how work appropriations are linked to unequal social structures. It will therefore appeal to social scientists interested in social inequality, sociology of work and organization, as well as students and teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level in the areas of social sciences.

Solutions to knife crime: a path through the red sea?

Sue Roberts, University of Portsmouth

December 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-942-4
Availability: In stock
180pp. ¦ $43 £32 €36

This book addresses one of the UK’s most persistent and serious concerns: knife crime. While research diagnosing the cause of rising knife crime abounds, few studies articulate effective solutions to this complex social problem. Drawing on data from cities across the UK, Sue Roberts suggests concrete forms of collaboration that may just spare future generations from the worst of this terrifying scourge. “Solutions to knife crime: a path through the red sea?” will fascinate law-enforcers, policy-makers, criminologists and other specialists both within and outside academia. It will also appeal to anyone who’s been affected, or is simply concerned, by this blight on British society.

Complex Society: In the Middle of a Middle World

Bojan Radej, Slovenian Evaluation Society, Slovenia and Mojca Golobič, University of Ljubljana; Slovenian Evaluation Society, Slovenia

November 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-019-2
Availability: In stock
240pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

The decreasing capacity to govern complex social processes results in negative trends that breach system thresholds in all main social domains with extreme economic stratification of society. Independent studies steadily report that a strong majority of the world’s population, between 60% and 80%, already feels excluded and no longer represented by their governments. The two prevailing concepts of complexity seem to overlook the central importance of mesoscopic complexity. Socially complex conditions call for a new kind of social thought specifically developed for a blinded generation that must be as different from modern and postmodern thoughts, as they were different from their middle-age precedents. 'Complex Society: In the Middle of a Middle World', addresses the concerns of the excluded majority by explaining how present complex social conditions work in favor of generational aspirations to achieve a more positive future. In the geometry of thinking, a complex matter is not comprehensible objectively, but only by evaluating overlaps between complexity domains on their periphery, which is in the area of their inconsistencies. The book first develops an evaluative methodology for studying complex social matters and then tests it with three case studies that reflect some of the most pressing problems in contemporary societies: aggregation problem, integration problem, and organization problem. The obtained findings give grounds for the depiction of an outline for the ‘anti-postmodern’ ordering of contemporary societies. This ground-breaking text will be of particular interest for graduate and post-graduate level of social sciences, evaluators of project, program and policy impact evaluation, evaluators of philosophy of science, as well as methodologists of social research and public governance.

Culture-Led Urban Regeneration in South Korea

Milyung Son, The University of Sheffield

January 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-678-2
Availability: In stock
142pp. ¦ $45 £33 €38

There is a continuing academic and policy interest in the potential for culture-based urban regeneration across the world. Such regeneration is intended to attract investment, re-imagine spaces and create employment, business and urban planning opportunities. This book seeks to examine the use of culture and arts in the urban regeneration sphere of South Korea. Specifically, a one-year-long cultural event (Culture City of East Asia) is used as a case study for exploring wider debates around and understandings of the relationships between culture-led urban regeneration initiatives and the impacts on communities in South Korea. Despite the proliferation of culture-led initiatives aiming to tackle broad social issues, there is a lack of in-depth research into the efficacy of such urban regeneration. Previous researches have asked such questions as: What benefits can cultural elements (e.g. mega-events or signature buildings) bring into a city? What is the role of culture in economic development (e.g. tourism and internal investment)? What is the economic value of cultural goods and services? This is not to say that such questions should be the only concerns in assessing a culture-led urban regeneration strategy. However, the evaluation process of culture-led regeneration frequently fails to ask questions about the impact on human communities: Are cultural resources being used to spread culture, or just to focus on economic development? Are cultural initiatives like mega-events being used to benefit local citizens? How can residents shape a culture-led regeneration strategy? This book is intent on examining residents’ opinions and perspectives about culture-led urban regeneration. It recognizes how culture-led regeneration schemes interact with local communities, focusing on the actual views of local people rather than being coldly theoretical.

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