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Series: Vernon Series in Sociology

Generational Interdependencies: The Social Implications for Welfare

Edited by Beverley A. Searle, University of Dundee

September 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-186-2
Availability: In stock
218pp. ¦ $60 £49 €56

The issue of generational transfers is growing in importance. Populations are ageing, placing an increasing burden on provision of pensions, health care and other welfare services. In many nations the imbalance between a growing, older generation, supported by a shrinking younger generation, has fuelled debates about intergenerational justice. The key argument being that political and institutional developments over the last century have been to the advantage of older generations at the expense of current younger and future generations. But this only addresses half of the story, neglecting the flows of resources, through private, family channels. One key response to the growing fiscal problem of ageing societies has been to focus responsibility on self-funding and familial support. The growth of asset values, particularly housing, which are concentrated among the elderly, underpin such strategies. But this exposes new risks as potentially extractable resources are determined by wider fluctuations in the economy, and housing markets in particular. Clearly, these cohort effects, and responses to them, play out differently in different national developmental settings, depending on long-run patterns of economic, social and demographic change. This collection address these issues and provides original insights across different international contexts. The collection focusses on financial and non-financial transfers, generational interdependencies, and the role of labour and housing markets in welfare support, set against the changing economic landscape following the Great Financial Crisis of 2007. Although institutional and national differences exist the key emerging issues are the same: the financial and welfare challenges of supporting aging in societies; inequalities in the availability of assets across individuals, families and nations; and the extent to which private asset accumulation can support families over the life course. Drawing from examples across European countries, this collection will nonetheless be relevant to researchers and policy makers in other nations addressing the complexities of providing welfare across the life course in the face of restricted financial resources.

Neither Capital, Nor Class

A Critical Analysis Of Pierre Bourdieu's Theoretical Framework

Jacek Tittenbrun, University of Poznan, Poland

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-207-4
Availability: In stock
366pp. ¦ $75 £65 €72

This book offers an in-depth examination of Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework. The book is not just a collection of more or less critical remarks but constitutes a coherent whole, underpinned by an original analytical framework. This conceptual apparatus makes it possible to present some alternative solutions to the theoretical problems under consideration. The book goes largely against the grain of views that are dominant in the literature on Bourdieu. Therefore, its conclusions may be surprising to many a reader. The book demonstrates that Bourdieu's well-known theory of 'capital' forms is untenable, resembling more an illegitimate metaphor rather than a scientific concept. In a similar vein, the Bourdesian class theory should be largely regarded as a variant of social stratification rather than class. There are many theoretical and empirical problems with Bourdieu's theory of social and cultural reproduction as well. There is more to the above criticisms than meets the eye. The point is that many weaknesses of Bourdieu's style of theorising seem to stem from his intellectual dependence upon structuralism, especially in Claude Lévi-Strauss' version. It is this affinity that accounts for such features of Bourdieu's approach as its essentialism, formalism and epistemic idealism. The book will be of interest primarily to students of Bourdieu's many and varied contributions to social theory. In view of Bourdieu's immense influence, it will also hold interest to critical scholars in political science, economic sociology and political philosophy.

Network Society

How Social Relations rebuild Space(s)

Roberta Iannone, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy et al.

July 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-040-7
Availability: In stock
230pp. ¦ $70 £55 €60

The present volume attempts to critically evaluate claims that modern society may be read and understood as a network. Accepting that this perspective holds some potential, the question becomes how to best capitalize on it. To analyze society as a network means to respond not only to the “actual needs”, but also to highlight the "opportunities" and the "utilities", and to investigate whether society is increasingly relational or just perceived as such, as e.g. digital "social networks" and related concepts exemplify. From a strictly scientific perspective to answer the question "how to" read society as a network means to ask ourselves: a) if the conceptual categories (especially the concepts of structure and exchange) and the paradigms of traditional analysis (holism and individualism, both in the functionalist and the conflictive versions) are still sufficient; b) if new conceptual categories/theories/instruments are needed to represent more properly the reality we face: to investigate it, to explain it or, at least, to understand it. Starting from a reflection on already established social networks (Scott, 2003), the fundamental differences between groups and networks (Vergati, 2008), the logics of networks (Serra, 2003) as well as social capital formation and links (Di Nicola, 2006; Mutti, 1998), we seize the spatial dynamics, seemingly following opposite paths, but which revert to a common denominator: de-spatialization and re-spatialization, namely the processes of dematerialization of space(s) and its reconstruction by specific relational dynamics and forms. The study of networks is therefore not attributable to a single theory but to several theories converging towards a unique perspective (spaces) and logical reasoning (Serra, 2001) each one with its own uniqueness. The strength of this volume and the difference with respect to other attempts at explaining the Network Society lies in the multidimensional and interrelated perspectives it offers emerging from converging multidisciplinary perspectives (sociological, anthropological and linguistic), and from applications that the Network Society provides, namely, international (European Governance), institutional, public (linguistic landscape of the city of Rome) and mediated ones (communication technology).

Confessions and Declarations of Multicolored Men

Frederick Douglass Alcorn, University of Puget Sound

July 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-059-9
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $45 £32 €40

This book is a culturally situated study of the experiences and perspective garnered from of a group of post-secondary Black African American, bi-multi-racial male students aged 19-37. The undergirding interest was to see if there was an awareness of the group's manly inclinations, tendencies and predispositions and understand how such awareness projects and influences their quest and discipline for learning and to academically achieve. The sociological construct of "habitus", as conveyor of dispositions, inclinations, and tendencies, provides an analytical framework permitting an appreciation of interactions between personal identity, social belonging and approaches to learning and education. The result is an original and powerful account of the ways in which unspoken dominant mainstream intergroup cultural relationships, involving social-political attitudes, decision making, and behavioral reactions and responses, interact with internalized self-in-group or in ascription with group, oppression, repression, intellectual-cognitive-physical strategies, determination, and work, that have brought men of Black African American, bi-multi-racial descent, in the U.S., to their current social position. Unlike some public discourse in U.S. society, this is not a blame game, nor is it one of relinquishing self or group responsibility, but one based upon and motivated by a deeper understanding of complex facts. The prose can be best described as an ethnographical narrative, synthesizing a wealth of original observations with insights from scholarly and popular literature and media. Its original and engaging style may appeal to a broad audience including postsecondary educators and students, researchers studying the sociology of gender, African American identity, intercultural relational communications, student services, social work, and social psychology as well as mental and physical healthcare practitioners.

Designing Technology, Work, Organizations and Vice Versa

Edited by Enrico Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy et al.

May 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-028-5
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $55 £45 €50

The concept of design has been defined in a multitude of ways and used in a variety of academic fields, ranging from the classics of organizational and system design to studies on corporate culture, aesthetics and consumption. However, in mainstream organization and management studies, the concept of design has been ‘black-boxed’ and easily implied as an updated (and more fashionable) version of the traditional idea of structuring organizational processes. At the same time, working and organizing seem to be embedded nowadays in increasingly complex and situated technologies and practices. If the spreading of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has changed workplaces (and even the very meaning of 'workplace' as an area marked by the physical presence of different human actors), working and organizing mobilizes the joint action of humans, technologies and knowledges. The aim of the book is thus to discuss the relations among technologies, work and organisations from multiple theoretical perspectives and to engage with questions about design as well as the sociomaterial foundations of working and organising. The book focuses on the close study of practices and processes that inextricably link work and organisation to the use of artefacts and technological systems (and vice versa), exploring by means of different cases of organizational and design research articulations and disarticulations of daily work and design; the doing of objects and technologies in everyday organizational life; the reconstruction of organizational processes through technological and design practices; the relation between learning, innovations and technologies in organizational settings. The book is addressed to graduate students, PhDs, scholars and researchers interested in the fields of Organization Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology and Design, as well as to professionals and practitioners interested in new methodological approaches towards the relations between technology, work and organization.

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