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Language: English

The Making and Breaking of Minds: How social interactions shape the human mind

Isabella Sarto-Jackson, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Austria

ISBN: 978-1-62273-331-6
Availability: Pre-order
$63 £47 €54

The human brain has a truly remarkable capacity. It reorganizes itself, flexibly adjusting to fluctuating environmental conditions – a process called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity provides the basis for wide-ranging learning and memory processes that are particularly profuse during childhood and adolescence. At the same time, the exceptional malleability of the developing brain leaves it highly vulnerable to negative impact from the surroundings. Abusive or neglecting social environments, as well as socioeconomic deprivation and poverty, cause toxic stress and complex traumas that can severely compromise cognitive development, emotional processing, self-perception, and executive brain functions. The neurophysiological changes entailed impair emotional regulation, lead to heightened anxiety, and afflict attachment and the formation of social bonds. Neuroplastic changes following severely adverse experiences are not something that a person grows out of and gets over. These experiences alter the neurobiological and biochemical makeup and cause people to live in an emotionally relabeled world in which the evaluation of any social cue, their behavior, cognition, and state of mind are biased towards the negative. Even more worrying, detrimental neurophysiological consequences are not limited to the traumatized individual but are often transmitted to subsequent generations through a process of social niche construction, thereby creating a vicious cycle. Thus, the making and breaking forces of the brain are epitomized by parents, alloparents, peers, and our socioeconomic niche. This book expounds on the formative role that the social environment plays in healthy brain development, especially during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Based on scientific findings, the book advocates for bold measures and responsible stewardship to combat child abuse, maltreatment, and child poverty. By bringing together insights from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and social education work, it lays out a fact-based, transdisciplinary endeavor that aims at rising to the societal challenge of providing a rewarding perspective to youth at risk. It will be a valuable resource for academics from social education, pedagogy, cognitive science, neuroscience, as well as professionals in the fields of social work, pedagogy, education, child welfare.

Art Judgements: Art on Trial in Russia after Perestroika

Sandra Frimmel, University of Zurich

ISBN: 978-1-62273-277-7
Availability: Pre-order
$69 £50 €57

Ever since the turn of the century an unusually high number of court cases against art, artists and curators has been executed in Russia. Using the example of the two biggest trials against the organizers of the exhibitions "Watch Out, Religion!" and "Forbidden Art 2006", the author deals with the negotiation of the meaning of art (works) and its socio-political effect within the context of the court. The focus lies on the questions; by what means do these trials attempt to not only argumentatively negotiate a normative concept of art, but further attempt to permanently determine and legally bind a juridical understanding of art? In what way is being discussed what kind of art should be allowed in Russia today? How does art take effects? And where are the limits of the freedom of art? Research with regard to post soviet art trials has remained journal driven to the most part up until today. It is only the fairly recent trials aimed against Pussy Riot activists as well as Petr Pavlensky, which have provoked lengthy publications such as "Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom", Feminist Press at The City University of New York, 2013; Marc Bennetts: "I'm Going to Ruin Their Lives: Inside Putin's War on Russia's Opposition", Oneworld Publications 2014. These publications, however, mostly concern themselves with explicitly political and activist art rather than its particular discourse when on trial. This book, then, offers a scientific approach towards (Russian) art on trial. The text presents itself as an analysis of national-historical effects as well as a comparative approach to international perspectives by means of which socio-political goals and impact are synthesized, with a particular focus on the way in which these trials influence the intensification of juridical power over artistic freedom (of speech) in the production of art.

The Faces and Stakes of Brand Insertion

Edited by Sébastien Lefait, Aix Marseille University, France and Sandrine Villers, Paris 8 University, France

ISBN: 978-1-62273-795-6
Availability: Pre-order
$83 £65 €72

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

Arthur Asa Berger, San Francisco State University

ISBN: 978-1-64889-328-5
Availability: Pre-order
$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.

Three Hollywood Stalwarts in Literature

A Study in Film Perception Through References to Peck, Mitchum and Holden

Henryk Hoffmann

October 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-288-2
Availability: In stock
373pp. ¦ $73 £53 €60

This book focuses on the perception of the names, personae, performances and films of three Hollywood megastars, Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum and William Holden, as presented in the references and allusions encountered in American and foreign literature. Its secondary aim is to establish the ‘impact factor’ of the three actors and their major films and provide extensive data for further studies on the complex and bilateral relationships between film and literature. The pertinent quotations in ‘Three Hollywood Stalwarts in Literature: A Study in Film Perception Through References to Peck, Mitchum and Holden’ have been extracted from nearly 220 works by about 140 authors. The majority of the works were written by acclaimed authors; amongst them are some well-known American mainstream writers such as John Updike, John Irving, Fannie Flagg and Anne Tyler; some leaders of the mystery genre include Martha Grimes, Stuart Kaminsky, Elmore Leonard, Sara Paretsky; and a few masters of other popular genres, such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz. The global flavor of the citations is provided by international authors (e.g., Julio Cortázar, Elizabeth Hay, Henri Charrière, Sebastien Japrisot) and authors born to first-generation U.S. immigrants (e.g., Oscar Hijuelos). Almost seventy films referenced in world literature are discussed in the book, and those mentioned in the biggest number of works include ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘The Wild Bunch’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Roman Holiday’, ‘Spellbound’, ‘The Guns of Navarone’, and ‘Duel in the Sun’, among others. This book will appeal to college professors and students interested in film studies, specifically film analysis and criticism, film perception, and film genres. It will also hold interest for the general reader interested in biographies of movie personalities and the careers of the three actors, movie and stage actors, and fans of the western, film noir, and war genres.

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