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Unraveling the controversial, socio-economic and political issues behind those annoying social media memesMarch 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-251-7
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $40 £32 €38
In this first installment of the Misinformation series, the author tackles complex socio-economic and political topics related to the economy of the United States, such as the federal budget, wasteful spending, the national debt, unemployment and social security. By breaking down each subject into layman’s terms, the author clearly and concisely presents, in an unbiased manner, the facts behind the fake news, half-truths and general misinformation from the annoying headlines and memes cluttering social media on these volatile subjects.
Researching the controversy over bovine tuberculosis and the culling of badgers
Stephan Price, University of Exeter
Availability: In stock
334pp. ¦ $60 £48 €55
Bovine tuberculosis is seriously damaging the UK dairy and beef industry. Many farmers believe culling badgers must be part of the solution, but in 2013 a record 300,000 people signed a Downing Street petition asking the government to stop planned culls of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, fuelling media controversy and signalling the beginning of a social conflict that was acted out in studios, streets, fields and village halls across England. The four-year trial culls, which began that year, aimed to establish that culling was a viable way of tackling the disease, but the widely divergent experiences and values of policy-makers, farming, conservation and animal welfare supporters means that decades of science on the disease in badgers and the effects of culling has not helped resolve the dispute. Reporting on original, UK research council-funded social science, this book takes on the challenge of understanding the contrasting views involved. Listening carefully to what the different protagonists have to say, the book unpicks the way science is interpreted to sustain differing conclusions, and considers how social science thinking could contribute. The book develops a critical perspective on the increasingly important literature influenced by new materialism, the social science response to the Science Wars, and explores the extent to which a social movement around opposition to the culls is emerging. In approachable prose, this access-all-areas account describes the struggle to develop understanding through the messy process of research and the difficulties of scientific analysis and philosophical thought. As such, it provides a valuable resource for both research practitioners and teachers within the social sciences, as well as an accessible way for biological scientists, conservationists and farmers to reflect on the issues around the management of disease in livestock and wildlife.
Challenges and Alternative Approaches
Evandro Oliveira, University of Leipzig, Germany et al.
Availability: In stock
308pp. ¦ $70 £55 €65
Communication in the public sphere as well as within organizational contexts has attracted the interest of researchers over the past century. Current forms of citizen engagement and community development, partly enabled through digital communication, have further enhanced the visibility and relevance of non-profit communication. These are performed by the civil society, which is 'the organized expression of the values and interests of society' (Castells, 2008) in the public sphere. Non-profit communication feeds the public sphere as 'the discursive processes in a complex network of persons, institutionalized associations and organizations,' whereas those 'discourses are a civilized way of disagreeing openly about essential matters of common concern' (Jensen, 2002). Despite the relevance in the public sphere, non-profit communication was never properly defined within communication research. The aim of the present book is to offer an overview and report on Strategic Communication for Non-Profit-Organisations and the Challenges and Alternative Approaches. Considering the assumption that a key principle of strategic communication is the achievement of organisational goals, the majority of research developed in the field has used business environments to develop theories, models, empirical insights and case studies. Here, we take a step towards new approaches centred on the concept of non-profit in various dimensions and from various perspectives, showing the diversity and complexity around this subject and at the same time the need of further theoretical and empirical work that provides frameworks and also tools for further understanding of the phenomena.
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $55 £40 €45
A point of departure for this book is the paradox between the seemingly limitless promise modern web technologies hold for enhanced political communication and their limited actual contribution. Empirical evidence indicates that neither citizens nor political parties are taking full advantage of online platforms to advance political participation. This is particularly evident when considering the websites of political parties, which have taken on two main functions: i) Disseminating information to citizens and journalists about the history, structure, programme and activities of the party; ii) Monitoring citizens’ opinions in regard to different political questions and policy proposals that are under discussion. Despite the integration of websites into political parties’ “permanent campaigns” (Blumenthal), television continues to be seen as the core medium in political communication and one-way and top-down communication strategies still prevail. In other words, it is still “business as usual”. This book questions whether Web 2.0 could help enhance citizens’ political participation. It offers a critical examination of the current state of the art from diverse perspectives, highlights persisting gaps in our knowledge and identifies a promising stream of further research. The ambition is to stimulate debate around the party-citizen "participation mismatch" and the role and place of modern web technologies in this setting. Each of the included chapters provide valuable explorations of the ways in which political parties motivate, make use of and are shaped by citizen participation in the Web 2.0 era. Diverse perspectives are employed, drawing examples from several European political systems and offering analytical insights at both the individual/micro level and at broader, macro or inter-societal systems level. Taken together, they offer a balanced and thought-provoking account of the political participation gap, its causes and consequences for political communication and democratic politics, as well as pointing the way to new forms of contemporary political participation.
Using Foucault and Giddens to Understand an Existential MomentMay 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-472-6
Availability: In stock
128pp. ¦ $28 £18 €22
This book urges respect for solitary dissent rather than censure. It equips a wide audience to understand what previously seemed unimaginable, much less comprehensible. It shows the reader how to reach beyond those first conclusions and into the heart of the matter. The lone voice explains that something has been hidden away, something which the individual now dissenting can no longer acquiesce in. It raises the possibility that more may be seriously wrong. Those who need to understand range from academics, to researchers, to managers, to elected representatives, to journalists. We all have an interest in knowing not just what has gone wrong but also why this person, and no other, decided they could take no more. If we are to correct a bad situation, rather than just patch it up, we need clarity at every level of the individual’s deepening unease. The book uses four case studies (two in Ireland, one in UK, all on the record, and one authoritative biography of a well-known Italian personality), to demonstrate an approach to analyzing solitary dissent. The methods used are academic but, in the way they are presented, certainly intelligible to the lay-reader. Indeed, the author (who is one of the case studies) writes with a degree of affection for his two authorities, Michel Foucault and Anthony Giddens, which is engaging, anything but formal, but no less authoritative for that. Another persuasive output of the book is the resonance of solitary dissent with Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialism which is also analysed. The Solitary Voice of Dissent is limited by the extent to which the author has been able to delve into the personal privacy of the case studies offered. With commendable detachment, he is able to examine his own experience; and the biography he has selected allows a similarly deep investigation into the fourth case study. While each personality investigated was male, the author also identifies certain contemporary female dissenters. This is an area increasingly impacting upon the public’s awareness but which no-one has written about before. If we are to mend our society, we need to start a conversation. A wide audience will wish to follow it.