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Series: Vernon Series in Sociology

The changing face of VR: Pushing the boundaries of experience across multiple industries

Edited by Jordan Frith, Clemson University and Michael Saker, City University London

ISBN: 978-1-64889-474-9
Availability: Available 4 weeks
$85 £70 €80

VR occupies an interesting place in the media ecosystem. On the one hand, it is an emerging, ‘cutting-edge’ technology backed by billions of USD by major corporations. On the other hand, VR is older than the World Wide Web and older than social networking sites. After many years of hype and unfulfilled potential, VR is now finally on the precipice of widespread adoption and has begun to be used in novel ways throughout various industries. This edited collection brings together a diverse group of authors to analyse the current state of VR, while recognizing that these many different use-cases will likely become even more important with the increased investment in the technology. To examine the current state of VR across multiple sites and industries, we compiled a group of practitioners and academics to both examine VR practices and theorize new uses of VR. The book also focuses on an inclusive analysis and includes authors from South America, North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and the topics range from analyses of VR use in live events to the ethics of nature-based VR apps to the social practices involved in using public VR at museum exhibits. As we argue in the introduction, this book is one of the first to bring together authors from different backgrounds and disciplines to chart just how widely VR has already spread. And maybe most importantly, the topics covered in this book will only become more relevant as VR continues to grow, especially in the wake of the growth of the supposed Metaverse.

Disability and the Academic Job Market

Edited by Chris McGunnigle, Seton Hall University

May 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-419-0
Availability: In stock
311pp. ¦ $86 £67 €74

"Disability and the Academic Job Market" examines ableist structures in academia that inherently create obstacles to full-time employment for people with a disability. Based on historical and contemporary scholarship, it has been shown how disclosure of a disability can have profound repercussions for a scholar with a disability. Scholars with a disability are often inhibited from applying to or being promoted in academia because of direct discrimination, negative perception towards people with a disability, inaccessible physical and performance conditions, and social models of disability that characterize disability as unproductive, abnormal, and risky. While scholarship has addressed ableism in academia, it has not strongly focused on the specific difficulties and barriers that a person with a disability faces when applying for a full-time academic position. This book seeks to provide a resource that brings to light ableist conditions in the academic hiring process through the lived experiences of scholars with a disability, with hope to implement change in these situations. This collection presents a combination of personal narrative and scholarship from academics with a disability who have navigated the academic job market, with additional contributions from non-disabled allies who have advocated for change in academic structures. Our collection begins by expressing the concerned experiences of students entering the academic job market, followed by scholars who have more fully lived through the obstacles of the academic market in both contingent and tenure track positions. A vital focus of this collection is on intersectionality as chapters draw from interactions between disability and race, gender, and sexuality across international contexts. Important topics discussed throughout the collection include systemic ableism, disclosure, the job interview, academic workaholism, and lack of accommodations.

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.

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.

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