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Titles - Sociology


09/15/2018: Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance [Hardback] by Tracy Gaynor Harwood

Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance [Hardback] Since its birth in 1996, machinima (machine-cinema) has grown into a truly global phenomenon – and its latest transformation is evident in the Lets Play community. Machinima is the first digital culture to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre and it has taken shape as an important fan culture. Its impact has been felt across many aspects of popular culture and its influence can be found in contexts such as the arts and cinema, performance, creative technologies and social media, politics and citizenship. This book traces its history and impacts through a selection of the most culturally significant works. It firstly sets out to describe the key films, provides an overview of the creative processes and interviews with filmmakers and contributors involved in their development. It then traces their release and impact among fans, users and appropriators, supported with material and interviews. This important new work focuses on the specific disruptive socio-cultural impacts of key works identified by the community and Harwood research over a period of 10 years – from film and filmmaking to digital arts, practice and theory. The book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists and digital artists, and those interested in how creative technologies influences communities of practice over time.
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05/30/2018: Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum [Hardback] by Lee Davidson, Leticia Pérez-Castellanos

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum [Hardback] Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum critically examines international exhibitions, looking at both theoretical and practical implications. How are museums working internationally through exhibitions? What motivates this work? What are the benefits and challenges? What factors contribute to success? What impact does this work have for audiences and other stakeholders? What contributions are they making to cultural diplomacy, intercultural dialogue and understanding? In seeking answers to these questions, the book first provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about international touring exhibitions: their history, current practice, debates and issues. It then proposes an interdisciplinary analytical framework, encompassing museum studies, visitor studies, cultural diplomacy and international relations, intercultural communication/education, and theories of cosmopolitanism. Having laid the theoretical groundwork, it presents a comprehensive empirical analysis of an exhibition exchange involving two exhibitions that crossed five countries and three continents, connecting six high profile cultural institutions and spanning almost a decade from initial conception to completion. A detailed comparison of both the intercultural production of touring exhibitions by museum partnerships and by the interpretive acts and meaning-making of visitors, reveals the many complexities, challenges, tensions and rewards of international museum exhibitions and their intersection with cultural diplomacy. Key themes include the realities of international collaboration, its purposes, processes and challenges, including communication and relationship building; the politics of cultural (self-)representation and Indigenous museology; implications for exhibition design, interpretation, and marketing; intercultural competency and museum practice; audience reception and meaning-making; cultural diplomacy in practice and perceptions of its value. This first-ever detailed, empirically-grounded, theoretical analysis provides the basis of a critical theory of international touring exhibitions and guidelines for practice, including recommendations for successful international museum partnerships and exhibitions aimed at facilitating intercultural understanding for audiences and enhancing intercultural practices among museum professionals, and maximizing the potential contribution cultural diplomacy.
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03/30/2018: Networks of International Trade and Investment [Hardback] by Sara Gorgoni, Alessia Amighini, Matthew Smith

Networks of International Trade and Investment [Hardback] The globalisation of industries in recent decades has led to a fundamental change in the way in which production is structured: products are no longer manufactured in their entirety in a single location. Integration of global trade has been accompanied by disintegration of production. This disintegration, or rather fragmentation, of production has resulted in a shift-change in patterns of international trade and investment, with a rise in trade of intermediate goods and a rise in FDI activity. In addition, multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a more focal role in this reorganisation of production, spreading out their manufacturing and supply chain activities globally, resulting in an increase in FDI and intra-firm trade. This international fragmentation of production challenges our ability to understand the international economy. Global value chains is one leading theoretical approach encompassing and trying to make sense of these changes, but scholars point to several limitations of it, most prominently the difficulty of aggregating from firm-level observations to national-level. A crucial aspect is that these changes in trade and FDI patterns have resulted in a more interconnected world economy. Understanding the interdependencies between entities involved in the fragmented production process is essential in order to understand the way production is organised today. Traditional methods and statistical approaches are insufficient to address this challenge. This edited book makes a case for the use of network analysis alongside existing techniques in answering burning questions in the areas of international business and economics, such as whether trade has become more global or regional, and to what extent emerging economies challenge the role of traditional producers in specific industries. The book looks at how the approach and methodologies of network analysis can contribute in explaining international business and economics phenomena, in particular related to international trade and investment. It will provide a comprehensive but accessible explanation of the applications of network analysis applications and some of the most recent methodological advances that can contribute to research in the area of international trade and investment. (provisional and subject to change)
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02/28/2018: Care and Well-being in Old Age [Hardback] by Marian Barnes, Beatrice Gahagan, Lizzie Ward

Care and Well-being in Old Age [Hardback] This book seeks to understand what well-being means to older people, and to influence the practice of those who work with older people. Drawing from a broad body of work, this volume challenges normative assumptions of ‘successful’ ageing, particularly as seen through neo-liberal policy constructions of ‘active ageing’. Applying insights of feminist ethics of care, it develops a relational ontology that challenges neo-liberal assumptions of autonomous individualism. Central to the development of an ethical perspective built around the significance of care in all our lives is the understanding that humans are relational beings. Our survival as infants is dependent on the care we receive from others. And for all of us, in particular in older age, there are times when illness, emotional or physical frailty mean that we need the care of others to enable us to deal with everyday life. The book documents original, UK research council-funded research, among academic researchers and an NGO collaborator with a shared commitment to the value of working with older people. Theoretically, it draws from and contributes to literature on critical gerontology which seeks to understand how experiences of ageing are shaped by social, economic, cultural and political contexts. The book also reflects on the applications of its insights to social care practice. It aspires to enable practitioners to reflect on personal aspects of ageing and care and to bridge the gap between the personal and the professional.
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01/15/2018: Generational Interdependencies: The Social Implications for Welfare [Hardback] by Beverley A. Searle, Rory Coulter, Gabriel Amitsis, Sally Bould, Guiliana Costa, Roxana Eleta De Filippis, Tom Emery, Lars Gulbrandsen, Hans Sandlie, Andrea Schäfer, Gunther Schmaus, Adriana Soaita, Marco Tosi, Peter Williams, Caroline DeWilde, Christa Hubers

Generational Interdependencies: The Social Implications for Welfare [Hardback] 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.
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