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New Books in Sociology

Marshall Poe

291
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1.5K
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New Books in Sociology

New Books in Sociology

Marshall Poe

291
Followers
1.5K
Plays
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Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Diana Fu, "Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

When advocacy organizations are forbidden from rallying people to take to the streets, what do they do? Diana Fu’s nuanced ethnography of Chinese labor organizations demonstrates how grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilize under repressive political conditions. Instead of facilitating collective action through public protests or strikes, Fu demonstrates how Chinese activists innovatively coach citizens to challenge authorities – in private spaces. Activists work with individual workers to help them understand and assert their rights in labor negotiations. Activists use individual conversations with workers to create a sense of belonging to a larger community of migrant workers. These “pedagogies of contention” foster collective identity and consciousness: mobilization without the masses. Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China (Cambridge University Press, 2017) is divided into two parts. First, Fu examines the structural conditions of above and underground groups in Beijing and the Pearl River Delta. She reveals and interrogates how the CCP’s policy of “flexible repression” provided opportunities for mobilization without the masses. Second, she looks at the tactics that allowed activists to inspire participants to take individualized and discursive action. Throughout, she describes the contours of a remarkable political compromise in which local authorities do not fully repress activisists (for fear of driving them further underground) yet attend to the PRC’s goal of stability and fear of collective action. The books demonstrates that Chinese civil society organizations can and do play an active role in shaping state-society relations – more than delivering social services or providing policy consultation – by coaching participants to make rights claims against the state. The podcast concludes with a brief discussion of Dr. Fu’s recent article in Foreign Policy regarding the challenges that COVID19 poses to the CCP’s concerns with social stability. Mobilizing Without the Masseswas awarded theGregory Luebbert Prize for the best book on Comparative Politicsfrom the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association International Political Sociology Section’s Best Book Award,andthe American Sociological Association’s Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award (co-winner). Susan Liebellis associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She is the author of Democracy, Intelligent Design, and Evolution: Science for Citizenship (Routledge, 2013). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

43 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Diana Fu, "Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)

Automobiles and their associated infrastructures, deeply embedded in Western cities, have become a rapidly growing presence in the mega-cities of the Global South. Streets, once crowded with pedestrians, pushcarts, vendors, and bicyclists, are now choked with motor vehicles, many of them private automobiles. In Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities (MIT Press, 2020), Govind Gopakumar examines this shift, analyzing the phenomenon of automobility in Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), a rapidly growing city of about ten million people in southern India. He finds that the advent of automobility in Bengaluru has privileged the mobility needs of the elite while marginalizing those of the rest of the population. Gopakumar connects Bengaluru's burgeoning automobility to the city's history and to the spatial, technological, and social interventions of a variety of urban actors. Automobility becomes a juggernaut, threatening to reorder the city to enhance automotive travel. He discusses the evolution of congestion and urban change in Bengaluru; the “regimes of congestion” that emerge to address the issue; an “infrastructurescape” that shapes the mobile behavior of all residents but is largely governed by the privileged; and the enfranchisement of an “automotive citizenship” (and the disenfranchisement of non-automobile-using publics). Gopakumar also finds that automobility in Bengaluru faces ongoing challenges from such diverse sources as waste flows, popular religiosity, and political leadership. These challenges, however, introduce messiness without upsetting automobility. He therefore calls for efforts to displace automobility that are grounded in reordering the mobility regime, relandscaping the city and its infrastructures, and reclaiming streets for other uses. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)

Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada" (NYU Press, 2020)

In recent decades, the number of Americans and Canadians who identify has nonreligious has risen considerably. With nearly one quarter of Canadian and American adults identifying as nonreligious, religious "nones" represent a sizable and growing group within the Canadian and American populations. In their recent book, None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada (NYU Press, 2020), Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme examine this phenomenon and the implications of the growing religious none population in North America. Joel Thiessen is Professor of Sociology of Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Lindsey Jackson is a PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

61 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada" (NYU Press, 2020)

Richard Lachmann, "First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers" (Verso, 2020)

Richard Lachmann’s First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers (Verso, 2020) is a two-for-one deal. The first half of the book is a historical analysis of why some empires transform their geopolitical power into global hegemony while others fail to do so, and why hegemons eventually lose their global predominance. Focusing on the great European empires (Spain, France, Britain, and the Netherlands), Lachmann argues that while imperial expansion can deliver more resources to their centers, they can also create dynamics of elite conflict and complacency that can either prevent an empire from attaining global preeminence, or prevent hegemons from undertaking reforms that would be necessary to maintain their power advantages over emerging rivals. His theoretical framework breaks from internalist theories of state formation and regime change by demonstrating how imperial expansion affects political development in the metropole. In the second half of the book, Lachmann uses his theory of elite politics to analyze the decline of US geopolitical power from its post-World War II heights, which has manifested itself in rising inequality, increasing economic instability, and the failure to win wars despite its massive military budget. He shows how financialization has fostered predatory, short-termist accumulation strategies for economic elites, as they prioritize maximizing shareholder value over long-term investment. At the same time, military officers and weapons contractors team up to prevent reorganization of the military away from expensive high-tech conventional weapons towards resources that would be more useful for fighting insurgencies. In both cases, elites have been able to use their organizational resources to secure their own interests at the expense of the national interest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

71 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Richard Lachmann, "First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers" (Verso, 2020)

Adriana Mica, "Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible" (Routledge, 2020)

Sociology of unintended consequences is commonly depicted as a framework for understanding the outcomes that run counter to the initial intentions of social actors because of factors such as ignorance, error and complexity. This conventional approach, however, is now undergoing change under the influence of more encompassing shifts in framing in social sciences. Indeed, in the last few years, the study of the unintended has evidently moved from the question "What are the sources of the unintended?" to the inquiry "What is it that makes the unintended possible?" or "What risks, but also opportunities, do the unintended entail?" Explaining this puzzle in relation to the internal dynamics of sociology of unintended consequences, Adriana Mica makes an erudite journey in relation to its three main analytical frameworks, their semantic shifts, setbacks and theoretical revivals. Certainly, through the examination of the use of protective headgear in boxing, this volume renders explicitly t...

39 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Adriana Mica, "Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible" (Routledge, 2020)

Kevin Duong, "The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Kevin Duong, a political theorist in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia, has written a fascinating analysis of the way that violence has been used, in a sense, to create or promote solidarity during the course of the “long nineteenth century” in France.Duong explores four separate periods and experiences in France, starting with the French Revolution and the trial of Louis XVI, moving to the long military engagement in Algeria, then to the Paris Commune in later half of the century, and finally to the preparations and the run up to World War I. And while The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France (Oxford University Press, 2020)is about the French engagement with violence, it is a much broader analysis of the role that violence plays, particularly the concept of redemptive violence, in constructing democracy and establishing a cohesive social body among the citizenry. Duong makes a complex and important argument that the establishm...

57 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Kevin Duong, "The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

In recent years, questions around the nature of ​truth ​and ​facts have reentered public debate, often in discussions around journalistic bias, and whether politically neutral reporting is possible, or even desirable. Many pundits have tried to place blame for the increasingly slippery and fickle nature of truth in reporting on the ideas developed in much 20th-century philosophy, particularly postmodern theory. Santiago Zabala, however, argues that this is to mistake a diagnosis with the condition itself, and makes the case in his recent book, ​Being at Large: Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020),​ that much of the hermeneutic and postmodern philosophical traditions can help us navigate these times out of joint. Santiago Zabala is a philosopher and cultural critic and ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He is author of many books, including Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2017). His opinion articles have appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Al-Jazeera among other international media outlets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

Ashley Mears, "Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit" (Princeton UP, 2020)

Ashley Mears’ new book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit (Princeton University Press, 2020) provides readers with a closer look at the global party circuit. A lifestyle that offers million-dollar birthday parties, megayachts on the French Riviera, and $40,000 bottles of champagne. In today’s New Gilded Age, the world’s moneyed classes have taken conspicuous consumption to new extremes. In Very Important People, sociologist, author, and former fashion model Ashley Mears takes readers inside the exclusive global nightclub and party circuit—from New York City and the Hamptons to Miami and Saint-Tropez—to reveal the intricate economy of beauty, status, and money that lies behind these spectacular displays of wealth and leisure. Mears spent eighteen months in this world of “models and bottles” to write this captivating, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking narrative. She describes how clubs and restaurants pay promoters to recruit beautiful y...

52 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Ashley Mears, "Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit" (Princeton UP, 2020)

James M. Jasper, "Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Did Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency in 2016 because he was a master of character work – able to sum up opponents in pithy epithets that encourage the public to see them as weak or immoral? What is character work and how do characters with roots in ancient crease help us understand 21st-century politics? While many scholars of politics focus on plots, James M. Jasper, Michael P. Young and Elke Zuern encourage us to look at the characters – particularly the simplified packaging of the intentions, capacities, and actions of public figures. In Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame (Oxford University Press, 2020), Jasper and his colleagues show how political figures often allocate praise and blame, identify social problems, cement identities and allegiances, develop policies, and articulate our moral intuitions. Democracies need to understand where characters -- heroes, villains, victims, and minions – come from in order to keep their influence within proper bou...

44 MIN1 w ago
Comments
James M. Jasper, "Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)

Muslims living in locations like Australia, Europe, or North America exist within a context dominated by white racial norms and are forced to grapple with those conventions on a daily basis. If they succeed in meeting the presiding criterion of secular liberalism they can be dubbed a “moderate” Muslim by mainstream society. InRadical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies(Rowman & Littlefield, 2017),Yassir Morsi, Lecturer at La Trobe University, explores these contemporary social dynamics and considers the various ways Muslims don a mask in order to navigate the expectations of the dominant society. Here he offersthree paradigms, what he calls the “Fabulous Mask,” the “Militant Mask,” and the “Triumphant Mask,” that represent changing tensions for the “moderate” Muslim. Morsi deconstructs the “radical” vs. “moderate” binary through the forces of racialized structures that shape everyday life and the historical circumstances...

77 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)

Latest Episodes

Diana Fu, "Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

When advocacy organizations are forbidden from rallying people to take to the streets, what do they do? Diana Fu’s nuanced ethnography of Chinese labor organizations demonstrates how grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilize under repressive political conditions. Instead of facilitating collective action through public protests or strikes, Fu demonstrates how Chinese activists innovatively coach citizens to challenge authorities – in private spaces. Activists work with individual workers to help them understand and assert their rights in labor negotiations. Activists use individual conversations with workers to create a sense of belonging to a larger community of migrant workers. These “pedagogies of contention” foster collective identity and consciousness: mobilization without the masses. Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China (Cambridge University Press, 2017) is divided into two parts. First, Fu examines the structural conditions of above and underground groups in Beijing and the Pearl River Delta. She reveals and interrogates how the CCP’s policy of “flexible repression” provided opportunities for mobilization without the masses. Second, she looks at the tactics that allowed activists to inspire participants to take individualized and discursive action. Throughout, she describes the contours of a remarkable political compromise in which local authorities do not fully repress activisists (for fear of driving them further underground) yet attend to the PRC’s goal of stability and fear of collective action. The books demonstrates that Chinese civil society organizations can and do play an active role in shaping state-society relations – more than delivering social services or providing policy consultation – by coaching participants to make rights claims against the state. The podcast concludes with a brief discussion of Dr. Fu’s recent article in Foreign Policy regarding the challenges that COVID19 poses to the CCP’s concerns with social stability. Mobilizing Without the Masseswas awarded theGregory Luebbert Prize for the best book on Comparative Politicsfrom the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association International Political Sociology Section’s Best Book Award,andthe American Sociological Association’s Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award (co-winner). Susan Liebellis associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She is the author of Democracy, Intelligent Design, and Evolution: Science for Citizenship (Routledge, 2013). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

43 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Diana Fu, "Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)

Automobiles and their associated infrastructures, deeply embedded in Western cities, have become a rapidly growing presence in the mega-cities of the Global South. Streets, once crowded with pedestrians, pushcarts, vendors, and bicyclists, are now choked with motor vehicles, many of them private automobiles. In Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities (MIT Press, 2020), Govind Gopakumar examines this shift, analyzing the phenomenon of automobility in Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), a rapidly growing city of about ten million people in southern India. He finds that the advent of automobility in Bengaluru has privileged the mobility needs of the elite while marginalizing those of the rest of the population. Gopakumar connects Bengaluru's burgeoning automobility to the city's history and to the spatial, technological, and social interventions of a variety of urban actors. Automobility becomes a juggernaut, threatening to reorder the city to enhance automotive travel. He discusses the evolution of congestion and urban change in Bengaluru; the “regimes of congestion” that emerge to address the issue; an “infrastructurescape” that shapes the mobile behavior of all residents but is largely governed by the privileged; and the enfranchisement of an “automotive citizenship” (and the disenfranchisement of non-automobile-using publics). Gopakumar also finds that automobility in Bengaluru faces ongoing challenges from such diverse sources as waste flows, popular religiosity, and political leadership. These challenges, however, introduce messiness without upsetting automobility. He therefore calls for efforts to displace automobility that are grounded in reordering the mobility regime, relandscaping the city and its infrastructures, and reclaiming streets for other uses. Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)

Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada" (NYU Press, 2020)

In recent decades, the number of Americans and Canadians who identify has nonreligious has risen considerably. With nearly one quarter of Canadian and American adults identifying as nonreligious, religious "nones" represent a sizable and growing group within the Canadian and American populations. In their recent book, None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada (NYU Press, 2020), Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme examine this phenomenon and the implications of the growing religious none population in North America. Joel Thiessen is Professor of Sociology of Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Lindsey Jackson is a PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

61 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada" (NYU Press, 2020)

Richard Lachmann, "First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers" (Verso, 2020)

Richard Lachmann’s First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers (Verso, 2020) is a two-for-one deal. The first half of the book is a historical analysis of why some empires transform their geopolitical power into global hegemony while others fail to do so, and why hegemons eventually lose their global predominance. Focusing on the great European empires (Spain, France, Britain, and the Netherlands), Lachmann argues that while imperial expansion can deliver more resources to their centers, they can also create dynamics of elite conflict and complacency that can either prevent an empire from attaining global preeminence, or prevent hegemons from undertaking reforms that would be necessary to maintain their power advantages over emerging rivals. His theoretical framework breaks from internalist theories of state formation and regime change by demonstrating how imperial expansion affects political development in the metropole. In the second half of the book, Lachmann uses his theory of elite politics to analyze the decline of US geopolitical power from its post-World War II heights, which has manifested itself in rising inequality, increasing economic instability, and the failure to win wars despite its massive military budget. He shows how financialization has fostered predatory, short-termist accumulation strategies for economic elites, as they prioritize maximizing shareholder value over long-term investment. At the same time, military officers and weapons contractors team up to prevent reorganization of the military away from expensive high-tech conventional weapons towards resources that would be more useful for fighting insurgencies. In both cases, elites have been able to use their organizational resources to secure their own interests at the expense of the national interest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

71 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Richard Lachmann, "First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers" (Verso, 2020)

Adriana Mica, "Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible" (Routledge, 2020)

Sociology of unintended consequences is commonly depicted as a framework for understanding the outcomes that run counter to the initial intentions of social actors because of factors such as ignorance, error and complexity. This conventional approach, however, is now undergoing change under the influence of more encompassing shifts in framing in social sciences. Indeed, in the last few years, the study of the unintended has evidently moved from the question "What are the sources of the unintended?" to the inquiry "What is it that makes the unintended possible?" or "What risks, but also opportunities, do the unintended entail?" Explaining this puzzle in relation to the internal dynamics of sociology of unintended consequences, Adriana Mica makes an erudite journey in relation to its three main analytical frameworks, their semantic shifts, setbacks and theoretical revivals. Certainly, through the examination of the use of protective headgear in boxing, this volume renders explicitly t...

39 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Adriana Mica, "Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible" (Routledge, 2020)

Kevin Duong, "The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Kevin Duong, a political theorist in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia, has written a fascinating analysis of the way that violence has been used, in a sense, to create or promote solidarity during the course of the “long nineteenth century” in France.Duong explores four separate periods and experiences in France, starting with the French Revolution and the trial of Louis XVI, moving to the long military engagement in Algeria, then to the Paris Commune in later half of the century, and finally to the preparations and the run up to World War I. And while The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France (Oxford University Press, 2020)is about the French engagement with violence, it is a much broader analysis of the role that violence plays, particularly the concept of redemptive violence, in constructing democracy and establishing a cohesive social body among the citizenry. Duong makes a complex and important argument that the establishm...

57 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Kevin Duong, "The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

In recent years, questions around the nature of ​truth ​and ​facts have reentered public debate, often in discussions around journalistic bias, and whether politically neutral reporting is possible, or even desirable. Many pundits have tried to place blame for the increasingly slippery and fickle nature of truth in reporting on the ideas developed in much 20th-century philosophy, particularly postmodern theory. Santiago Zabala, however, argues that this is to mistake a diagnosis with the condition itself, and makes the case in his recent book, ​Being at Large: Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020),​ that much of the hermeneutic and postmodern philosophical traditions can help us navigate these times out of joint. Santiago Zabala is a philosopher and cultural critic and ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He is author of many books, including Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2017). His opinion articles have appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Al-Jazeera among other international media outlets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Santiago Zabala, "Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

Ashley Mears, "Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit" (Princeton UP, 2020)

Ashley Mears’ new book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit (Princeton University Press, 2020) provides readers with a closer look at the global party circuit. A lifestyle that offers million-dollar birthday parties, megayachts on the French Riviera, and $40,000 bottles of champagne. In today’s New Gilded Age, the world’s moneyed classes have taken conspicuous consumption to new extremes. In Very Important People, sociologist, author, and former fashion model Ashley Mears takes readers inside the exclusive global nightclub and party circuit—from New York City and the Hamptons to Miami and Saint-Tropez—to reveal the intricate economy of beauty, status, and money that lies behind these spectacular displays of wealth and leisure. Mears spent eighteen months in this world of “models and bottles” to write this captivating, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking narrative. She describes how clubs and restaurants pay promoters to recruit beautiful y...

52 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Ashley Mears, "Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit" (Princeton UP, 2020)

James M. Jasper, "Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Did Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency in 2016 because he was a master of character work – able to sum up opponents in pithy epithets that encourage the public to see them as weak or immoral? What is character work and how do characters with roots in ancient crease help us understand 21st-century politics? While many scholars of politics focus on plots, James M. Jasper, Michael P. Young and Elke Zuern encourage us to look at the characters – particularly the simplified packaging of the intentions, capacities, and actions of public figures. In Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame (Oxford University Press, 2020), Jasper and his colleagues show how political figures often allocate praise and blame, identify social problems, cement identities and allegiances, develop policies, and articulate our moral intuitions. Democracies need to understand where characters -- heroes, villains, victims, and minions – come from in order to keep their influence within proper bou...

44 MIN1 w ago
Comments
James M. Jasper, "Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)

Muslims living in locations like Australia, Europe, or North America exist within a context dominated by white racial norms and are forced to grapple with those conventions on a daily basis. If they succeed in meeting the presiding criterion of secular liberalism they can be dubbed a “moderate” Muslim by mainstream society. InRadical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies(Rowman & Littlefield, 2017),Yassir Morsi, Lecturer at La Trobe University, explores these contemporary social dynamics and considers the various ways Muslims don a mask in order to navigate the expectations of the dominant society. Here he offersthree paradigms, what he calls the “Fabulous Mask,” the “Militant Mask,” and the “Triumphant Mask,” that represent changing tensions for the “moderate” Muslim. Morsi deconstructs the “radical” vs. “moderate” binary through the forces of racialized structures that shape everyday life and the historical circumstances...

77 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
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