Faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology have published many books, showcased here. Purchasing information is included for books in print. This series does not provide copies of the books themselves.
The Patagonian Sublime provides a vivid, accessible, and cutting-edge investigation of the green economy and New Left politics in Argentina. Based on extensive field research in Glaciers National Park and the mountain village of El Chaltén, Marcos Mendoza deftly examines the diverse social worlds of alpine mountaineers, adventure trekkers, tourism entrepreneurs, seasonal laborers, park rangers, land managers, scientists, and others involved in the green economy. Mendoza explores the fraught intersection of the green economy with the New Left politics of the Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner governments. Mendoza documents the strategies of capitalist development, national representation, and political rule embedded in the “green productivist” agenda pursued by Kirchner and Fernández. Mendoza shows how Andean Patagonian communities have responded to the challenges of community-based conservation, the fashioning of wilderness zones, and the drive to create place-based monopolies that allow ecotourism destinations to compete in the global consumer economy.
Michele Grigsby Coffey and Jodi Skipper
The work of considering, imagining, and theorizing the U.S. South in regional, national, and global contexts is an intellectual project that has been going on for some time. Scholars in history, literature, and other disciplines have developed an advanced understanding of the historical, social, and cultural forces that have helped to shape the U.S. South. However, most of the debates on these subjects have taken place within specific academic disciplines, with few attempts to cross-engage. Navigating Souths broadens these exchanges by facilitating transdisciplinary conversations about southern studies scholarship. The fourteen original essays in Navigating Souths articulate questions about the significances of the South as a theoretical and literal "home" base for social science and humanities researchers. They also examine challenges faced by researchers who identify as southern studies scholars, as well as by those who live and work in the regional South, and show how researchers have responded to these challenges. In doing so, this book project seeks to reframe the field of southern studies as it is currently being practiced by social science and humanities scholars and thus reshape historical and cultural conceptualizations of the region.
Sander L. Gilman and James M. Thomas
In 2012, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Oxford reported that - based on their clinical experiment - the beta-blocker drug, Propranolol, could reduce implicit racial bias among its users. Shortly after the experiment, an article in Time Magazine cited the study, posing the question: Is racism becoming a mental illness? In Are Racists Crazy? Sander Gilman and James Thomas trace the idea of race and racism as psychopathological categories., from mid-19th century Europe, to contemporary America, up to the aforementioned clinical experiment at the University of Oxford, and ask a slightly different question than that posed by Time: How did racism become a mental illness? Using historical, archival, and content analysis, the authors provide a rich account of how the 19th century ‘Sciences of Man’ - including anthropology, medicine, and biology - used race as a means of defining psychopathology and how assertions about race and madness became embedded within disciplines that deal with mental health and illness. An illuminating and riveting history of the discourse on racism, antisemitism, and psychopathology, Are Racists Crazy? connects past and present claims about race and racism, showing the dangerous implications of this specious line of thought for today.
Long the arena of philosophers, legal scholars, and political scientists, the interdisciplinary study of human rights has recently seen an influx of sociologists. Why is this so, and how do sociologists contribute to our understanding of human rights in the contemporary world? In this landmark new text, Mark Frezzo explores the sociological perspective on human rights, which he shows to be uniquely placed to illuminate the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions under which human rights norms and laws are devised, interpreted, implemented, and enforced. Sociologists treat human rights not as immutable attributes but as highly contested claims that vary across historical time and geographic space, and investigate how human rights can serve either to empower or to constrain social actors, from large societies to small communities and identity groups. Frezzo guides readers through the scholarly, pedagogical, and practical applications of a sociological view of major debates such as foundationalism vs. social constructionism, universalism vs. particularism, globalism vs. localism, and collective vs. individual rights. This cutting-edge text will appeal to students of sociology, political science, law, development, and social movements, and all interested in the nature, scope, and applicability of human rights in the twenty-first century.
Ramie A. Gougeon and Maureen S. Meyers
In the last four decades, southeastern archaeology has increasingly developed a processual method of looking at archaeological data through varying levels of scale. By adjusting the scale, archaeologists can further define societal interactions and exchanges, which is particularly useful to those researching the Mississippian period, as the rise and fall of chiefdoms was both internally complex and externally influenced by broader regional factors. This use of the most current research methods has enabled a more comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and historic sociopolitical entities. In Archaeological Perspectives of the Southern Appalachians, Ramie A. Gougeon and Maureen S. Meyers have brought together a dozen archaeologists to delineate multiscalar approaches to Native American sites throughout southern Appalachia. The essays range in topic from ceramic assemblages in northern Georgia to public architecture in North Carolina to the frontiers of southern Appalachia in Virginia. Throughout the volume, the contributors discuss varying scales of analysis in their own research to flesh out the importance of maintaining different perspectives when evaluating archaeological evidence. Additionally, the volume makes particular reference to the work of David Hally, whose influence on not only the editors and contributors but on southeastern archaeology as a whole cannot be overstated. While Hally was neither a pioneer nor vocal champion of scale variation, his impeccable research, culminating with the publication of his magnum opus King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia paved the way for younger scholars to truly develop research methods for holistic social archaeology.
American Heathens is the first in-depth ethnographic study about the largely misunderstood practice of American Heathenry (Germanic Paganism). Jennifer Snook—who has been Pagan since her early teens and a Heathen since eighteen—traces the development and trajectory of Heathenry as a new religious movement in America, one in which all identities are political and all politics matter. Snook explores the complexities of pagan reconstruction and racial, ethnic and gender identity in today’s divisive political climate. She considers the impact of social media on Heathen collectivities, and offers a glimpse of the world of Heathen meanings, rituals, and philosophy. In American Heathens, Snook presents the stories and perspectives of modern practitioners in engaging detail. She treats Heathens as members of a religious movement, rather than simply a subculture reenacting myths and stories of enchantment. Her book shrewdly addresses how people construct ethnicity in a reconstructionist (historically-minded) faith system with no central authority.
James M. Thomas
For decades, stand-up comedy has been central to the imbrication of popular culture and political discourse, reshaping the margins of political critique, and often within the contexts of urban nightlife entertainment. In Working to Laugh: Assembling Difference in American Stand-Up Comedy Venues, James M. Thomas (JT) provides an ethnographic analysis of urban nightlife sites where this popular form of entertainment occurs. Examining the relationship between the performance, the venue, and the social actors who participate in these scenes, JT demonstrates how stand-up venues function as both enablers and constrainers of social difference, including race, class, gender, and heteronormativity, within the larger urban nightlife environment. JT’s analysis of a professional comedy club and a sub-cultural bar that hosts a weekly comedy show illuminates the full range of stand-up comedy in the American cultural milieu, from the highly organized, routinized, and predictable format of the professional venue, to the more unpredictable, and in some cases, cutting edge format of the amateur show.
James M. Thomas and Jennifer G. Correa
Affective Labour explores four distinct landscapes in order to demonstrate how collective feelings are organized by social actors in order to both reproduce and contest hegemony. Utilizing a variety of methods, including participant observation, in-depth interviews across field sites, and content analysis of mass media, Correa and Thomas demonstrate the centrality of affective labor in enabling and constraining prevailing norms and practices of race, citizenship, class, gender, and sexuality across multiple spatial contexts: the U.S.- Mexico border, urban nightlife districts, American college campuses, and emergent social movements against the police state. The book demonstrates how the power of affective labour might be harnessed for progressively oriented world-building projects, including what the authors term an ‘affective labour from below.’ By tying an analysis of affective labour into movements for social justice, the authors aim to produce a critical theory of the world that can be practically applied.
The global consensus in academic, specialist and public realms is that North Korea is a problem: its nuclear ambitions pose a threat to international security, its levels of poverty indicate a humanitarian crisis and its political repression signals a failed state. This book examines the cultural dimensions of the international problem of North Korea through contemporary South Korean and Western popular imagination’s engagement with North Korea. Building on works by feminist-postcolonial thinkers, in particular Trinh Minh-ha, Rey Chow and Gayatri Spivak, it examines novels, films, photography and memoirs for how they engage with issues of security, human rights, humanitarianism and political agency from an intercultural perspective. By doing so the author challenges the key assumptions that underpin the prevailing realist and liberal approaches to North Korea. This research attends not only to alternative framings, narratives and images of North Korea but also to alternative modes of knowing, loving and responding and will be of interest to students of critical international relations, Korean studies, cultural studies and Asian studies.
Barbara Harris Combs
On March 7, 1965, a peaceful voting rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama, was met with an unprovoked attack of shocking violence that riveted the attention of the nation. In the days and weeks following "Bloody Sunday," the demonstrators would not be deterred, and thousands of others joined their cause, culminating in the successful march from Selma to Montgomery. The protest marches led directly to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a major piece of legislation, which, ninety-five years after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, made the practice of the right to vote available to all Americans, irrespective of race. From Selma to Montgomery chronicles the marches, placing them in the context of the long Civil Rights Movement, and considers the legacy of the Act, drawing parallels with contemporary issues of enfranchisement. In five concise chapters bolstered by primary documents including civil rights legislation, speeches, and news coverage, Combs introduces the Civil Rights Movement to undergraduates through the courageous actions of the freedom marchers.
Subcultures: The Basics is an accessible, engaging introduction to youth cultures in a global context. Blending theory and practice to examine a range of subcultural movements including hip hop in Japan, global graffiti writing crews, heavy metal in Europe and straight edge movements in the USA, this text answers the key questions posed by those new to the subject, including: What is a subculture? How do subcultures emerge, who participates and why? What is the relationship between deviance, resistance and the ‘mainstream’? How does society react to different subcultural movements? How has global media and virtual networking influenced subcultures? Is there a life ‘after’ subculture? Tracing the history and development of subcultures to the present day, with further reading and case studies throughout, this text is essential reading for all those studying youth culture in the contexts of sociology, cultural studies, media studies, anthropology and criminology.
In the twentieth century, Muslim minorities emerged in Europe seeking work, a refuge from conflict, and higher life standards. As a result, there are now more than 12 million Muslims in Western Europe. As these immigrants became permanent residents, the Islamic communities they developed had to respond to their European context, reinterpreting Islam in accordance with local conditions. In Localizing Islam in Europe, Yükleyen brings this adaptation to light, demonstrating how Islam and Europe have shaped one another and challenging the idea that Islamic beliefs are inherently antithetical to European secular, democratic, and pluralist values. Yûkleyen compares five different forms of religious communities among Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands and Germany that represent a spectrum from moderate to revolutionary Islamic opinions. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, he finds that, despite differences in goals and beliefs, these communities play an intermediary role, negotiating between the social and religious needs of Muslims and the socioeconomic, legal, and political context of Europe. Yûkleyen’s rich ethnography shows that there is no single form of assimilated and privatized “European Islam” but rather Islamic communities and their interpretations and practices that localize Islam in Europe.