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Assembling a New Left - Los Angeles Review of Books
"Assembly By Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri Published 09.01.2017 Oxford University Press 368 Pages"
book  review  politics  sociology 
12 weeks ago by tsuomela
Childress, C.: Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"Under the Cover follows the life trajectory of a single work of fiction from its initial inspiration to its reception by reviewers and readers. The subject is Jarrettsville, a historical novel by Cornelia Nixon, which was published in 2009 and based on an actual murder committed by an ancestor of Nixon's in the postbellum South. Clayton Childress takes you behind the scenes to examine how Jarrettsville was shepherded across three interdependent fields—authoring, publishing, and reading—and how it was transformed by its journey. Along the way, he covers all aspects of the life of a book, including the author's creative process, the role of the literary agent, how editors decide which books to acquire, how publishers build lists and distinguish themselves from other publishers, how they sell a book to stores and publicize it, and how authors choose their next projects. Childress looks at how books get selected for the front tables in bookstores, why reviewers and readers can draw such different meanings from the same novel, and how book groups across the country make sense of a novel and what it means to them. Drawing on original survey data, in-depth interviews, and groundbreaking ethnographic fieldwork, Under the Cover reveals how decisions are made, inequalities are reproduced, and novels are built to travel in the creation, production, and consumption of culture."
book  publisher  industry  sociology  art 
december 2017 by tsuomela
The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession, Benzecry
"Though some dismiss opera as old-fashioned, it shows no sign of disappearing from the world’s stage. So why do audiences continue to flock to it? Given its association with wealth, one might imagine that opera tickets function as a status symbol. But while a desire to hobnob with the upper crust might motivate the occasional operagoer, for hardcore fans the real answer, according to The Opera Fanatic, is passion—they do it for love. Opera lovers are an intense lot, Claudio E. Benzecry discovers in his look at the fanatics who haunt the legendary Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires, a key site for opera’s globalization. Listening to the fans and their stories, Benzecry hears of two-hundred-mile trips for performances and nightlong camp-outs for tickets, while others testify to a particular opera’s power to move them—whether to song or to tears—no matter how many times they have seen it before. Drawing on his insightful analysis of these acts of love, Benzecry proposes new ways of thinking about people’s relationship to art and shows how, far from merely enhancing aspects of everyday life, art allows us to transcend it."
book  publisher  art  sociology  opera  ethnography 
december 2017 by tsuomela
The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers | Alison Gerber
"Artists are everywhere, from celebrities showing at MoMA to locals hoping for a spot on a café wall. They are photographed at gallery openings in New York and Los Angeles, hustle in fast-gentrifying cities, and, sometimes, make quiet lives in Midwestern monasteries. Some command armies of fabricators while others patiently teach schoolchildren how to finger-knit. All of these artists might well be shown in the same exhibition, the quality of work far more important than education or income in determining whether one counts as a "real" artist. In The Work of Art, Alison Gerber explores these art worlds to investigate who artists are (and who they're not), why they do the things they do, and whether a sense of vocational calling and the need to make a living are as incompatible as we've been led to believe. Listening to the stories of artists from across the United States, Gerber finds patterns of agreements and disagreements shared by art-makers from all walks of life. For professionals and hobbyists alike, the alliance of love and money has become central to contemporary art-making, and danger awaits those who fail to strike a balance between the two. The stories artists tell are just as much a part of artistic practice as putting brush to canvas or chisel to marble. By explaining the shared ways that artists account for their activities—the analogies they draw, the arguments they make—Gerber reveals the common bases of value artists point to when they say: what I do is worth doing. The Work of Art asks how we make sense of the things we do and shows why all this talk about value matters so much."
book  publisher  art  sociology  work 
december 2017 by tsuomela
Theory for the Working Sociologist | Columbia University Press
"Theory for the Working Sociologist makes social theory easy to understand by revealing sociology's hidden playbook. Fabio Rojas argues that sociologists use four different theoretical "moves" when they try to explain the social world: how groups defend their status, how people strategically pursue their goals, how values and institutions support each other, and how people create their social reality. Rojas uses famous sociological studies to illustrate these four types of theory and show how students and researchers may apply them to their interests. The guiding light of the book is the concept of the "social mechanism," which clearly and succinctly links causes and effects in social life. Drawing on dozens of empirical studies that define modern sociology and focusing on the nuts and bolts of social explanation, Rojas reveals how areas of study within the field of sociology that at first glance seem dissimilar are, in fact, linked by shared theoretical underpinnings. In doing so, he elucidates classical and contemporary theory, and connects both to essential sociological findings made throughout the history of the field. Aimed at undergraduate students, graduate students, journalists, and interested general readers who want a more formal way to understand social life, Theory for the Working Sociologist presents the underlying themes of sociological thought using contemporary research and plain language."
book  publisher  sociology  theory 
august 2017 by tsuomela
Coming Up Short - Hardcover - Jennifer M. Silva - Oxford University Press
"A powerful and compelling examination of young, working-class adults and the economic, social, and cultural forces that have upended their lives. Provides a powerful and compelling perspective on several high profile issues at the forefront of public debate: economic instability, class instability, and the changing composition of the American family."
book  publisher  sociology  class  working  work  labor 
march 2017 by tsuomela
Hate Spin | The MIT Press
"In the United States, elements of the religious right fuel fears of an existential Islamic threat, spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric into mainstream politics. In Indonesia, Muslim absolutists urge suppression of churches and minority sects, fostering a climate of rising intolerance. In India, Narendra Modi’s radical supporters instigate communal riots and academic censorship in pursuit of their Hindu nationalist vision. Outbreaks of religious intolerance are usually assumed to be visceral and spontaneous. But in Hate Spin, Cherian George shows that they often involve sophisticated campaigns manufactured by political opportunists to mobilize supporters and marginalize opponents. Right-wing networks orchestrate the giving of offense and the taking of offense as instruments of identity politics, exploiting democratic space to promote agendas that undermine democratic values.   George calls this strategy “hate spin”—a double-sided technique that combines hate speech (incitement through vilification) with manufactured offense-taking (the performing of righteous indignation). It is deployed in societies as diverse as Buddhist Myanmar and Orthodox Christian Russia. George looks at the world’s three largest democracies, where intolerant groups within India’s Hindu right, America’s Christian right, and Indonesia’s Muslim right are all accomplished users of hate spin. He also shows how the Internet and Google have opened up new opportunities for cross-border hate spin. George argues that governments must protect vulnerable communities by prohibiting calls to action that lead directly to discrimination and violence. But laws that try to protect believers’ feelings against all provocative expression invariably backfire. They arm hate spin agents’ offense-taking campaigns with legal ammunition. Anti-discrimination laws and a commitment to religious equality will protect communities more meaningfully than misguided attempts to insulate them from insult."
book  publisher  political-science  anger  outrage  sociology  psychology  extremism 
october 2016 by tsuomela
Raised to Rage | The MIT Press
"Politicians routinely amplify and misdirect voters’ anger and resentment to win their support. Opportunistic candidates encourage supporters to direct their anger toward Mexicans, Muslims, women, protestors, and others, rather than the true socioeconomic causes of their discontent. This book offers a compelling and novel explanation for political anger and the roots of authoritarian political attitudes. In Raised to Rage, Michael Milburn and Sheree Conrad connect vociferous opposition to immigrants, welfare, and abortion to the displacement of anger, fear, and helplessness. These emotions may be triggered by real economic and social instability, but Milburn and Conrad’s research shows that the original source is in childhood brutalization or some other emotional trauma. Their research also shows that frequent experiences of physical punishment in childhood increase support in adulthood for punitive public policies, distorting the political process. Originally published in 1996, reprinted now with a new introduction by the authors that updates the empirical evidence and connects it to the current political situation, this book offers a timely consideration of a paradox in American politics: why voters are convinced by campaign rhetoric, exaggeration, and scapegoating to vote against their own interests."
book  publisher  political-science  anger  outrage  sociology  psychology  extremism 
october 2016 by tsuomela
Jason W Moore
"Research: capitalism as world-ecology, political ecology, environmental history, food and agriculture, world history, political economy of agrarian change, financialization."
people  research  sociology  academic  environment  capitalism 
october 2016 by tsuomela
Commonwealth and Covenant - Marcia Pally : Eerdmans
"In Commonwealth and Covenant Marcia Pally argues that in order to address current socioeconomic problems, we need not more economic formulas but rather a better understanding of how the world is set up — an ontology of how we and the world work. Without this, good proposals that arise lack political will and go unimplemented. Pally describes our basic setup as "separability-amid-situatedness" or "distinction-amid-relation." Though we are all unique individuals, we become our singular selves through our relations and responsibilities to the people and environments around us. Pally argues that our culture's overemphasis on "separability" — individualism run amok — results in greed, adversarial and deceitful political discourse and chicanery, resource grabbing, broken relationships, and anomie. Maintaining that separability and situatedness can and must be considered together in public policy, Pally draws on intellectual history, philosophy, and — especially — historic Christian and Jewish theologies of relationality to construct a new framework for addressing present economic and political ills."
book  publisher  political-science  sociology  culture  autonomy  separatism  individualism 
april 2016 by tsuomela
The three party system — Crooked Timber
"There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons."
politics  political-science  sociology  partisanship 
march 2016 by tsuomela
Institutions and European Trade | Economic History | Cambridge University Press
"What was the role of merchant guilds in the medieval and early modern economy? Does their wide prevalence and long survival mean they were efficient institutions that benefited the whole economy? Or did merchant guilds simply offer an effective way for the rich and powerful to increase their wealth, at the expense of outsiders, customers and society as a whole? These privileged associations of businessmen were key institutions in the European economy from 1000 to 1800. Historians debate merchant guilds' role in the Commercial Revolution, economists use them to support theories about institutions and development, and policymakers view them as prime examples of social capital, with important lessons for modern economies. Sheilagh Ogilvie's magisterial new history of commercial institutions shows how scrutinizing merchant guilds can help us understand which types of institution made trade grow, why institutions exist, and how corporate privileges affect economic efficiency and human well-being."
book  publisher  economics  sociology  history  guilds  experts 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Fligstein, N.: The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies. (Paperback)
"Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization. The Architecture of Markets represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades--among them, the 1980s merger movement. He makes new inroads into the ''theory of fields,'' which links the formation of markets and firms to the problems of stability. His political-cultural approach explains why governments remain crucial to markets and why so many national variations of capitalism endure. States help make stable markets possible by, for example, establishing the rule of law and adjudicating the class struggle. State-building and market-building go hand in hand. Fligstein shows that market actors depend mightily upon governments and the members of society for the social conditions that produce wealth. He demonstrates that systems favoring more social justice and redistribution can yield stable markets and economic growth as readily as less egalitarian systems. This book will surely join the classics on capitalism. Economists, sociologists, policymakers, and all those interested in what makes markets function as they do will read it for many years to come. Reviews:"
book  publisher  economics  sociology 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Where microaggressions really come from: A sociological account | The Righteous Mind
"The key idea is that the new moral culture of victimhood fosters “moral dependence” and an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own. At the same time that it weakens individuals, it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict as people compete for status as victims or as defenders of victims."
microaggression  psychology  culture  academic  political-correctness  victim  sociology 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Centre for Social Ontology | Centre for Social Ontology
"The Centre for Social Ontology (CSO) is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation. We were established in 2011 at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Now based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, our main focus is the Morphogenetic Project."
social  ontology  philosophy  sociology 
may 2015 by tsuomela
Bourdieu, ethics and symbolic power - Pellandini-Simányi - 2014 - The Sociological Review - Wiley Online Library
"This article critically discusses Pierre Bourdieu's views on ethics and normative evaluations. Bourdieu acknowledged that people hold ethical stances, yet sought to show that these stances are – unconsciously – conducive to obtaining symbolic power and legitimizing hierarchy. The first part of the article looks at this argument and charts the shifts it went through particularly in the early 1990s. The second part discusses ontological and empirical critiques of the ethics as ideology argument and suggests the latter to be more salient, as Bourdieu proposed his argument as an empirical rather than as an ontological point. The reason why he nevertheless found the ethics as ideology explanation fitting to nearly all the cases he studied, as the third part argues, is not simply that reality ‘obliged’ him to do so, but his circular definition of symbolic capital as qualities that are worthy of esteem. This definition makes his argument of ethics as ideology unfalsifiable and impedes him from distinguishing between cases when legitimate power is the aim of ethics and between those when it is merely their side effect. The article concludes by suggesting ways in which Bourdieu's work can be fruitfully incorporated into the study of ethics once the tautology is resolved."
ethics  philosophy  critical-theory  sociology  social-theory  power  symbolism 
december 2014 by tsuomela
The Rage to Oppose
Is ISIS filling the gap for people who previously would've been communists during the Cold War?
political-science  sociology  opposition  movements  social-movement  neoliberalism  cold-war 
september 2014 by tsuomela
Black Life, Annotated – The New Inquiry
A strong critique of Alice Goffman book riffing on power and surprise.
book  review  sociology  ethnography  race  urban  power 
august 2014 by tsuomela
The Gangster's Guide to Upward Mobility
Malcolm Gladwell discusses the mob and urban/black crime by riffing off of Alice Goffman's book.
book  review  sociology  ethnography  race  urban 
august 2014 by tsuomela
Law and Contemporary Problems | Vol 62 | No. 4
"Volume 62, Number 4 (Autumn 1999) Amateurs in Public Service: Volunteering, Service-Learning, and Community Service"
amateur  volunteer  participation  law  effects  psychology  sociology 
february 2014 by tsuomela
Understanding Society: Mechanisms and intellectual movements
"It is therefore interesting to consider the role that reference to social mechanisms has played in recent works of the sociology of science and the sociology of knowledge. A particularly good example is found in the work of sociologists like Camic, Lamont, Gross, and Frickel, and Frickel and Gross's "General Theory of Scientific/Intellectual Movements" (2005) is a good place to start"
science  social  social-movement  sociology  intellectual  movements 
february 2014 by tsuomela
The Paradox of the Proof | Project Wordsworth
"On August 31, 2012, Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki posted four papers on the Internet. The titles were inscrutable. The volume was daunting: 512 pages in total. The claim was audacious: he said he had proved the ABC Conjecture, a famed, beguilingly simple number theory problem that had stumped mathematicians for decades. Then Mochizuki walked away. He did not send his work to the Annals of Mathematics. Nor did he leave a message on any of the online forums frequented by mathematicians around the world. He just posted the papers, and waited."
mathematics  proof  warrant  community  peer-review  sociology  fame  prestige 
may 2013 by tsuomela
Yitang Zhang Proves 'Landmark' Theorem in Distribution of Prime Numbers | Simons Foundation
"On April 17, a paper arrived in the inbox of Annals of Mathematics, one of the discipline’s preeminent journals. Written by a mathematician virtually unknown to the experts in his field — a 50-something lecturer at the University of New Hampshire named Yitang Zhang — the paper claimed to have taken a huge step forward in understanding one of mathematics’ oldest problems, the twin primes conjecture. Editors of prominent mathematics journals are used to fielding grandiose claims from obscure authors, but this paper was different. Written with crystalline clarity and a total command of the topic’s current state of the art, it was evidently a serious piece of work, and the Annals editors decided to put it on the fast track."
mathematics  proof  warrant  community  peer-review  sociology  fame  prestige 
may 2013 by tsuomela
Bonacich, P. and Lu, P.: Introduction to Mathematical Sociology.
"Mathematical models and computer simulations of complex social systems have become everyday tools in sociology. Yet until now, students had no up-to-date textbook from which to learn these techniques. Introduction to Mathematical Sociology fills this gap, providing undergraduates with a comprehensive, self-contained primer on the mathematical tools and applications that sociologists use to understand social behavior."
sociology  mathematics  modeling 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Everyday Sociology Blog
"Welcome to Everydaysociologyblog.com, a site that features interesting, informative, and most of all entertaining commentary from sociologists around the United States. Come to this site regularly to get a sociological take on what is happening in the news (and on what should be in the news)."
weblog-company  sociology  publisher  education  learning  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
The Society Pages
"The Society Pages is an online, multidisciplinary social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota and supported by publishing partner W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. The Society Pages’ mission is to bring measured social science to broader public visibility and influence. That is to say, we’re talking about society with society."
weblog-company  sociology  publisher  education  learning  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
www.nature.com
"In this paper, we address the chicken-or-egg question posed by two alternative explanations for the relationship between perceived personal experience of global warming and belief certainty that global warming is happening: Do observable climate impacts create opportunities for people to become more certain of the reality of global warming, or does prior belief certainty shape people’s perceptions of impacts through a process of motivated reasoning1? We use data from a nationally representative sample of Americans surveyed first in 2008 and again in 2011; these longitudinal data allow us to evaluate the causal relationships between belief certainty and perceived experience, assessing the impact of each on the other over time2. Among the full survey sample, we found that both processes occurred: ‘experiential learning’, where perceived personal experience of global warming led to increased belief certainty, and ‘motivated reasoning’, where high belief certainty influenced perceptions of personal experience. We then tested and confirmed the hypothesis that motivated reasoning occurs primarily among people who are already highly engaged in the issue whereas experiential learning occurs primarily among people who are less engaged in the issue, which is particularly important given that approximately 75% of American adults currently have low levels of engagement3"
environment  global-warming  climate-change  climate  psychology  sociology  belief  experience 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Collective Intelligence | Conversation | Edge
"It's important to realize that intelligence is not just something that happens inside individual brains. It also arises with groups of individuals. In fact, I'd define collective intelligence as groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent. By that definition, of course, collective intelligence has been around for a very long time. Families, companies, countries, and armies: those are all examples of groups of people working together in ways that at least sometimes seem intelligent."
collective-intelligence  research  interview  psychology  sociology  crowdsourcing  augmentation  intelligence 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Spinuzzi: Symmetry as a methodological move, part IV
"When Latour uses symmetry, it's as a methodological move: a move that focuses us on the associations among various humans and nonhumans. And since the associations themselves are the focus, the things they associate fade into the background."
sociology  social-science  rhetoric  genre  artifact  materiality  method  symmetry  about(BrunoLatour) 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Social Knowledge in the Making, Camic, Gross, Lamont
"Over the past quarter century, researchers have successfully explored the inner workings of the physical and biological sciences using a variety of social and historical lenses. Inspired by these advances, the contributors to Social Knowledge in the Making turn their attention to the social sciences, broadly construed. The result is the first comprehensive effort to study and understand the day-to-day activities involved in the creation of social-scientific and related forms of knowledge about the social world."
book  publisher  sociology  knowledge  sts  social-science 
october 2012 by tsuomela
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