Matt Haig, the author of the bestselling self-help book Reasons to Stay Alive and fiction titles How to Stop Time and The Radleys, looks at ways in which we can stay sane when the world is making us mad in Notes on a Nervous Planet.
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Rates of stress and anxiety are rising in people all over the world and the pace of living is not helping. The advent of social media and the fact we're always connected also encourages people to worry about everything from work to body mass index and politics almost constantly.
In this powerful and essential book, Matt - who has experienced anxiety and panic attacks for many years - reveals a number of ways in which we can all stay happy and human in our increasingly technological world.
The social sciences have sophisticated models of choice and equilibrium but little understanding of the emergence of novelty. Where do new alternatives, new organizational forms, and new types of people come from? Combining biochemical insights about the origin of life with innovative and historically oriented social network analyses, John Padgett and Walter Powell develop a theory about the emergence of organizational, market, and biographical novelty from the coevolution of multiple social networks. They demonstrate that novelty arises from spillovers across intertwined networks in different domains. In the short run actors make relations, but in the long run relations make actors. This theory of novelty emerging from intersecting production and biographical flows is developed through formal deductive modeling and through a wide range of original historical case studies. Padgett and Powell build on the biochemical concept of autocatalysis--the chemical definition of life--and then extend this autocatalytic reasoning to social processes of production and communication. Padgett and Powell, along with other colleagues, analyze a very wide range of cases of emergence. They look at the emergence of organizational novelty in early capitalism and state formation; they examine the transformation of communism; and they analyze with detailed network data contemporary science-based capitalism: the biotechnology industry, regional high-tech clusters, and the open source community.
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Heterosexuality is celebrated--in film and television, in pop songs and opera, in literature and on greeting cards--and at the same time taken for granted. It is the cultural and sexual norm by default. And yet, as Louis-Georges Tin shows in The Invention of Heterosexual Culture, in premodern Europe heterosexuality was perceived as an alternative culture. The practice of heterosexuality may have been standard, but the symbolic primacy of the heterosexual couple was not. Tin maps the emergence of heterosexual culture in Western Europe and the significant resistance to it from feudal lords, church fathers, and the medical profession. Tin writes that before the phenomenon of "courtly love" in the early twelfth century, the man-woman pairing had not been deemed a subject worthy of more than passing interest. As heterosexuality became a recurrent theme in art and literature, the nobility came to view it as a disruption of the feudal chivalric ethos of virility and male bonding. If feudal lords objected to the "hetero" in heterosexuality and what they saw as the associated dangers of weakness and effeminacy, the church took issue with the "sexuality," which threatened the Christian ethos of renunciation and divine love. Finally, the medical profession cast heterosexuality as pathology, warning of an epidemic of "lovesickness." Noting that the discourse of heterosexuality does not belong to heterosexuals alone, Tin offers a groundbreaking history that reasserts the cultural identity of heterosexuality.
Offering a concise, entertaining snapshot of Japanese society, "Manners and Mischief" examines etiquette guides, advice literature, and other such instruction for behavior from the early modern period to the present day and discovers how manners do in fact make the nation. Eleven accessibly written essays consider a spectrum of cases, from the geisha party to gay bar cool, executive grooming, and good manners for subway travel. Together, they show that etiquette is much more than fussy rules for behavior. In fact the idiom of manners, packaged in conduct literature, reveals much about gender and class difference, notions of national identity, the dynamics of subversion and conformity, and more. This richly detailed work reveals how manners give meaning to everyday life and extraordinary occasions, and how they can illuminate larger social and cultural transformations.
What counts? In work, as in other areas of life, it is not always clear what standards we are being judged by or how our worth is being determined. This can be disorienting and disconcerting. Because of this, many organizations devote considerable resources to limiting and clarifying the logics used for evaluating worth. But as David Stark argues, firms would often be better off, especially in managing change, if they allowed multiple logics of worth and did not necessarily discourage uncertainty. In fact, in many cases multiple orders of worth are unavoidable, so organizations and firms should learn to harness the benefits of such "heterarchy" rather than seeking to purge it. Stark makes this argument with ethnographic case studies of three companies attempting to cope with rapid change: a machine-tool company in late and postcommunist Hungary, a new-media startup in New York during and after the collapse of the Internet bubble, and a Wall Street investment bank whose trading room was destroyed on 9/11. In each case, the friction of competing criteria of worth promoted an organizational reflexivity that made it easier for the company to change and deal with market uncertainty. Drawing on John Dewey's notion that "perplexing situations" provide opportunities for innovative inquiry, Stark argues that the dissonance of diverse principles can lead to discovery.
In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have "depoliticized" it, or removed it from the realm of political critique. Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects. Taking up Marxist and feminist critiques, Weeks proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to the employment relation. Work, she contends, is a legitimate, even crucial, subject for political theory.
In this incisive book, Michel de Certeau considers the uses to which social representation and modes of social behavior are put by individuals and groups, describing the tactics available to the common man for reclaiming his own autonomy from the all-pervasive forces of commerce, politics, and culture. In exploring the public meaning of ingeniously defended private meanings, de Certeau draws brilliantly on an immense theoretical literature to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature.
In the fall of 2011, a small protest camp in downtown Manhattan exploded into a global uprising, sparked in part by the violent overreactions of the police. An unofficial record of this movement, Occupy! combines adrenalin-fueled first-hand accounts of the early days and weeks of Occupy Wall Street with contentious debates and thoughtful reflections, featuring the editors and writers of the celebrated n+1, as well as some of the world's leading radical thinkers, such as Slavoj Zizek, Angela Davis, and Rebecca Solnit. The book conveys the intense excitement of those present at the birth of a counterculture, while providing the movement with a serious platform for debating goals, demands, and tactics. Articles address the history of the "horizontalist" structure at OWS; how to keep a live-in going when there is a giant mountain of laundry building up; how very rich the very rich have become; the messages and meaning of the "We are the 99%" tumblr website; occupations in Oakland, Boston, Atlanta and elsewhere; what happens next; and much more.
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This paper investigates the effect of intensified ALMPs, by increasing the threat of program participation, on post-unemployment wages. For this purpose, it exploits a social experiment conducted in two Danish counties, where approximately 5,000 unemployed people were randomly selected to receive either a standard treatment or an intensified treatment. It uses a Heckman selection model and finds that an intensified threat of program participation increases the probability of finding a job in the short run, but decreases wages in the same period.
This is a book dealing with some of the most recent changes and transformations within the realms of death, dying, bereavement and care in contemporary Nordic countries. The book deals with some of the major as well as some of the less conspicuous changes in our cultural and social engagement with the phenomenon of death. Among the themes touched upon are: organ transplantation, death education, communication with the dead, changes in commemorative rituals, mourning practices on the internet, parental responses to childrens suicide, death control, practice and ethics of end-of-life care, and the lonely death. The book contains contributions written by researchers and practitioners from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland with professional and academic backgrounds within areas such as sociology, anthropology, religious studies, and palliative care.
Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) was one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century, producing clear theories and innovative research that continue to shape multiple disciplines. Merton's reach can be felt in the study of social structure, social psychology, deviance, professions, organizations, culture, and science. Yet for all his fame, Merton is only partially understood. He is treated by scholars as a functional analyst, when in truth his contributions transcend paradigm. Gathering together twelve major sociologists, Craig Calhoun launches a thorough reconsideration of Merton's achievements and inspires a renewed engagement with sociological theory. Merton's work addressed the challenges of integrating research and theory. It connected different fields of empirical research and spoke to the importance of overcoming divisions between allegedly pure and applied sociology. Merton also sought to integrate sociology with the institutional analysis of science, each informing the other. By bringing together different aspects of his work in one volume, Calhoun illuminates the interdisciplinary--and unifying--dimensions of Merton's approach, while also advancing the intellectual agenda of an increasingly vital area of study. Contributors: Aaron L. Panofsky, University of California; Alan Sica, Pennsylvania State University; Alejandro Portes, Princeton University; Charles Camic, Northwestern University; Charles Tilly, Columbia University; Craig Calhoun, Social Science Research Council and New York University; Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, City University of New York; Harriet Zuckerman, Mellon Foundation; Peter Simonson, University of Colorado; Ragnvald Kalleberg, University of Oslo; Robert J. Sampson, Harvard University; Thomas F. Gieryn, Indiana University; Viviana A. Zelizer, Princeton University
An emerging interest in group guidance, collective forms, and integrative approaches is evident in Denmark and serves to contest a conventional individualistic mode of delivery. The latter being criticised for being both resource heavy and in risk of contributing to feelings of failure in those who are less successful with educational outcomes or employment. By showing how guidance activities can develop within the community generally, the book puts forward a decentred perspective. Career guidance is not an objective in itself; it is a means to support a person's participation in the economic society through education and work. The author shows how the participants in career guidance modify and change practice, thereby creating new possibilities for themselves and each other.
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.
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Public activism has grown significantly during the 21st century as a cornerstone of the democratic process. But activism, regardless of its ideological roots, is often interpreted through the lens of the culture wars--pitting social movements with opposing ideals against one another. For too long, as George Yancey and David Williamson argue, progressive activists, one side of these culture wars, have been seldom studied and virtually never critiqued in public conversation. Yancey and Williamson describe and analyze the multifaceted cultural progressive movement and its place within the larger American society. What they uncover is a collective identity informed by staunch opposition to cultural conservatives--both political and religious--that is motivated by the progressive activist's preference for absolute rationality. Further, Yancey and Williamson argue that, despite great resistance to conservatives purportedly nonrational appeals, progressive activists are found to use irrational techniques when seeking to establish their movement and position their cause as socially legitimate. In the contemporary heated political climate the often-surprising and likely controversial findings of What Motivates Cultural Progressives? will prove essential, thought-provoking reading for understanding the growing concern over the influence of activism.
From the selection of toys, clothes, and activities to styles of play and emotional expression, the family is ground zero for where children learn about gender. Despite recent awareness that girls are not too fragile to play sports and that boys can benefit from learning to cook, we still find ourselves surrounded by limited gender expectations and persistent gender inequalities. Through the lively and engaging stories of parents from a wide range of backgrounds, The Gender Trap provides a detailed account of how today's parents understand, enforce, and resist the gendering of their children. Emily Kane shows how most parents make efforts to loosen gendered constraints for their children, while also engaging in a variety of behaviors that reproduce traditionally gendered childhoods, ultimately arguing that conventional gender expectations are deeply entrenched and that there is great tension in attempting to undo them while letting 'boys be boys' and 'girls be girls.' Instructor's Guide
Trials by ordeal, a judicial practice in which the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by subjecting them to a painful task, have taken place from ancient Mesopotamia until the present day. This volume focuses on a special type of ordeal by fire called the bishah ceremony, which originated in Bedouin societies and continues to be practiced in Egypt today. In Bedouin and Arab rural societies, when somebody suspects another person of theft, property damage, murder, manslaughter, illicit sexual relations, rape, or witchcraft, and there are no witness to the crime, this individual can request the suspect or suspects to accompany him to the mubasha', a Bedouin notable who conducts the ordeal by fire. The bisha'h ceremony was previously performed in Jordan and in Saudi Arabia as well as in Egypt. In Jordan, the late King Hussein banned the ordeal by fire in 1976. In Saudi Arabia, the mubasha' died in the late 1980s, without leaving a successor. Today, in Egypt, near Ismaliyya, a mubasha' continues to practice the ceremonial ordeal in which the suspect licks a ladle that is heated to between 600-900 degrees Celsius. If the suspects tongue blisters, they are deemed guilty. If the tongue is clear, they are declared innocent. The author observed 169 of such ordeals, many of which are documented and illustrated in this volume. People who take part in the bisha'h ceremony not only come from various regions in Egypt, but also from other North African countries, and from several Middle Eastern countries, including the Gulf States. Most of the cases involve rural peasants rather than Bedouin, but there are also instances where city dwellers take part in the ordeal.
Plastic surgery, obesity, anorexia, pregnancy, prescription drugs, disability, piercings, steroids, and sex re-assignment surgery: over the past two decades there have been major changes in the ways we understand, treat, alter, and care for our bodies. The Body Reader is a compelling, cutting-edge, and timely collection that provides a close look at the emergence of the study of the body. From prenatal genetic testing and "t;manscaping"; to televideo cybersex and the "meth economy," this innovative work digs deep into contemporary lifestyles and current events to cover key concepts and theories about the body. A combination of twenty one classic readings and original essays, the contributors highlight gender, race, class, ability, and sexuality, paying special attention to bodies that are at risk, bodies that challenge norms, and media representations of the body. Ultimately, The Body Reader makes it clear that the body is not neutral-it is the entry point into cultural and structural relationships, emotional and subjective experiences, and the biological realms of flesh and bone. Contributors: Patricia Hill Collins, Karen Dias, H. Hugh Floyd, Jr., Arthur Frank, Sander L. Gilman, Gillian Haddow, Richard Huggins, Matthew Immergut, Lea Kent, Kristen Karlberg, Steve Kroll-Smith, Mary Kosut, Jarvis Jay Masters, Lisa Jean Moore, Tracey Owens Patton, William J. Peace, Jason Pine, Eric Plemons, Barbara Katz Rothman, Edward Slavishak, Phillip Vannini, and Dennis Waskul.
This important collection examines deportation as an increasingly global mechanism of state control. Anthropologists, historians, legal scholars, and sociologists consider not only the physical expulsion of noncitizens but also the social discipline and labor subordination resulting from deportability, the threat of forced removal. They explore practices and experiences of deportation in regional and national settings from the U.S.-Mexico border to Israel, and from Somalia to Switzerland. They also address broader questions, including the ontological significance of freedom of movement; the historical antecedents of deportation, such as banishment and exile; and the development, entrenchment, and consequences of organizing sovereign power and framing individual rights by territory. Whether investigating the power that individual and corporate sponsors have over the fate of foreign laborers in Bahrain, the implications of Germany's temporary suspension of deportation orders for pregnant and ill migrants, or the significance of the detention camp, the contributors reveal how deportation reflects and reproduces notions about public health, racial purity, and class privilege. They also provide insight into how deportation and deportability are experienced by individuals, including Arabs, South Asians, and Muslims in the United States. One contributor looks at asylum claims in light of an unusual anti-deportation campaign mounted by Algerian refugees in Montreal; others analyze the European Union as an entity specifically dedicated to governing mobility inside and across its official borders. The Deportation Regime addresses urgent issues related to human rights, international migration, and the extensive security measures implemented by nation-states since September 11, 2001. Contributors: Rutvica Andrijasevic, Aashti Bhartia, Heide Castaneda , Galina Cornelisse , Susan Bibler Coutin, Nicholas De Genova, Andrew M. Gardner, Josiah Heyman, Serhat Karakayali, Sunaina Marr Maira, Guillermina Gina Nunez, Peter Nyers, Nathalie Peutz, Enrica Rigo, Victor Talavera, William Walters, Hans-Rudolf Wicker, Sarah S. Willen
'Belonging' is both a fundamental human emotion and a political project that affects millions. Since its foundation in 1957, the European Union has encouraged people across its member states to feel a sense of belonging to one united community, with mixed results. Today, faced with the fracturing impacts of the migration crisis, the threat of terrorism and rising tensions within countries, governments within and outside the EU seek to impose a different kind of belonging on their populations through policies of exclusion and bordering. In this collection of original essays, a diverse group of novelists, journalists and academics reflect on their own individual senses of European belonging. In creative and disarming ways, they confront the challenges of nationalism, populism, racism and fundamentalism. Do I Belong? offers fascinating insights into such questions as: Why fear growing diversity? Is there a European identity? Who determines who belongs? Is a single sense of 'good' belonging in Europe dangerous? This collection provides a unique commentary on an insufficiently understood but defining phenomenon of our age. Authors include: Zia Haider Rahman, Goran Rosenberg, Isolde Charim, Hanno Loewy, Diana Pinto, Nira Yuval-Davis and Doron Rabinovici among others.
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Slavery is not a crime confined to the far reaches of history. It is an injustice that continues to entrap twenty-seven million people across the globe. Laura Murphy offers close to forty survivor narratives from Cambodia, Ghana, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States, detailing the horrors of a system that forces people to work without pay and against their will, under the threat of violence, with little or no means of escape. Representing a variety of circumstances in diverse contexts, these survivors are the Frederick Douglasses, Sojourner Truths, and Olaudah Equianos of our time, testifying to the widespread existence of a human rights tragedy and the urgent need to address it. Through storytelling and firsthand testimony, this anthology shapes a twenty-first-century narrative that many believe died with the end of slavery in the Americas. Organized around such issues as the need for work, the punishment of defiance, and the move toward activism, the collection isolates the causes, mechanisms, and responses to slavery that allow the phenomenon to endure. Enhancing scholarship in women's studies, sociology, criminology, law, social work, and literary studies, the text establishes a common trajectory of vulnerability, enslavement, captivity, escape, and recovery, creating an invaluable resource for activists, scholars, legislators, and service providers.
Neil J. Smelser, one of the most important and influential American sociologists, traces the discipline of sociology from 1969 to the early twenty-first century in Getting Sociology Right: A Half-Century of Reflections. By examining sociology as a vocation and building on the work of Talcott Parsons, Smelser discusses his views on the discipline of sociology, and how his perspective of the field evolved in the postwar era.
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One hundred kilometres from Seville lies the small village of Marinaleda, which for the last thirty-five years has been the centre of a tireless struggle to create a living utopia. This unique community drew British author Dan Hancox to Spain, and here for the first time he recounts the fascinating story of villagers who expropriated the land owned by wealthy aristocrats and have, since the 1980s, made it the foundation of a cooperative way of life. Today, Marinaleda is a place where the farms and the processing plants are collectively owned and provide work for everyone who wants it. A mortgage is 15 per month, sport is played in a stadium emblazoned with a huge mural of Che Guevara, and there are monthly 'Red Sundays' when everyone works together to clean up the neighbourhood. Leading this revolution is the village mayor, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, who in 2012 became a household name in Spain after heading raids on local supermarkets to feed the Andalusian unemployed. As Spain's crisis becomes ever more desperate, Marinaleda also suffers from the international downturn. Can the village retain its utopian vision? Can Sanchez Gordillo hold on to the dream against the depredations of the world beyond his village?
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Food Words is a series of provocative essays on some of the most important keywords in the emergent field of food studies, focusing on current controversies and on-going debates. Words like 'choice' and 'convenience' are often used as explanatory terms in understanding consumer behavior but are clearly ideological in the way they reflect particular positions and serve specific interests, while words like 'taste' and 'value' are no less complex and contested. Inspired by Raymond Williams, Food Words traces the multiple meanings of each of our keywords, tracking nuances in different (academic, commercial and policy) contexts. Mapping the dynamic meanings of each term, the book moves forward from critical assessment to active intervention -- an attitude that is reflected in the lively, sometimes combative, style of the essays. Each essay is research-based and fully referenced but accessible to the general reader. With a foreword by eminent food scholar Warren Belasco, Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland-Baltmore County, and written by an inter-disciplinary team associated with the CONANX research project (Consumer culture in an 'age of anxiety'), Food Words will be essential reading for food scholars across the arts, humanities and social sciences.
The 21st century has seen a board game renaissance. At a time when streaming television finds millions of viewers, video games garner billions of dollars, and social media grows ever more intense, little has been written about the rising popularity of board games. And yet board games are one of our fastest growing hobbies, with sales increasing every year. Today's board games are more than just your average rainy-day mainstay. Once associated solely with geek subcultures, complex and strategic board games are increasingly dominating the playful media environment. The popularity of these complex board games mirrors the rise of more complex cult media products. In Game Play: Paratextuality in Contemporary Board Games, Paul Booth examines complex board games based on book, TV, and film franchises, including Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, The Hunger Games and the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft. How does a game represent a cult world? How can narratives cross media platforms? By investigating the relationship between these media products and their board game versions, Booth illustrates the connections between cult media, gameplay, and narrative in a digital media environment.