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From Welfare to Workfare
Westchester County, New York, is thought of as suburban and affluent, but welfare reform hit hard here, too. The radical 1996 legislation created a temporary assistance program for poor families with harsher provisions than the program it replaced. It mandates "workfare," meaning that recipients must work as a condition of benefit receipt. But the work parents obtain in the so-called flexible labor market--jobs like home health care aide--are inflexible for them. One sick child can mean the loss of a job. In contrast to accounts of inner-city poor families, these suburban parents' stories reveal a broad array of precipitating circumstances leading to their downward economic slide and to welfare. They also provide insight into the bureaucratic machinations, rigid rules and mandates, disciplining techniques, and catch-22s that create an insecure environment for many families today. Many of these stories show that the need for welfare over time extends well beyond the federal government's five-year lifetime limit on welfare. Policies emphasizing work first also restrict access to education and further hinder parents' ability to gain a toehold in the economy. In this tale of people and policies, the author shows how the interests of governments are often at variance with those of vulnerable families, and how some government actions place more pressure on lives replete with stress.
Young Men in the Juvenile Justice System
Locked Up, Locked Out follows forty juvenile male offenders, from their first-time admissions to the Ohio system through their incarceration and reentry into the community. The author conducted three lengthy interviews with each of these youth over a period of two and a half years. These interviews bring alive their attitudes and day-to-day prison experiences, as well as the intricate connections between life on the inside and life on the outside. Status is key to everyday life in prison, and it is often played out in demonstrations of masculinity, misogyny, and violence. Some gangs and some "area codes" (as the old neighborhoods are called) are seen as tougher than others and are given more respect. Even letters from family members and girlfriends are important signs of whether a prisoner matters: one young man says, "I'd write letters every day to people to beg 'em to write me back." Another reports, "There would be people in there writing girls, saying, hey, write me this nasty letter of things we're going to do and things we did. And they'd write back with these letters. And now he'll get to walk around with his letter bragging, like, hey, check this out. These are the kind of girls I got." Incarcerated youth also work hard at impression management. Coping with prison requires a young man to present one face to fellow prisoners and another to the authorities who will decide his release date. The author pays substantial attention to the programs youth are offered, including those focusing on education, anger management, job training, and parenting skills. Another section looks at contact between incarcerated youth and the outside world, including a discussion of the impact of incarceration on families. Based on her extensive knowledge of policies in other states, the author also provides a broad overview of the juvenile justice system nationally, describing how the system is organized, administered, and funded. Readers are taken through the juvenile justice process from conviction through parole with special attention paid to new state initiatives and sentencing structures.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a car bomb in downtown Oslo, Norway. He didn't stop there, traveling several hours from the city to ambush a youth camp while the rest of Norway was distracted by his earlier attack. That's where the facts end. But what motivated him? Did he have help staging the attacks? The evidence suggests a startling truth: that this was the work of one man, pursuing a mission he was convinced was just.
If Breivik did indeed act alone, he wouldn't be the first. Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City based essentially on his own motivations. Eric Robert Rudolph embarked on a campaign of terror over several years, including the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics. Ted Kaczynski was revealed to be the Unabomber that same year. And these are only the most notable examples. As George Michael demonstrates in Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance, they are not isolated cases. Rather, they represent the new way warfare will be conducted in the twenty-first century.
Lone Wolf Terror investigates the motivations of numerous political and ideological elements, such as right-wing individuals, ecoextremists, foreign jihadists, and even quasi-governmental entities. In all these cases, those carrying out destructive acts operate as "lone wolves" and small cells, with little or no connection to formal organizations. Ultimately, Michael suggests that leaderless resistance has become the most common tactical approach of political terrorists in the West and elsewhere.
Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World
Discussions of globalization usually focus on political, economic, and technological transformations, but fail to recognize how we experience these processes in our daily lives, including our most intimate acts and practices. In this volume, anthropologists and sociologists draw on long-term ethnographic research on love, gender, and sexuality in a broad range of regions to discuss how global forces shape marriage, commercial sex, the political economy of intimacy, and lesbian and gay expressions of companionship. The richly-textured ethnographies provoke a series of questions about emerging vocabularies for friendship and romance; the adoption of cultural forms from faraway places; the emergence of new desires, pleasures, and emotions that circulate as commodities in the global marketplace; and the ways economic processes shape public and private expressions of sexual intimacy.
A Place about Mercy
Women come to Magdalene House in Nashville when they are ready to leave the streets. They live togetherunsupervised and free of chargefor two years. During that time, the women are given time, space, and the resources they need to heal from what have often been lifelong experiences with suffering. (Of the twentytwo women now in residence, 80 percent have a diagnosed mental illness other than addiction, 40 percent are receiving treatment for hepatitis C, and onethird are HIV positive.)
However, the story of the Magdalene community is not about these statistics, but about the stories the women tell. They say they thrive in the community because it is a place where they are free to be themselves, safe to give and receive love, and free to speak their trutheven to complain sometimes about how their storytelling is exploited "for the good of the community." A Place about Mercy is a participantobservation account of the history of this remarkable community founded in 1997, its structure, its Thistle Farms beauty products operation, and Reverend Becca Stevens's communal and spiritual vision. The book is finally about what it means to walk the path of healing with a group of unlikely women as guide.
Magdalene House was the subject of a multiplepart documentary on National Public Radio.
Pragmatist Reconstruction in Ethical Theory
"Making Morality is an important, pragmatic contribution to moral theory. No other book comes close to being as well informed of the classical pragmatic moral tradition and responsive to current metaethical issues in wider philosophical discussions."--Michael Eldridge, UNC Charlotte "This is a fine book. Lekan offers a detailed pragmatic conception of ethics. But it is far more. It is a rigorous, engaging discussion of ethical theory that explicitly wrestles with thinkers and ideas that are the mainstay of contemporary Anglo-American ethics. It is an important work in mainstream ethics that merits serious and widespread attention."--Hugh LaFollette, East Tennessee State University In this new contribution to moral theory, Todd Lekan argues for a pragmatist conception of morality as an evolving, educational, and fallible practice of everyday life. Drawing on the work of John Dewey, Lekan asserts that moral norms are neither timeless truths nor subjective whims, but habits transmitted through practices. Like the habits that make up medicine or engineering, moral habits are subject to rational evaluation and change according to new challenges and circumstances. This pragmatic interpretation of morality provides a way out of the conundrum of relativism and absolutism. Building on classical American philosophy to address current philosophical concerns, Lekan's theory revises our basic understanding of moral life and the place of theorizing within that life. Making Morality will prove of great interest to ethical theorists, as it enjoins them to measure theoretical inquiries by how well they produce intellectual tools for problem-solving in dynamic, complex communities.
Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy in Feminist Perspective
Stieg Larsson was an unabashed feminist in his personal and professional life and in the fictional world he created, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest are full of graphic depictions of violence against women, including stalking, sexual harassment, child abuse, rape, incest, serial murder, sexual slavery, and sex trafficking, committed by vile individual men and by corrupt, secretive institutions. How do readers and moviegoers react to these depictions, and what do they make of the women who fight back, the complex masculinities in the trilogy, and the ambiguous gender of the elusive Lisbeth Salander?
These lively and accessible essays expand the conversation in the blogosphere about the novels and films by connecting the controversies about gender roles to social trends in the real world.
The thirteen original essays in this collection explore the Mexican point of view from the 1920s to the present in order to register often unheard voices in the complex cross-border, cross-cultural reality shared by the two nations. The contributors, all of whom have personal experience with the challenges of bi-cultural and bi-national living, discuss travel writing, novels, film, essays, political cartoons, and Mexican sociocultural movements. In a time of ever-increasing migration of capital and human beings, this book turns on its head the usual perspective of U.S. economic and cultural dominance in order to deepen understanding of the bi-national relationship.
Stories of Traditional and Professional Birthing in Samoa
The result of a ten-year collaboration between Australian and Samoan researchers and midwives, this book compiles the first-person stories of several generations of Samoan midwives, both those who use traditional techniques for home birth and those who use Western techniques in a hospital. The voices are vivid and varied, often displaying the Samoan gift for storytelling. The overall picture of changing birthing practices is complex and sometimes tinged with ironies. As the introduction says, "These Samoan nurses and midwives did not immediately attempt to mediate new and old ways of birthing after the colonial leadership of their profession left. They themselves became cultural agents for change as they continued the role of 'colonizing' their own birth tradition and taught the fa'atosaga [Samoan for midwife] Western techniques, at the same time trying to provide a professional midwife for all women. Paradoxically they often chose a social midwife for their own births and supported or at least condoned the social midwives close to them. . . . Kaisarina, while working as the leading professional midwife in the country, and working almost totally in hospital practice herself, simultaneously assisted her mother-in-law with her social practice of midwifery. Vipulo's story shows how a professional midwife preferred to have her mother, a social midwife, deliver her at home." A particular objective of the authors is to encourage a reconception of maternity care in countries where professional services are rare and not available to all women. The book challenges common assumptions, still held in many postcolonial countries, that a simple migration of Western-style, hospital-focused care is necessarily always an achievable or desirable goal. It also demonstrates the considerable progress that one group has made in rethinking and developing a model of maternity care that works within their society and culture. As these midwives’ stories suggest, solutions to some of the problems caused by gaps in the kinds of resources that Westerners take for granted can be found in partnerships and cultural wisdom that already exist in Samoa and, by extension, other developing countries.
Jesuit Science in Spanish South America, 1570-1810
Missionary Scientists explores the scientific activities of Jesuit missionaries in colonial Spanish America, revealing a little-known aspect of religion's role in the scholarship of the early Spanish Empire. Grounded in an examination of the writings and individuals authors who were active in South American naturalist studies, this study outlines new paths of research often neglected by current scholarship. What becomes clear throughout Missionary Scientists is that early missionaries were adept in adapting to local practices, in order to both understand the scientific foundations of these techniques and ingratiate themselves to the native communities. Spanning the disciplines of history, religion, and Latin American studies, Missionary Scientists reshapes our understanding of the importance of the Jesuit missions in establishing early scientific traditions in the New World.