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Blazer Lectures

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Becoming Native To This Place

Wes Jackson

" The New World -- this empty land dazzlingly rich in forests, soils, rainfall, and mineral wealth -- was to represent a new beginning for civilized humanity. Unfortunately, even the best of the European settlers had a stronger eye for conquest than for justice. Natives were in the way -- surplus people who must be literally displaced. Now, as ecologist West Jackson points out, descendants of those early beneficiaries of conquest find themselves the displaced persons, forced to vacate the family farmsteads and small towns of our heartland, leaving vacant the schools, churches, hardware stores, and barber shops. In a ringing cry for a changed relation to the land, Jackson urges modern Americans to become truly native to this place -- to base our culture and agriculture on nature's principles, to recycle as natural ecosystems have for millions of years. The task is more difficult now, he argues, because so much cultural information has been lost and because the ecological capital necessary to grow food in a sustainable way has been seriously eroded. Where to begin? Jackson suggests we start with those thousands of small towns and rural communities literally falling down or apart. We have no money to pay for the process and little cultural awareness to support it, but here are the places where a new generation of homecomers -- people who want to go to a place and dig in -- can become the new pioneers, operating on a set of assumptions and aspirations different from those of their ancestors. These new pioneers will have to "set up the books" for ecological community accounting. If they dig deep enough and long enough, urges Jackson, a new kind of economy will emerge. So will a rich culture with its own art and artifacts.

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Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities

Freud and Beyond

Nancy J. Chodorow

Nancy J. Chodorow takes her fellow psychoanalysts to task for their monolithic and pathologizing accounts of deviant gender and sexuality. Drawing from her own clinical experience, the work of Freud, and a close reading of psychoanalytic texts, Chodorow argues that psychoanalysis has yet to disentangle male dominance from heterosexuality. Further, she demonstrates the paucity of psychoanalytics understanding of heterosexuality and the problematic polarizing of normal and abnormal sexualities. By returning to Freud and interpreting psychoanalysis through clinical eyes, Chodorow contends that psychoanalysis must consider individual specificity and personal, cultural, and social factors. Such a methodology entails a plurality of femininities and masculinities and enables us to understand a variety of sexualities.

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Without Consent

Mass-Elite Linkages in Presidential Politics

Warren E. Miller

The transmission of policy preferences from the mass electorate to the political elite is the subject of Warren Miller's illuminating new book. The elites of whom he writes are the delegates to recent nominating conventions analyzed in their subsequent roles as activists involved in presidential election campaigns. Miller's analysis delineates circumstances and conditions that affect the degree to which the issue preferences of these elite activists are more or less representative of those held by rank-and-file members of the nation's electorate.

Miller argues that, although consent and accountability are basic principles in the theory of democratic representation, the ways in which convention delegates are selected are not designed to implement these principles. Nevertheless, empirical analysis demonstrates that they often do so to varying degrees. Delegates selected in primary elections, Miller finds, are more representative of the ordinary voters than are delegates selected by any other means -- except for Democratic super delegates, who are the most representative of all.

Miller's analysis explains why elites who campaign on behalf of particular candidates are less representative of mass policy opinions than are those who campaign on behalf of their parties, and why, ironically, the elites who campaign on behalf of specific policies are even less representative of the issue positions of their parties' rank-and-file partisans. Without Consent, a sequel to Parties in Transition, makes an important contribution to the literature on theories of representation by its novel analysis of linkages connecting public opinion and public policy through the presidential campaign elites.

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A Woman's Wage

Historical Meanings and Social Consequences

Alice Kessler-Harris

In this updated edition of a pathbreaking classic, Alice Kessler-Harris explores the meanings of women's wages in the United States in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, focusing on three issues that capture the transformation of women's roles: the battle over minimum wage for women, which exposes the relationship between family ideology and workplace demands; the argument concerning equal pay for equal work, which challenges gendered patterns of self-esteem and social organization; and the debate over comparable worth, which seeks to incorporate traditionally female values into new work and family trajectories. Together, these topics and social organization; and the debate over comparable worth, which seeks to incorporate traditionally female values into new work and family trajectories. Together, these topics illuminate the many ways in which gendered social roles have been produced, transmitted, and challenged.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

A Woman's Wage

Historical Meanings and Social Consequences

Alice Kessler-Harris

In this pathbreaking book, Alice Kessler-Harris explores the meanings of women's wages in the United States in the twentieth century, focusing on three sets of issues that capture the transformation of women's roles: the battle over minimum wage for women, which exposes the relationship between family ideology and workplace demands; the argument over equal pay for equal work, which challenges gendered patterns of self-esteem and social organization; and the current debate over comparable worth, which seeks to incorporate traditionally female values into new work and family trajectories. Together these issues trace the many ways in which gendered meaning has been produced, transmitted, and challenged.

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