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Social Sciences > Sociology
Mourning and Maturity in Contemporary Japan
By 2030, over 30% of the Japanese population will be 65 or older, foreshadowing the demographic changes occurring elsewhere in Asia and around the world. What can we learn from a study of the aging population of Japan and how can these findings inform a path forward for the elderly, their families, and for policy makers?
Based on nearly a decade of research, Aging and Loss examines how the landscape of aging is felt, understood, and embodied by older adults themselves. In detailed portraits, anthropologist Jason Danely delves into the everyday lives of older Japanese adults as they construct narratives through acts of reminiscence, social engagement and ritual practice, and reveals the pervasive cultural aesthetic of loss and of being a burden.
Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad
The proliferation of old age homes and increasing numbers of elderly living alone are startling new phenomena in India. These trends are related to extensive overseas migration and the transnational dispersal of families. In this moving and insightful account, Sarah Lamb shows that older persons are innovative agents in the processes of social-cultural change. Lamb's study probes debates and cultural assumptions in both India and the United States regarding how best to age; the proper social-moral relationship among individuals, genders, families, the market, and the state; and ways of finding meaning in the human life course.
Dementia, Friendship, and Flourishing Communities
Never in human history have there been so many people entering old age—roughly one-third of whom will experience some form of neurodegeneration as they age. This seismic demographic shift will force us all to rethink how we live and deal with our aging population. Susan H. McFadden and John T. McFadden propose a radical reconstruction of our societal understanding of old age. Rather than categorize elders based on their respective cognitive consciousness, the McFaddens contend that the only humanistic, supportive, and realistic approach is to find new ways to honor and recognize the dignity, worth, and personhood of those journeying into dementia. Doing so, they argue, counters the common view of dementia as a personal tragedy shared only by close family members and replaces it with the understanding that we are all living with dementia as the baby boomers age, particularly as early screening becomes more common and as a cure remains elusive. The McFaddens' inclusive vision calls for social institutions, especially faith communities, to search out and build supportive, ongoing friendships that offer hospitality to all persons, regardless of cognitive status. Drawing on medicine, social science, philosophy, and religion to provide a broad perspective on aging, Aging Together offers a vision of relationships filled with love, joy, and hope in the face of a condition that all too often elicits anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.
For subsistence farmers in eastern Kentucky, wealthy horse owners in the central Bluegrass, and tobacco growers in Western Kentucky, land was, and continues to be, one of the commonwealth's greatest sources of economic growth. It is also a source of nostalgia for a people devoted to tradition, a characteristic that has significantly influenced Kentucky's culture, sometimes to the detriment of education and development.
As timely now as when it was first published, Thomas D. Clark's classic history of agrarianism prepares readers for a new era that promises to bring rapid change to the land and the people of Kentucky.
Shock City of Twentieth-Century India
In the 20th century, Ahmedabad was India's "shock city." It was the place where many of the nation's most important developments occurred first and with the greatest intensity -- from Gandhi's political and labor organizing, through the growth of textile, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, to globalization and the sectarian violence that marked the turn of the new century. Events that happened there resonated throughout the country, for better and for worse. Howard Spodek describes the movements that swept the city, telling their story through the careers of the men and women who led them.
Infrastructure and Mobility in Asia
Thirty years ago, few residents of Asian cities had ever been on a plane, much less outside their home countries. Today, flying, and flying abroad, is commonplace. How has this leap in cross-border mobility affected the design and use of such cities? And how is it accelerating broader socioeconomic and political changes in Asian societies?
In Airport Urbanism, Max Hirsh undertakes an unprecedented study of airport infrastructure in five Asian cities—Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. Through this lens he examines the exponential increase in international air traffic and its implications for the planning and design of the contemporary city. By investigating the low-cost, informal, and transborder transport systems used by new members of the flying public—such as migrant workers, retirees, and Asia’s emerging middle class—he uncovers an architecture of incipient global mobility that has been inconspicuously inserted into places not typically associated with the infrastructure of international air travel.
Drawing on material gathered in restricted zones of airports and border control facilities, Hirsh provides a fascinating, up-close view of the mechanics of cross-border mobility. Moreover, his personal experience of growing up and living on three continents inflects his analyses with unique insight into the practicalities of international migration and into the mindset of people on the move.
Rethinking Race in Classroom and Community
The Akron Story Circle Project documents an eight-year interdisciplinary effort to use story circles, developed by John O’Neal, as a pedagogical tool to engage faculty, students, and community members in thoughtful and serious conversations about race and racial conflict. In the process we all learned about the incredible transformative power of storytelling in the classroom, on the stage, to spark artwork, and to deepen our understanding of the world we live in. In addition to being a unique collaboration among professors in art, anthropology, theater, communication, and political science, the book itself—with extensive author comments in the margins of each chapter—is organized as an ongoing conversation that models curiosity and open-mindedness, rigorous analysis and the transformative value of our stories and of listening to others.
The Story of a Mother and Her Deaf Daughter
When, in 1968, 19-year-old Tressa Bowers took her baby daughter to an expert on deaf children, he pronounced that Alandra was “stone deaf,” she most likely would never be able to talk, and she probably would not get much of an education because of her communication limitations. Tressa refused to accept this stark assessment of Alandra’s prospects. Instead, she began the arduous process of starting her daughter’s education. Economic need forced Tressa to move several times, and as a result, she and Alandra experienced a variety of learning environments: a pure oralist approach, which discouraged signing; Total Communication, in which the teachers spoke and signed simultaneously; a residential school for deaf children, where Signed English was employed; and a mainstream public school that relied upon interpreters. Changes at home added more demands, from Tressa’s divorce to her remarriage, her long work hours, and the ongoing challenge of complete communication within their family. Through it all, Tressa and Alandra never lost sight of their love for each other, and their affection rippled through the entire family. Today, Tressa can triumphantly point to her confident, educated daughter and also speak with pride of her wonderful relationship with her deaf grandchildren. Alandra’s Lilacs is a marvelous story about the resiliency and achievements of determined, loving people no matter what their circumstances might be.
Chinese Migration in the Americas from the Coolie Era through World War II
In this sweeping work, Elliott Young traces the pivotal century of Chinese migration to the Americas, beginning with the 1840s at the start of the "coolie" trade and ending during World War II. The Chinese came as laborers, streaming across borders legally and illegally and working jobs few others wanted, from constructing railroads in California to harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. Though nations were built in part from their labor, Young argues that they were the first group of migrants to bear the stigma of being "alien." Being neither black nor white and existing outside of the nineteenth century Western norms of sexuality and gender, the Chinese were viewed as permanent outsiders, culturally and legally. It was their presence that hastened the creation of immigration bureaucracies charged with capture, imprisonment, and deportation.
This book is the first transnational history of Chinese migration to the Americas. By focusing on the fluidity and complexity of border crossings throughout the Western Hemisphere, Young shows us how Chinese migrants constructed alternative communities and identities through these transnational pathways.