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The Roots of the Global Financial Meltdown
Situates the current crisis in the historical trajectory of the capitalist world-system, showing how the crisis was made possible not only by neoliberal financial reforms but by a massive turn away from manufacturing things of value towards seeking profit from financial exchange and credit. Much more basic than the result of a few financial traders cheating the system, this is a potential historical turning point. In original essays, the contributors establish why the system was ripe for crisis of the past, and yet why this meltdown was different. The volume concludes by asking whether as deep as the crisis is, it may contain seeds of a new global economy, what role the US will play, and whether China or other countries will rise to global leadership.
Contributors include: Giovanni Arrighi, Gopal Balakrishnan, Manuel Castells, Daniel Chirot, Fernando Coroni, Nancy Fraser, James K. Galbraith, David Harvey, Caglar Keyder, Beverly J. Silver, and Immanuel Wallerstein.
The three volumes can purchased individually or as a set.
Cosmetic Surgery in China
Chinese women are now pursuing cosmetic surgery as a way to increase their “beauty capital” and create new opportunities for social and professional success. Building on rich ethnographic data, this book shares the perspectives of women who have undergone cosmetic surgery and illuminates the motivations behind their decision. Wen Hua explores turbulent economic, sociocultural, and political change in China since the 1980s and its production of immense mental and corporeal anxieties.
Culture, Morality, and Consumption
The Voluntary Simplicity Movement
Buying Time and Getting By provides a detailed account of the voluntary simplicity movement, which took off in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The concept of voluntary simplicity encompasses both self-change aimed at bringing personal practice into alignment with ecological values and cultural change that rejects consumerist values and careerism. While simple livers struggle with self-change, they work toward the broader goals of a sustainable global environment, sustainable communities, increased equality in access to resources, and economies aimed at human quality of life rather than profit. Author Mary Grigsby looks inside the movement at the daily lives of participants and includes their own accounts of their efforts. She also uses reflexive empirical analysis to explore race, class, and gender in relation to the movement. The influence of the dominant culture and institutionalized power in shaping the movement are balanced with the importance of participants’ dynamic identity work.
Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee
Vol. 29 (2004) through Vol. 32 (2007)
The Canadian Journal of Sociology publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research articles and innovative theoretical essays by social scientists from around the world, providing insight into the issues facing Canadian society as well as social and cultural systems in other countries. The journal also features a lively debate/commentary section encouraging the intensive exchange of ideas, along with regular sections such as Notes on Society that address topical issues of the day from a social science point of view and Notes on the Discipline designed to discuss a variety of issues encountered in the course of the sociological analysis of modern society. In addition each issue of the Canadian Journal of Sociology has a comprehensive book review section.
Gender, Religion, Medicine and Money
The volume collects the published articles of Dr. Marjorie Topley, who was a pioneer in the field of social anthropology in the postwar period and also the first president of the revived Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Her ethnographic research in Singapore and Hong Kong set a high standard for urban anthropology, and helped creating the fields of religious studies, migration studies, gender studies, and medical anthropology, focusing on topics that remain current and important in the disciplines. The essays in this collection showcase Dr. Topley’s groundbreaking contributions in several areas of scholarship. These include “Chinese Women’s Vegetarian Houses in Singapore” (1954) and “The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects” (1963), both important research on the study of subcultural groups in a complex urban society; “Marriage Resistance in Rural Kwangtung” (1978), now a classic in Chinese anthropology and women’s studies; her widely known and cited article, “Cosmic Antagonisms: A Mother-Child Syndrome” (1974), which investigates widely shared everyday practices and cosmological explanations that Cantonese mothers invoked when they encountered difficulties in child-rearing; and “Capital, Saving and Credit among Indigenous Rice Farmers and Immigrant Vegetable Farmers in Hong Kong's New Territories” (2004 ).
The Social World Of A Cat Shelter
Even people who live with cats and have good reason to know better insist that cats are aloof and uninterested in relating to humans. Janet and Steven Alger contend that the anti-social cat is a myth; cats form close bonds with humans and with each other. In the potentially chaotic environment of a shelter that houses dozens of uncaged cats, they reveal a sense of self and build a culture—a shared set of rules, roles, and expectations that organizes their world and assimilates newcomers.As volunteers in a local cat shelter for eleven years, the Algers came to realize that despite the frequency of new arrivals and adoptions, the social world of the shelter remained quite stable and pacific. They saw even feral cats adapt to interaction with humans and develop friendships with other cats. They saw established residents take roles as welcomers and rules enforcers. That is, they saw cats taking an active interest in maintaining a community in which they could live together and satisfy their individual needs. Cat Culture's intimate portrait of life in the shelter, its engaging stories, and its interpretations of behavior, will appeal to general readers as well as academics interested in human and animal interaction.
The American Stratification System
The United States holds the dubious distinction of having the most unequal income distribution of any advanced industrialized nation. While other developed countries face similar challenges from globalization and technological change, none rivals America’s singularly poor record for equitably distributing the benefits and burdens of recent economic shifts. In Categorically Unequal, Douglas Massey weaves together history, political economy, and even neuropsychology to provide a comprehensive explanation of how America’s culture and political system perpetuates inequalities between different segments of the population. Categorically Unequal is striking both for its theoretical originality and for the breadth of topics it covers. Massey argues that social inequalities arise from the universal human tendency to place others into social categories. In America, ethnic minorities, women, and the poor have consistently been the targets of stereotyping, and as a result, they have been exploited and discriminated against throughout the nation’s history. African-Americans continue to face discrimination in markets for jobs, housing, and credit. Meanwhile, the militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border has discouraged Mexican migrants from leaving the United States, creating a pool of exploitable workers who lack the legal rights of citizens. Massey also shows that women’s advances in the labor market have been concentrated among the affluent and well-educated, while low-skilled female workers have been relegated to occupations that offer few chances for earnings mobility. At the same time, as the wages of low-income men have fallen, more working-class women are remaining unmarried and raising children on their own. Even as minorities and women continue to face these obstacles, the progressive legacy of the New Deal has come under frontal assault. The government has passed anti-union legislation, made taxes more regressive, allowed the real value of the federal minimum wage to decline, and drastically cut social welfare spending. As a result, the income gap between the richest and poorest has dramatically widened since 1980. Massey attributes these anti-poor policies in part to the increasing segregation of neighborhoods by income, which has insulated the affluent from the social consequences of poverty, and to the disenfranchisement of the poor, as the population of immigrants, prisoners, and ex-felons swells. America’s unrivaled disparities are not simply the inevitable result of globalization and technological change. As Massey shows, privileged groups have systematically exploited and excluded many of their fellow Americans. By delving into the root causes of inequality in America, Categorically Unequal provides a compelling argument for the creation of a more equitable society.