Education, employment, and home ownership have long been considered stepping stones to the middle class. But in Abandoned Families, social policy expert Kristin Seefeldt shows how many working families have access only to a separate but unequal set of poor-quality jobs, low-performing schools, and declining housing markets which offer few chances for upward mobility. Through in-depth interviews over a six-year period with women in Detroit, Seefeldt charts the increasing social isolation of many low-income workers, particularly African Americans, and analyzes how economic and residential segregation keep them from achieving the American Dream of upward mobility.
Seefeldt explores the economic and political obstacles that have altered the pathways for opportunity. She finds that while many low-income individuals work, enroll in higher education, and attempt to use social safety net benefits in times of crisis, they primarily have access to subpar institutions, which often hamper their efforts to get ahead. Many of these workers hold unstable, low-paying service sector jobs that provide few paths for advancement and exacerbate their social isolation. Those who pursue higher education to gain qualifications for better paying jobs often enroll in for-profit schools and online programs that push them into debt but rarely lead to secure employment or even a degree. And while home ownership was once the best way to establish wealth, Seefeldt finds that in declining cities like Detroit, it can saddle low-income owners with underwater mortgages in depopulated neighborhoods. Finally, she shows that the 1996 federal welfare reform and other retrenchments in the social safety net have made it more difficult for struggling families to access public benefits that could alleviate their economic hardships. When benefits are difficult to access, families often take on debt as a way of managing. Taken together, these factors contribute to what Seefeldt calls the “social abandonment” of vulnerable families.
Abandoned Families is a timely, on-the-ground assessment of hardship in contemporary America. Seefeldt exposes the shortcomings of the institutions that once fostered upward mobility and shows how sweeping policy measures—including new labor protections, expansion of the social safety net, increased regulation of for-profit colleges, and reparations—could help lift up those who have fallen behind.
From the films of Larry Clark to the feminist comedy of Amy Schumer to the fall of Louis C. K., comedic, graphic, and violent moments of abjection have permeated twentieth- and twenty-first-century social and political discourse. The contributors to Abjection Incorporated move beyond simple critiques of abjection as a punitive form of social death, illustrating how it has become a contested mode of political and cultural capital—empowering for some but oppressive for others. Escaping abjection's usual confines of psychoanalysis and aesthetic modernism, core to theories of abjection by thinkers such as Kristeva and Bataille, the contributors examine a range of media, including literature, photography, film, television, talking dolls, comics, and manga. Whether analyzing how comedic abjection can help mobilize feminist politics or how expressions of abjection inflect class, race, and gender hierarchies, the contributors demonstrate the importance of competing uses of abjection to contemporary society and politics. They emphasize abjection's role in circumscribing the boundaries of the human and how the threats abjection poses to the self and other, far from simply negative, open up possibilities for radically new politics.
Contributors. Meredith Bak, Eugenie Brinkema, James Leo Cahill, Michelle Cho, Maggie Hennefeld, Rob King, Thomas Lamarre, Sylvère Lotringer, Rijuta Mehta, Mark Mulroney, Nicholas Sammond, Yiman Wang, Rebecca Wanzo
African Underclass examines the social, political, and administrative repercussions of rapid urbanization in colonial Dar es Salaam, and the evolution of official policy that viewed urbanization as inextricably linked with social disorder. This policy marginalized numbers of young Africans entering the town---and thus, paradoxically, the policy itself subverted the colonial order. "Well researched and sharply written---one of the best and most stimulating accounts of urbanization in Eastern Africa to have been produced in recent years."---John McCracken, emeritus professor of history, University of StirlingAndrew Burton is assistant director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa.
Slaves, foundlings, prostitutes, nuns, homosexuals, exiles, the elderly, and mountain communities - such groups stood at the margins of society in premodern Italy. But where precisely the margins were was not so easily determined. Examining these minorities as the buffer zones between more readily recognizable centers, At the Margins explores identity as a process rather than a fixed entity, stressing the multiplicity of groups to which individuals belonged. By tracing the shifting relations of social margins to centers in Italy between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries - and showing how these shifts in turn relate to social order and identity formation - the authors challenge entrenched ideas about the nature of the Renaissance and its role in shaping modernity. Behind much cultural theory lies a critique of the centrality of modernity and its foundations in the discourse of Renaissance humanism. And yet, as this volume reveals, the insights of contemporary cultural theory serve to expose the flaws in this picture of cultural hegemony and, in decentering the Renaissance, return it to the heart of cultural debate.
As the incidence of violent crime rises in the United States, so does the public demand for a solution. But what will work?
Mark S. Fleisher has spent years among inmates in jails and prisons and on the streets with thieves, gang members, addicts, and life-long criminals in Seattle and other cities across the country. In Beggars and Thieves, he writes about how and why they become and remain offenders, and about the actual role of jails and prisons in efforts to deter crime and rehabilitate criminals. Fleisher shows, with wrenching firsthand accounts, that parents who are addicts, abusers, and criminals beget irreversibly damaged children who become addicts, abusers, and criminals. Further, Fleisher contends that many well-intentioned educational and vocational training programs are wasted because they are offered too late to help. And, he provides sobering evidence that many youthful and adult offenders find themselves better off in prison—with work to do, medical care, a clean place to sleep, regular meals, and stable social ties—than they are in America’s cities.
Fleisher calls for anti-crime policies that are bold, practical, and absolutely imperative. He prescribes life terms for violent offenders, but in prisons structured as work communities, where privileges are earned through work in expanded, productive industries that reduce the financial burden of incarceration on the public. But most important, he argues that the only way to prevent street crime, cut prison growth, and reduce the waste of money and human lives is to permanently remove brutalized children from criminal, addicted, and violent parents.
How did South Africans become black? How did the idea of blackness influence conceptions of disadvantaged groups in England such as women and the poor, and vice versa?
Bringing the Empire Home tracks colonial images of blackness from South Africa to England and back again to answer questions such as these. Before the mid-1800s, black Africans were considered savage to the extent that their plight mirrored England's internal Others—women, the poor, and the Irish. By the 1900s, England's minority groups were being defined in relation to stereotypes of black South Africans. These stereotypes, in turn, were used to justify both new capitalist class and gender hierarchies in England and the subhuman treatment of blacks in South Africa. Bearing this in mind, Zine Magubane considers how marginalized groups in both countries responded to these racialized representations.
Revealing the often overlooked links among ideologies of race, class, and gender, Bringing the Empire Home demonstrates how much black Africans taught the English about what it meant to be white, poor, or female.
This collection of essays challenges long-entrenched ideas about the history, nature, and significance of the informal neighborhoods that house the vast majority of Latin America's urban poor. Until recently, scholars have mainly viewed these settlements through the prisms of crime and drug-related violence, modernization and development theories, populist or revolutionary politics, or debates about the cultures of poverty. Yet shantytowns have proven both more durable and more multifaceted than any of these perspectives foresaw. Far from being accidental offshoots of more dynamic economic and political developments, they are now a permanent and integral part of Latin America's urban societies, critical to struggles over democratization, economic transformation, identity politics, and the drug and arms trades. Integrating historical, cultural, and social scientific methodologies, this collection brings together recent research from across Latin America, from the informal neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, Managua and Buenos Aires. Amid alarmist exposés, Cities from Scratch intervenes by considering Latin American shantytowns at a new level of interdisciplinary complexity.
Contributors. Javier Auyero, Mariana Cavalcanti, Ratão Diniz, Emilio Duhau, Sujatha Fernandes, Brodwyn Fischer, Bryan McCann, Edward Murphy, Dennis Rodgers
In the years following the Civil War, a veritable army of homeless men swept across America's "wageworkers' frontier" and forged a beguiling and bedeviling counterculture known as "hobohemia." Celebrating unfettered masculinity and jealously guarding the American road as the preserve of white manhood, hoboes took command of downtown districts and swaggered onto center stage of the new urban culture. Less obviously, perhaps, they also staked their own claims on the American polity, claims that would in fact transform the very entitlements of American citizenship.
In this eye-opening work of American history, Todd DePastino tells the epic story of hobohemia's rise and fall, and crafts a stunning new interpretation of the "American century" in the process. Drawing on sources ranging from diaries, letters, and police reports to movies and memoirs, Citizen Hobo breathes life into the largely forgotten world of the road, but it also, crucially, shows how the hobo army so haunted the American body politic that it prompted the creation of an entirely new social order and political economy. DePastino shows how hoboes—with their reputation as dangers to civilization, sexual savages, and professional idlers—became a cultural and political force, influencing the creation of welfare state measures, the promotion of mass consumption, and the suburbanization of America. Citizen Hobo's sweeping retelling of American nationhood in light of enduring struggles over "home" does more than chart the change from "homelessness" to "houselessness." In its breadth and scope, the book offers nothing less than an essential new context for thinking about Americans' struggles against inequality and alienation.
This groundbreaking and important book explores how women of different ethnic/racial groups conceive of feminism. Aída Hurtado advances the theory of relational privilege to explain those differing conceptions. Previous theories about feminism have predominantly emphasized the lives and experiences of middle-class white women. Aída Hurtado argues that the different responses to feminism by women of color are not so much the result of personality or cultural differences between white women and women of color, but of their differing relationship to white men.
For Hurtado, subordination and privilege must be conceived as relational in nature, and gender subordination and political solidarity must be examined in the framework of culture and socioeconomic context. Hurtado's analysis of gender oppression is written from an interdisciplinary, multicultural standpoint and is enriched by selections from poems by Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lorna Dee Cervantes, and Elba Sanchez, and from plays by El Teatro Campesino, the United Farm Workers theater group.
A final chapter proposes that progressive scholarship, and especially feminist scholarship, must have at its core a reflexive theory of gender oppression that allows writers to simultaneously document oppression while taking into account the writer's own privilege, to analyze the observed as well as the observer.
Aída Hurtado is Associate Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz.
How does a minority come to be? In an unusual project, a notable group of French and American scholars take the view that minorities are socially constructed. Their original studies of specific historical examples produce a series of stimulating and provocative essays useful and enjoyable for specialists and the general reader alike.
Spawned from a conference organized by the journals Annales and Comparative Studies in Society and History in concert with the Center for Historical Research at l'EHESS in Paris and the Department of History at the University of Michigan, this collection contrasts studies of Afro-Americans in the United States, French Protestants, notables in Renaissance Florence, religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire, Muslim and Chinese traders in Southeast Asia, the native peoples of Spanish America, lower-caste Indians, ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union, Australian aborigines, and American and French responses to AIDS to reveal valuable information about how minorities come to be constructed within societies. Some of the minorities considered are identified primarily in terms of their ethnicity, some by social class, and some by religion (Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim); a final essay asks whether the victims of AIDS constitute a minority at all.
With its cross-cultural emphasis, this book will be a valuable addition to courses on diversity, ethnicity, and cultural comparison. It is destined to be a useful reference for undergraduate and research libraries and a much-consulted work for specialists on each of the societies considered.
André Burguière is Research Director, l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (l'EHESS) in Paris. Raymond Grew is Professor of History Emeritus, University of Michigan.
On street corners throughout the country, men stand or sit together patiently while they wait for someone looking to hire un buen trabajador (a good worker). These day laborers are visible symbols of the changing nature of work—and the demographics of workers—in the United States.
Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky spent nearly three years visiting with African American men and Latino immigrant men who looked for work as day laborers at a Brooklyn street intersection. Her fascinating ethnography, Daily Labors, considers these immigrants and citizens as active participants in their social and economic life. They not only work for wages but also labor daily to institute change, create knowledge, and contribute new meanings to shape their social world.
Daily Labors reveals how ideologies about race, gender, nation, and legal status operate on the corner and the vulnerabilities, discrimination, and exploitation workers face in this labor market. Pinedo-Turnovsky shows how workers market themselves to conform to employers’ preconceptions of a “good worker” and how this performance paradoxically leads to a more precarious workplace experience. Ultimately, she sheds light on belonging, community, and what a “good day laborer” for these workers really is.
On the morning of February 6, 1999, Buenos Aires police officers shot and killed seventeen-year-old Víctor Manuel Vital, better known as Frente, while he was unarmed, hiding under a table, and trying to surrender. Widely known and respected throughout Buenos Aires's shantytowns for his success as a thief, commitment to a code of honor, and generosity to his community, Frente became a Robin Hood--style legend who, in death, was believed to have the power to make bullets swerve and save gang members from shrapnel. In Dance for Me When I Die—first published in Argentina in 2004 and appearing here in English for the first time—Cristian Alarcón tells the story and legacy of Frente's life and death in the context of the everyday experiences of love and survival, murder and addiction, and crime and courage of those living in the slums. Drawing on interviews with Frente's friends, family, and ex-girlfriends, as well as with local thieves and drug dealers, and having immersed himself in Frente's neighborhood for eighteen months, Alarcón captures the world of the urban poor in all of its complexity and humanity.
In August 2011, ethnographers Carolina Alonso Bejarano and Daniel M. Goldstein began a research project on undocumented immigration in the United States by volunteering at a center for migrant workers in New Jersey. Two years later, Lucia López Juárez and Mirian A. Mijangos García—two local immigrant workers from Latin America—joined Alonso Bejarano and Goldstein as research assistants and quickly became equal partners for whom ethnographic practice was inseparable from activism. In Decolonizing Ethnography the four coauthors offer a methodological and theoretical reassessment of social science research, showing how it can function as a vehicle for activism and as a tool for marginalized people to theorize their lives. Tacking between personal narratives, ethnographic field notes, an original bilingual play about workers' rights, and examinations of anthropology as a discipline, the coauthors show how the participation of Mijangos García and López Juárez transformed the project's activist and academic dimensions. In so doing, they offer a guide for those wishing to expand the potential of ethnography to serve as a means for social transformation and decolonization.
Democratic Theorizing from the Margins lays out the basic parameters of diversity-based politics as a still emerging form of democratic theory. Students, activists, and scholars engage in diversity politics on the ground, but generally remain unable to conceptualize a broad understanding of how "politics from the margins"-that is, political thinking and action that comes from groups often left on the outside of mainstream organizing and action-operates effectively in different contexts and environments. Brettschneider offers concrete lessons from many movements to see what they tell us about a new sort of democratic politics. She also addresses traditional democratic theories and draws on the myriad discerning practices employed by marginalized groups in their political activism to enhance the critical capacities of potential movements committed both to social change and democratic action.
Freewheeling sexuality and gender experimentation defined the social and moral landscape of 1890s San Francisco. Middle class whites crafting titillating narratives on topics such as high divorce rates, mannish women, and extramarital sex centered Chinese and Japanese immigrants in particular. Amy Sueyoshi draws on everything from newspapers to felony case files to oral histories in order to examine how whites' pursuit of gender and sexual fulfillment gave rise to racial caricatures. As she reveals, white reporters, writers, artists, and others conflated Chinese and Japanese, previously seen as two races, into one. There emerged the Oriental--a single pan-Asian American stereotype weighted with sexual and gender meaning. Sueyoshi bridges feminist, queer, and ethnic studies to show how the white quest to forge new frontiers in gender and sexual freedom reinforced--and spawned--racial inequality through the ever evolving Oriental. Informed and fascinating, Discriminating Sex reconsiders the origins and expression of racial stereotyping in an American city.
"This is a thoughtful and scholarly addition to the unfortunately scarce literature on domestic violence and oppression in all its forms."—Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Anna D. Wolf Chair, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
"An exciting and powerful collection that eloquently critiques some of the current thinking in domestic violence and raises key concerns for advocates and scholars working in the area."—Sujata Warrier, president, board of directors, Manavi: An organization for South Asian women
"Sokoloff has assembled an impressive array of authors who challenge us to ‘think outside of our contemporary domestic violence box.’"—Angela M. Moore Parmley, chief, violence and victimization research division, National Institute of Justice
This groundbreaking anthology reorients the field of domestic violence research by bringing long-overdue attention to the structural forms of oppression in communities marginalized by race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or social class.
Reprints of the most influential recent work in the field as well as more than a dozen newly commissioned essays explore theoretical issues, current research, service provision, and activism among Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, and lesbians. The volume rejects simplistic analyses of the role of culture in domestic violence by elucidating the support systems available to battered women within different cultures, while at the same time addressing the distinct problems generated by that culture. Together, the essays pose a compelling challenge to stereotypical images of battered women that are racist, homophobic, and xenophobic.
The most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of domestic violence available, this anthology is an essential text for courses in sociology, criminology, social work, and women’s studies. Beyond the classroom, it provides critical information and resources for professionals working in domestic violence services, advocacy, social work, and law enforcement.
Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret
Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress HQ77.2.U6R86 2003 | Dewey Decimal 306.77
It's Saturday night in Key West and the Girlie Show is about to begin at the 801 Cabaret. The girls have been outside on the sidewalk all evening, seducing passersby into coming in for the show. The club itself is packed tonight and smoke has filled the room. When the lights finally go down, statuesque blonds and stunning brunettes sporting black leather miniskirts, stiletto heels, and see-through lingerie take the stage. En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" blares on the house stereo. The crowd roars in approval.
In this lively book, Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor take us on an entertaining tour through one of America's most overlooked subcultures: the world of the drag queen. They offer a penetrating glimpse into the lives of the 801 Girls, the troupe of queens who perform nightly at the 801 Cabaret for tourists and locals. Weaving together their fascinating life stories, their lavish costumes and eclectic music, their flamboyance and bitchiness, and their bawdy exchanges with one another and their audiences, the authors explore how drag queens smash the boundaries between gay and straight, man and woman, to make people think more deeply and realistically about sex and gender in America today. They also consider how the queens create a space that encourages camaraderie and acceptance among everyday people, no matter what their sexual preferences might be.
Based on countless interviews with more than a dozen drag queens, more than three years of attendance at their outrageous performances, and even the authors' participation in the shows themselves, Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret is a witty and poignant portrait of gay life and culture. When they said life is a cabaret, they clearly meant the 801.
The Economics of Poverty Traps
Edited by Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas University of Chicago Press, 2018 Library of Congress HC79.P6E355 2018 | Dewey Decimal 339.46
What circumstances or behaviors turn poverty into a cycle that perpetuates across generations? The answer to this question carries especially important implications for the design and evaluation of policies and projects intended to reduce poverty. Yet a major challenge analysts and policymakers face in understanding poverty traps is the sheer number of mechanisms—not just financial, but also environmental, physical, and psychological—that may contribute to the persistence of poverty all over the world.
The research in this volume explores the hypothesis that poverty is self-reinforcing because the equilibrium behaviors of the poor perpetuate low standards of living. Contributions explore the dynamic, complex processes by which households accumulate assets and increase their productivity and earnings potential, as well as the conditions under which some individuals, groups, and economies struggle to escape poverty. Investigating the full range of phenomena that combine to generate poverty traps—gleaned from behavioral, health, and resource economics as well as the sociology, psychology, and environmental literatures—chapters in this volume also present new evidence that highlights both the insights and the limits of a poverty trap lens.
The framework introduced in this volume provides a robust platform for studying well-being dynamics in developing economies.
Empire and Underworld
Miranda Frances Spieler Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress F2462.S69 2011 | Dewey Decimal 988.2
The French Revolution invented the notion of the citizen, but it also invented the noncitizen—the person whose rights were nonexistent. The South American outpost of Guiana became a depository for these outcasts of the new French citizenry, and an experimental space for the exercise of new kinds of power and violence against marginal groups.
Arts organizations once sought patrons primarily from among the wealthy and well educated, but for many decades now they have revised their goals as they seek to broaden their audiences. Today, museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families, and youth.
The chapters in this book draw on interviews with leaders, staff, volunteers, and audience members from eighty-five nonprofit cultural organizations to explore how they are trying to increase participation and the extent to which they have been successful. The insiders' accounts point to the opportunities and challenges involved in such efforts, from the reinvention of programs and creation of new activities, to the addition of new departments and staff dynamics, to partnerships with new groups. The authors differentiate between "relational" and "transactional" practices, the former term describing efforts to build connections with local communities and the latter describing efforts to create new consumer markets for cultural products. In both cases, arts leaders report that, although positive results are difficult to measure conclusively, long-term efforts bring better outcomes than short-term activities.
The organizations discussed include large, medium, and small nonprofits located in urban, suburban, and rural areas—from large institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the San Francisco Symphony to many cultural organizations that are smaller, but often known nationally for their innovative work, such as AS220, The Loft Literary Center, Armory Center for the Arts, Appalshop, and the Western Folklife Center.
Feelings at the Margins offers a uniquely interdisciplinary take on the contemporary phenomenon of marginalization in Indonesia and its emotional impact on affected individuals and groups. By combining anthropological, political, and historical perspectives on Indonesian particularities with more universal conclusions, this volume is sure to attract not only scholars with a regional interest in the archipelago, but also researchers more broadly concerned with the interplay between stigma, marginality, culture, and emotion. Moreover, the book’s vivid ethnographic case studies—detailing recurring acts of violence against communities based on their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, descent, and religion—and discussion of significant sociocultural and political developments in early twenty-first-century Indonesia will make it a valuable resource for scholars of social and political activism.
Libby Adler offers a comprehensive critique of the mainstream LGBT legal agenda in the United States, showing how LGBT equal rights discourse drives legal advocates toward a narrow array of reform objectives that do little to help the lives of the most marginalized members of the LGBT community.
“Avery Gordon’s stunningly original and provocatively imaginative book explores the connections linking horror, history, and haunting. ” —George Lipsitz
“The text is of great value to anyone working on issues pertaining to the fantastic and the uncanny.” —American Studies International
“Ghostly Matters immediately establishes Avery Gordon as a leader among her generation of social and cultural theorists in all fields. The sheer beauty of her language enhances an intellectual brilliance so daunting that some readers will mark the day they first read this book. One must go back many more years than most of us can remember to find a more important book.” —Charles Lemert
Drawing on a range of sources, including the fiction of Toni Morrison and Luisa Valenzuela (He Who Searches), Avery Gordon demonstrates that past or haunting social forces control present life in different and more complicated ways than most social analysts presume. Written with a power to match its subject, Ghostly Matters has advanced the way we look at the complex intersections of race, gender, and class as they traverse our lives in sharp relief and shadowy manifestations.
Avery F. Gordon is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Janice Radway is professor of literature at Duke University.
Gravity Hill: A Memoir
Maximilian Werner University of Utah Press, 2013 Library of Congress F834.S253W47 2013 | Dewey Decimal 979.2258033
“The sound of parenthood is the sigh.” So begins Gravity Hill, written from the perspective of a new father seeking hope, beauty, and meaning in an uncertain world. Many memoirs recount the author’s experiences of growing up and struggling with demons; Werner’s shows how old demons sometimes return on the heels of something as beautiful as children. Werner’s memoir is about growing up, getting older, looking back, and wondering what lies ahead—a process that becomes all the more complicated and intense when parenting is involved. Moving backward and forward between past, present, and future, Gravity Hill does not delineate time so much as collapse it.
Werner narrates his struggle growing up in suburban Utah as anon-Mormon and what it took for him, his siblings, and his friends to feel like they belonged. Bonding in separation, they indulged in each other, in natural and urban landscapes, and sometimes in the destructive behaviors that are the native resort of outsidersincluding promiscuous and occasionally violent sexual behavior—and for some, paths to death and suicide. Gravity Hill is the story of the author’s descent into and eventual emergence from his dysfunction and into a newfound life. Infused with humor, honesty, and reflection, this literary memoir will resonate with readers young and old.
In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.
In Ingenious Citizenship Charles T. Lee centers the daily experiences and actions of migrant domestic workers, sex workers, transgender people, and suicide bombers in his rethinking of mainstream models of social change. Bridging cultural and political theory with analyses of film, literature, and ethnographic sources, Lee shows how these abject populations find ingenious and improvisational ways to disrupt and appropriate practices of liberal citizenship. When voting and other forms of civic engagement are unavailable or ineffective, the subversive acts of a domestic worker breaking a dish or a prostitute using the strategies and language of an entrepreneur challenge the accepted norms of political action. Taken to the extreme, a young Palestinian woman blowing herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket questions two of liberal citizenship's most cherished values: life and liberty. Using these examples to critically reinterpret political agency, citizenship practices, and social transformation, Lee reveals the limits of organizing change around a human rights discourse. Moreover, his subjects offer crucial lessons in how to turn even the worst conditions and the most unstable positions in society into footholds for transformative and democratic agency.
The young people of the Cameroon Grassfields have been subject to a long history of violence and political marginalization. For centuries the main victims of the slave trade, they became prime targets for forced labor campaigns under a series of colonial rulers. Today’s youth remain at the bottom of the fiercely hierarchical and polarized societies of the Grassfields, and it is their response to centuries of exploitation that Nicolas Argenti takes up in this absorbing and original book.
Beginning his study with a political analysis of youth in the Grassfields from the eighteenth century to the present, Argenti pays special attention to the repeated violent revolts staged by young victims of political oppression. He then combines this history with extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the Oku chiefdom, discovering that the specter of past violence lives on in the masked dance performances that have earned intense devotion from today’s youth. Argenti contends that by evoking the imagery of past cataclysmic events, these masquerades allow young Oku men and women to address the inequities they face in their relations with elders and state authorities today.
Invisible Lives is the first scholarly study of transgendered people—cross-dressers, drag queens and transsexuals—and their everyday lives.
Through combined theoretical and empirical study, Viviane K. Namaste argues that transgendered people are not so much produced by medicine or psychiatry as they are erased, or made invisible, in a variety of institutional and cultural settings. Namaste begins her work by analyzing two theoretical perspectives on transgendered people—queer theory and the social sciences—displaying how neither of these has adequately addressed the issues most relevant to sex change: everything from employment to health care to identity papers. Namaste then examines some of the rhetorical and semiotic inscriptions of transgendered figures in culture, including studies of early punk and glam rock subcultures, to illustrate how the effacement of transgendered people is organized in different cultural sites. Invisible Lives concludes with new research on some of the day-to-day concerns of transgendered people, offering case studies in violence, health care, gender identity clinics, and the law.
Sharing a postrevolutionary sympathy with the struggles of the poor, the contributors to this first comprehensive collection of writing on subalternity in Latin America work to actively link politics, culture, and literature. Emerging from a decade of work and debates generated by a collective known as the Latin American Studies Group, the volume privileges the category of the subaltern over that of class, as contributors focus on the possibilities of investigating history from below. In addition to an overview by Ranajit Guha, essay topics include nineteenth-century hygiene in Latin American countries, Rigoberta Menchú after the Nobel, commentaries on Haitian and Argentinian issues, the relationship between gender and race in Bolivia, and ungovernability and tragedy in Peru. Providing a radical critique of elite culture and of liberal, bourgeois, and modern epistemologies and projects, the essays included here prove that Latin American Subaltern Studies is much more than the mere translation of subaltern studies from South Asia to Latin America.
Contributors. Marcelo Bergman, John Beverley, Robert Carr, Sara Castro-Klarén, Michael Clark, Beatriz González Stephan, Ranajit Guha, María Milagros López , Walter Mignolo, Alberto Moreiras, Abdul-Karim Mustapha, José Rabasa, Ileana Rodríguez, Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Javier Sanjinés, C. Patricia Seed, Doris Sommer, Marcia Stephenson, Mónica Szurmuk, Gareth Williams, Marc Zimmerman
The residents of Caxambu, a squatter neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, live in a state of insecurity as they face urban violence. Living with Insecurity in a Brazilian Favela examines how inequality, racism, drug trafficking, police brutality, and gang activities affect the daily lives of the people of Caxambu. Some Brazilians see these communities, known as favelas, as centers of drug trafficking that exist beyond the control of the state and threaten the rest of the city. For other Brazilians, favelas are symbols of economic inequality and racial exclusion. Ben Penglase’s ethnography goes beyond these perspectives to look at how the people of Caxambu themselves experience violence.
Although the favela is often seen as a war zone, the residents are linked to each other through bonds of kinship and friendship. In addition, residents often take pride in homes and public spaces that they have built and used over generations. Penglase notes that despite poverty, their lives are not completely defined by illegal violence or deprivation. He argues that urban violence and a larger context of inequality create a social world that is deeply contradictory and ambivalent. The unpredictability and instability of daily experiences result in disagreements and tensions, but the residents also experience their neighborhood as a place of social intimacy. As a result, the social world of the neighborhood is both a place of danger and safety.
Favelas, or shantytowns, are where cocaine is mainly sold in Rio de Janeiro. There are some six hundred favelas in the city, and most of them are controlled by well-organized and heavily armed drug gangs. The struggle for the massive profits from this drug trade has resulted in what are increasingly violent and deadly confrontations between rival drug gangs and a corrupt and brutal police force, that have transformed parts of the city into a war-zone. Lucia tells the story of one woman who was once intimately involved with drug gang life in Rio throughout the 1990s. Through a series of conversations with the author, Lucia describes conditions of poverty, violence, and injustice that are simply unimaginable to outsiders. In doing so, she explains why women like her become involved with drugs and gangs, and why this situation is unlikely to change.
Marginal Conventions contains twelve essays by social scientists centering around the general connections between popular culture and deviant behavior. In addition to speaking to the commonsensical view that exposure to representations of misbehavior makes people misbehave, this collection focuses on media presentations of crime, violence, and villainy; the utility of deviance theme for societal elites; and the "taste publics" centered around disreputable products and rituals.
There is little doubt among scientists and the general public that homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are inter-related. In Of Others Inside, Darin Weinberg examines how these inter-relations have taken form in the United States. He links the establishment of these connections to the movement of mental health and addiction treatment from redemptive processes to punitive ones and back again, and explores the connection between social welfare, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system.
Seeking to offer a new sociological understanding of the relationship between social exclusion and mental disability, Of Others Inside considers the general social conditions of homelessness, poverty, and social marginality in the U.S. Weinberg also explores questions about American perceptions of these conditions, and examines in great detail the social reality of mental disability and drug addiction without reducing people's suffering to simple notions of biological fate or social disorder.
Patients of the State is a sociological account of the extended waiting that poor people seeking state social and administrative services must endure. It is based on ethnographic research in the waiting area of the main welfare office in Buenos Aires, in the line leading into the Argentine registration office where legal aliens apply for identification cards, and among people who live in a polluted shantytown on the capital’s outskirts, while waiting to be allocated better housing. Scrutinizing the mundane interactions between the poor and the state, as well as underprivileged people’s confusion and uncertainty about the administrative processes that affect them, Javier Auyero argues that while waiting, the poor learn the opposite of citizenship. They learn to be patients of the state. They absorb the message that they should be patient and keep waiting, because there is nothing else that they can do. Drawing attention to a significant everyday dynamic that has received little scholarly attention until now, Auyero considers not only how the poor experience these lengthy waits but also how making poor people wait works as a strategy of state control.
Seven voices contribute to this rare glimpse of the work being done on the front lines of the fight for social change in India. Playing with Fire is written in the collective voice of women employed by a large NGO as activists in their communities and is based on diaries, interviews, and conversations among them. Together their personal stories reveal larger themes and questions of sexism, casteism, and communalism, and a startling picture emerges of how NGOs both nourish and stifle local struggles for solidarity. The Hindi edition of the book, Sangtin Yatra, published in 2004, created controversy that resulted in backlash against the authors by their employer. The publication also drew support for the women and instigated a public conversation about the issues exposed in the book. Here, Richa Nagar addresses the dispute in the context of the politics of NGOs and feminist theory, articulating how development ideology employed by aid organizations serves to reinforce the domination of those it claims to help. The Sangtin Writers, Anupamlata, Ramsheela, Reshma Ansari, Richa Singh, Shashibala, Shashi Vaish, Surbala, and Vibha Bajpayee, are grassroots activists and members of a small organization called Sangtin in Uttar Pradesh, India. Richa Nagar teaches women’s studies at the University of Minnesota.
Prison and Social Death
Price, Joshua M Rutgers University Press, 2015 Library of Congress HV9471.P72 2015 | Dewey Decimal 365.6
The United States imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. To be sentenced to prison is to face systematic violence, humiliation, and, perhaps worst of all, separation from family and community. It is, to borrow Orlando Patterson’s term for the utter isolation of slavery, to suffer “social death.” In Prison and Social Death, Joshua Price exposes the unexamined cost that prisoners pay while incarcerated and after release, drawing upon hundreds of often harrowing interviews conducted with people in prison, parolees, and their families.
Price argues that the prison separates prisoners from desperately needed communities of support from parents, spouses, and children. Moreover, this isolation of people in prison renders them highly vulnerable to other forms of violence, including sexual violence. Price stresses that the violence they face goes beyond physical abuse by prison guards and it involves institutionalized forms of mistreatment, ranging from abysmally poor health care to routine practices that are arguably abusive, such as pat-downs, cavity searches, and the shackling of pregnant women. And social death does not end with prison. The condition is permanent, following people after they are released from prison. Finding housing, employment, receiving social welfare benefits, and regaining voting rights are all hindered by various legal and other hurdles. The mechanisms of social death, Price shows, are also informal and cultural. Ex-prisoners face numerous forms of distrust and are permanently stigmatized by other citizens around them.
A compelling blend of solidarity, civil rights activism, and social research, Prison and Social Death offers a unique look at the American prison and the excessive and unnecessary damage it inflicts on prisoners and parolees.
In big cities, major museums and elite galleries tend to dominate our idea of the art world. But beyond the cultural core ruled by these moneyed institutions and their patrons are vibrant, local communities of artists and art lovers operating beneath the high-culture radar. Producing Local Color is a guided tour of three such alternative worlds that thrive in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Pilsen, and Rogers Park.
These three neighborhoods are, respectively, historically African American, predominantly Mexican American, and proudly ethnically mixed. Drawing on her ethnographic research in each place, Diane Grams presents and analyzes the different kinds of networks of interest and support that sustain the making of art outside of the limelight. And she introduces us to the various individuals—from cutting-edge artists to collectors to municipal planners—who work together to develop their communities, honor their history, and enrich the experiences of their neighbors through art. Along with its novel insights into these little examined art worlds, Producing Local Color also provides a thought-provoking account of how urban neighborhoods change and grow.
In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity. Students of Islam in Africa have similarly examined politics of knowledge, the transmission of learning in written form, and the influence of new media. Until now, however, these arenas—Christianity and Islam, digital media and “old” media—have been studied separately.
Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa is one of the first volumes to put new media and old media into significant conversation with one another, and also offers a rare comparison between Christianity and Islam in Africa. The contributors find many previously unacknowledged correspondences among different media and between the two faiths. In the process they challenge the technological determinism—the notion that certain types of media generate particular forms of religious expression—that haunts many studies. In evaluating how media usage and religious commitment intersect in the social, cultural, and political landscapes of modern Africa, this collection will contribute to the development of new paradigms for media and religious studies.
Contributors: Heike Behrend, Andre Chappatte, Maria Frahm-Arp, David Gordon, Liz Gunner, Bruce S. Hall, Sean Hanretta, Jorg Haustein, Katrien Pype, and Asonzeh Ukah.
Over the past three decades, the contours of American social, economic, and political life have changed dramatically. The post-war patterns of broadly distributed economic growth have given way to stark inequalities of income and wealth, the GOP and its allies have gained power and shifted U.S. politics rightward, and the role of government in the lives of Americans has changed fundamentally. Remaking America explores how these trends are related, investigating the complex interactions of economics, politics, and public policy. Remaking America explains how the broad restructuring of government policy has both reflected and propelled major shifts in the character of inequality and democracy in the United States. The contributors explore how recent political and policy changes affect not just the social standing of Americans but also the character of democratic citizenship in the United States today. Lawrence Jacobs shows how partisan politics, public opinion, and interest groups have shaped the evolution of Medicare, but also how Medicare itself restructured health politics in America. Kimberly Morgan explains how highly visible tax policies created an opportunity for conservatives to lead a grassroots tax revolt that ultimately eroded of the revenues needed for social-welfare programs. Deborah Stone explores how new policies have redefined participation in the labor force—as opposed to fulfilling family or civic obligations—as the central criterion of citizenship. Frances Fox Piven explains how low-income women remain creative and vital political actors in an era in which welfare programs increasingly subject them to stringent behavioral requirements and monitoring. Joshua Guetzkow and Bruce Western document the rise of mass incarceration in America and illuminate its unhealthy effects on state social-policy efforts and the civic status of African-American men. For many disadvantaged Americans who used to look to government as a source of opportunity and security, the state has become increasingly paternalistic and punitive. Far from standing alone, their experience reflects a broader set of political victories and policy revolutions that have fundamentally altered American democracy and society. Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Remaking America connects the dots to provide insight into the remarkable social and political changes of the last three decades.
The 1980s were one of the most turbulent decades in Central America’s history, a history that has been marked by more than its share of strife and upheaval. The wars, economic hardship, and political unrest and instability that have dominated news of the region have been years in the making, the products of flawed and inequitable economic, social, and political structures. The International Commission for Central American Recovery and Development (ICCARD) was formed to provide a thorough diagnosis and analysis of Central America’s problems and to draft a comprehensive long-term strategy to move the region from decline to development. In this report ICCARD—through forty-five international experts in economics, public policy, management, and development it assembled for this purpose—attempts to rise above rhetoric and simplistic remedies to focus on well-reasoned, thorough, and realistic approaches to economic and social development. This volume reviews the unequal access of marginal groups to political and economic participation, the precarious situation of Central American financial institutions, the international debt situation, the prospects for regional political and economic integration, and other aspects of regional development. Each of these challenges is addressed by specific recommendations to the Central American governments, the governments of the industrialized nations, and international organizations.
In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
Universality is a dangerous concept, according to Grace Kyungwon Hong, one that has contributed to the rise of the U.S. nation-state that privileges the propertied individual. However, African American, Asian American, and Chicano people experience the same stretch of city sidewalk with varying degrees of safety, visibility, and surveillance.The Ruptures of American Capital examines two key social formations—women of color feminism and racialized immigrant women’s culture—in order to argue that race and gender are contradictions within the history of U.S. capital that should be understood not as monolithic but as marked by its crises. Hong shows how women of color feminism identified ways in which nationalist forms of capital, such as the right to own property, were repressive. The Ruptures of American Capital demonstrates that racialized immigrant women’s culture has brought to light contested modes of incorporation into consumer culture.Interweaving discussion of U.S. political economy with literary analyses (including readings from Booker T. Washington to Jessica Hagedorn) Hong challenges the individualism of the United States and the fetishization of difference that is one of the markers of globalization.Grace Kyungwon Hong is assistant professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
In Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control, Diana Rickard provides the reader with an in-depth view of six sex offenders, exploring how they manage to cope with their highly stigmatized role as social outcasts. The book explores how these individuals construct their sense of self. By placing their stories within the context of the current culture of mass incarceration and zero-tolerance, Rickard provides a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between public policy and lived experience.
This book is a study of a Soviet cultural phenomenon of the 1950s through the 1980s known as guitar poetry—songs accompanied by guitar and considered poetry in much the same way as those of, for example, Bob Dylan. Platonov’s is the most comprehensive book in English to date to analyze guitar poetry, which has rarely received scholarly attention outside of Russia. Going well beyond the conventional, text-centered view of guitar poetry as a form of political or artistic dissent, largely a function of the Cold War climate in which it began, Platonov argues for a more complex understanding of guitar poetry as a means of self-invention and community formation. Although grounded in literary studies, the book effectively brings historical, anthropological, and musicological perspectives to bear on an understudied phenomenon of the post-Stalin period.
Point Place stands near the city center of Durban, South Africa. Condemned and off the grid, the five-story apartment building is nonetheless home to a hundred-plus teenagers and young adults marginalized by poverty and chronic unemployment. In Street Life under a Roof , Emily Margaretten draws on ten years of up-close fieldwork to explore the distinct cultural universe of the Point Place community. Margaretten's sensitive investigations reveal how young men and women draw on customary notions of respect and support to forge an ethos of connection and care that allows them to live far richer lives than ordinarily assumed. Her discussion of gender dynamics highlights terms like nakana --to care about or take notice of another--that young women and men use to construct "outside" and "inside" boyfriends and girlfriends and to communicate notions of trust. Margaretten exposes the structures of inequality at a local, regional, and global level that contribute to socioeconomic and political dislocation. But she also challenges the idea that Point Place's marginalized residents need "rehabilitation." As she argues, these young men and women want love, secure homes, and the means to provide for their dependents--in short, the same hopes and aspirations mirrored across South African society.
The term “subalternity” refers to a condition of subordination brought about by colonization or other forms of economic, social, racial, linguistic, and/or cultural dominance. Subaltern studies is, therefore, a study of power. Who has it and who does not. Who is gaining it and who is losing it. Power is intimately related to questions of representation—to which representations have cognitive authority and can secure hegemony and which do not and cannot. In this book John Beverley examines the relationship between subalternity and representation by analyzing the ways in which that relationship has been played out in the domain of Latin American studies.
Dismissed by some as simply another new fashion in the critique of culture and by others as a postmarxist heresy, subaltern studies began with the work of Ranajit Guha and the South Asian Subaltern Studies collective in the 1980s. Beverley’s focus on Latin America, however, is evidence of the growing province of this field. In assessing subaltern studies’ purposes and methods, the potential dangers it presents, and its interactions with deconstruction, poststructuralism, cultural studies, Marxism, and political theory, Beverley builds his discussion around a single, provocative question: How can academic knowledge seek to represent the subaltern when that knowledge is itself implicated in the practices that construct the subaltern as such? In his search for answers, he grapples with a number of issues, notably the 1998 debate between David Stoll and Rigoberta Menchú over her award-winning testimonial narrative, I, Rigoberta Menchú. Other topics explored include the concept of civil society, Florencia Mallon’s influential Peasant and Nation, the relationship between the Latin American “lettered city” and the Túpac Amaru rebellion of 1780–1783, the ideas of transculturation and hybridity in postcolonial studies and Latin American cultural studies, multiculturalism, and the relationship between populism, popular culture, and the “national-popular” in conditions of globalization.
This critique and defense of subaltern studies offers a compendium of insights into a new form of knowledge and knowledge production. It will interest those studying postcolonialism, political science, cultural studies, and Latin American culture, history, and literature.
Could the promise of upward mobility have a dark side? In Tensions in the American Dream, Melanie and Roderick Bush ask, how does a "nation of immigrants" pledge inclusion, yet marginalize so many citizens based on race, class, and gender? The authors consider the origins and development of the U.S. nation and empire; the founding principles of belonging, nationalism, and exceptionalism; and their lived reality.
Tensions in the American Dream also addresses the relevancy of nation to empire in the context of the historical world capitalist system. The authors ask, is the American Dream a reality only questioned by those unwilling or unable to achieve it? What is the "good life" and how is it particularly "American"?
As recently as the 1970s, gay and lesbian history was a relatively unexplored field for serious scholars. The past quarter century, however, has seen enormous growth in gay and lesbian studies. The literature is now voluminous; it is also widely scattered and not always easily accessible. In Toward Stonewall, Nicholas Edsall provides a much-needed synthesis, drawing upon both scholarly and popular writings to chart the development of homosexual subcultures in the modern era -- and the uneasy place they have occupied in Western society.
Edsall's survey begins three hundred years ago in northwestern Europe, when homosexual subcultures recognizably similar to those of our own era began to emerge, and it follows their surprisingly diverse paths through the Enlightenment to the early nineteenth century. The book then turns to the Victorian era, tracing the development of articulate and self-aware homosexual subcultures. With a greater sense of identity and organization came new forms of resistance: this was the age that saw the persecution of Oscar Wilde, among others, as well as the medical establishment's labeling of homosexuality as a sign of degeneracy.
The book's final section locates the foundations of present-day gay subcultures in a succession of twentieth-century scenes and events--in pre-Nazi Germany, in the lesbian world of interwar Paris, in the law reforms of 1960s England--culminating in the emergence of popular movements in the postwar United States.
Rather than examining these groups in isolation, the book considers them in their social contexts and as comparable to other subordinate groups and minority movements. In the process, Toward Stonewall illuminates not only the subcultures that are its primary subject but the larger societies from which they emerged.
Nicholas C. Edsall is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia and the author of Richard Cobden: Independent Radical.
The East German uprising of 1989 was not a male revolution. Indeed, one of the most significant aspects of the fall of East Germany, compared to that of other East European nations, was the presence of women demanding a political role in the newly emerging social order. As one slogan proclaimed, "Without Women There Is No State."
Yet despite the determination of these women--and of West German feminist groups--to help shape the future of the German state, their influence remained, in the end, very limited. In Triumph of the Fatherland, political scientist Brigitte Young draws on in-depth interviews, archival sources, newspapers, and her own observations from 1989 to 1991 to study the goals, strategies, and eventual fate of the German women's movements during this tumultuous period.
Young focuses on the relationship between the state and its citizenry, outlining the mobilization of women in four states: the East German and West German states before unification; the "stateless state" in East Germany after the collapse of the Wall, and the West German state during unification. Ultimately she finds that the political opportunity structures opened during the "stateless state" closed again with unification, resulting in what Young calls "double gender marginalization."
Brigitte Young is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Otto-Suhr-Institute, Free University Berlin, Germany.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, Vienna and Berlin were centers of scientific knowledge, accompanied by a sense of triumphalism and confidence in progress. Yet they were also sites of fascination with urban decay, often focused on sexual and criminal deviants and the tales of violence surrounding them. Sensational media reports fed the prurient public’s hunger for stories from the criminal underworld: sadism, sexual murder, serial killings, accusations of Jewish ritual child murder—as well as male and female homosexuality.
In Violent Sensations, Scott Spector explores how the protagonists of these stories—people at society’s margins—were given new identities defined by the groundbreaking sciences of psychiatry, sexology, and criminology, and how this expert knowledge was then transmitted to an eager public by journalists covering court cases and police investigations. The book analyzes these sexual and criminal subjects on three levels: first, the expertise of scientists, doctors, lawyers, and scholars; second, the sensationalism of newspaper scandal and pulp fiction; and, third, the subjective ways that the figures themselves came to understand who they were. Throughout, Spector answers important questions about how fantasies of extreme depravity and bestiality figure into the central European self-image of cities as centers of progressive civilization, as well as the ways in which the sciences of social control emerged alongside the burgeoning emancipation of women and homosexuals.
Sex can be an oppressive force, a tool to shame, divide, and control a population. But it can also be a force for change, for the legal and physical challenge of inequity and injustice. In West of Sex, Pablo Mitchell uses court transcripts and criminal cases to provide the first coherent picture of Mexican-American sexuality at the turn of the twentieth century, and a truly revelatory look at sexual identity in the borderlands.
As Mexicans faced a rising tide of racial intolerance in the American West, some found cracks in the legal system that enabled them to assert their rights as full citizens, despite institutional hostility. In these chapters, Mitchell offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of ethnicity and power in the United States, placing ordinary Mexican women and men at the center of the story of American sex, colonialism, and belonging.
Other chapters discuss topics like prostitution, same-sex intimacy, sexual violence, interracial romance, and marriage with an impressive level of detail and complexity. Written in vivid and accessible prose, West of Sex offers readers a new vision of sex and race in American history.
Are there any places where women succeed in science? Numerous studies in recent years have documented and lamented a gender gap in science and engineering. From elementary school through college, women's interest in science steadily declines, and as adults, they are less likely to pursue careers in science-related fields.
Women's Science offers a dramatic counterpoint not only to these findings but also to the related, narrow assumption that "real science" only occurs in research and laboratory investigation. This book describes women engaged with science or engineering at the margins: an innovative high school genetics class; a school-to-work internship for prospective engineers, an environmental action group, and a nonprofit conservation agency. In these places—where people use or rely on science for public, social, or community purposes—the authors found a remarkably high proportion of women. Moreover, these women were successful at learning and using technical knowledge, they advanced in roughly equal percentages to men, and they generally enjoyed their work.
Yet, even in these more marginal workplaces, women had to pay a price. Working outside traditional laboratories, they enjoy little public prestige and receive significantly less financial compensation. Although most employers claimed to treat men and women equally, women in fact only achieved success when they acted like male professionals.
Women's Science is an original and provocative contribution that expands our conception of scientific practice as it reconfigures both women's role in science and the meaning of science in contemporary society.
In the midst of societal optimism, how do young men cope with the loss of a vibrant future? Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia provides a vivid exploration of the tension between subjective and societal time and the ways these tensions create experiences of marginality among under- or unemployed young men in the Republic of Georgia.
Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Martin Demant Frederiksen shows how the Georgian state has attempted to make the so-called post-Soviet transition a thing of the past as it creates new ideas about the future. Yet some young men in the regional capital of Batumi do not feel that they are part of the progression these changes create. Instead, they feel marginalized both by space and time—passed over and without prospects.
This distinctive case study provides empirical evidence for a deeper understanding of contemporary societal developments and their effects on individual experiences.