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Addressing Postmodernity
Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change
Barbara Biesecker
University of Alabama Press, 2000
Reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols. In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.
Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology, the author addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld revealing postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.
Directly confronting the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike and juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.


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African Sacred Groves
Ecological Dynamics and Social Change
Michael J. Sheridan
Ohio University Press, 2007
In western scholarship, Africa’s so-called sacred forests are often treated as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, or cultural relics from a static precolonial past. Their continuing importance in African societies, however, shows that this “relic theory” is inadequate for understanding current social and ecological dynamics. African Sacred Groves challenges dominant views of these landscape features by redefining the subject matter beyond the compelling yet uninformative term “sacred.” The term “ethnoforests” incorporates the environmental, social-political, and symbolic aspects of these forests without giving undue primacy to their religious values. This interdisciplinary
book by an international group of scholars and conservation practitioners provides a methodological framework for understanding these forests by examining their ecological characteristics, delineating how they relate to social dynamics and historical contexts, exploring their ideological aspects, and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses as sites for community-based resource management and the conservation of cultural and biological diversity.

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AIDS Doesn't Show Its Face
Inequality, Morality, and Social Change in Nigeria
Daniel Jordan Smith
University of Chicago Press, 2014
AIDS and Africa are indelibly linked in popular consciousness, but despite widespread awareness of the epidemic, much of the story remains hidden beneath a superficial focus on condoms, sex workers, and antiretrovirals. Africa gets lost in this equation, Daniel Jordan Smith argues, transformed into a mere vehicle to explain AIDS, and in AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face, he offers a powerful reversal, using AIDS as a lens through which to view Africa.

Drawing on twenty years of fieldwork in Nigeria, Smith tells a story of dramatic social changes, ones implicated in the same inequalities that also factor into local perceptions about AIDS—inequalities of gender, generation, and social class. Nigerians, he shows, view both social inequality and the presence of AIDS in moral terms, as kinds of ethical failure. Mixing ethnographies that describe everyday life with pointed analyses of public health interventions, he demonstrates just how powerful these paired anxieties—medical and social—are, and how the world might better alleviate them through a more sensitive understanding of their relationship.

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Animal Rights
Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800
Hilda Kean
Reaktion Books, 1998
In the late twentieth century animals are news. Parliamentary debates, protests against fox hunting and television programs like AnimalHospital all focus on the way in which we treat animals and on what that says about our own humanity. As vegetarianism becomes ever more popular, and animal experimentation more controversial, it is time to trace the background to contemporary debates and to situate them in a broader historical context.

Hilda Kean looks at the cultural and social role of animals from 1800 to the present – at the way in which visual images and myths captured the popular imagination and encouraged sympathy for animals and outrage at their exploitation. From early campaigns against the beating of cattle and ill-treatment of horses to concern for dogs in war and cats in laboratories, she explores the relationship between popular images and public debate and action. She also illustrates how interest in animal rights and welfare was closely aligned with campaigns for political and social reform by feminists, radicals and socialists.

"A thoughtful, effective and well-written book"—The Scotsman

"It could hardly be more timely, and its wonderful material is bound to provoke ... reflection"—The Independent

"A work of great interest"—Sunday Telegraph

"Lively, impressively researched, and well-written ... a book that is timely and valuable"—Times Literary Supplement

"A pleasing balance of anecdote and analysis"—Times Higher Educational Supplement

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Baptist Battles
Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention
Nancy Tatom Ammerman
Rutgers University Press, 1990

Since 1979 Southern Baptists have been noisily struggling to agree on symbols, beliefs, and practices as they attempt to make sense of their changing social world. Nancy Ammerman has carefully documented their struggle. She tells the story of the Baptist reversal from a moderate to a fundamentalist outlook and speculates on the future of the denomination.

Ammerman places change among the Southern Baptists in the context of the cultural and economic changes that have transformed the South from its rural past into an urbanizing, culturally diverse region. Not only did the South change; Southern Baptists did as well. Reflecting this diversity, the Southern Baptist bureaucracy was relatively progressive. During the 1960s and 1970s, moderate sentiments prevailed, while fundamentalists remained on the margins. These two were, however, becoming increasingly divergent in what they considered important about being a Baptist, in their views about the Bible, in their attitudes on the origination of women, on Christian morals, and on national politics.

Late in the 1970s, a fundamentalist coalition emerged, followed by unsuccessful efforts by moderates to oppose it. The battles escalated until 1985, when 45,000 Baptists gathered in Dallas to decide between contending presidential candidates. That dramatic event illustrated the extent to which organized political resources were determining the course of the conflict. Ammerman studies these strategies and resources as well.

Examining how this tension affected Baptists, Ammerman begins with case studies of the change it is producing in Baptist agencies. But she also brings us back to the local churches and individual believers who are renegotiating their relationships within their denomination. She asks whether the denomination’s polity can accommodate an increasingly diverse group of Baptists, of whether the only way dissidents can have a voice is through schism.


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Beyond Feminist Aesthetics
Feminist Literature and Social Change
Rita Felski
Harvard University Press, 1989

Beyond Feminist Aesthetics has a dual focus. First, Rita Felski gives a critical account of current American and European feminist literary theory, and second, she offers an analysis of contemporary fiction by women, drawing in particular on the genres of the autobiographical confession and the novel of self-discovery, in order to show that this literature raises questions for feminism that cannot be answered in terms of a purely gender based analysis.

Felski argues that the idea of a feminist aesthetic is a nonissue that feminists have needlessly pursued; she suggests, in contrast, that it is impossible to speak of “masculine” and “feminine,” “subversive” and “reactionary” literary forms in isolation from the social conditions of their production and reception. The political value of such works of literature from the standpoint of feminism can be determined only by an investigation of their social functions and effects in relation to the interests of women in a particular historical context. This leads her to argue for an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of literature which can integrate literary and social theory, and to develop such an approach by drawing upon the model of a feminist counter-public sphere.

Rita Felski has produced a closely reasoned, stimulating book that creates a new framework for discussing the relationship between literature and feminist politics. It will interest students and teachers of women’s studies, comparative literature, cultural studies, and fiction.


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The Burma Delta
Economic Development and Social Change on an Asian Rice Frontier, 1852–1941
Michael Adas
University of Wisconsin Press, 2011

In the decades following its annexation to the Indian Empire in 1852, Lower Burma (the Irrawaddy-Sittang delta region) was transformed from an underdeveloped and sparsely populated backwater of the Konbaung Empire into the world’s largest exporter of rice. This seminal and far-reaching work focuses on two major aspects of that transformation: the growth of the agrarian sector of the rice industry of Lower Burma and the history of the plural society that evolved largely in response to rapid economic expansion.


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Christianity, Social Change, and Globalization in the Americas
Peterson, Anna L
Rutgers University Press, 2001
This volume resulted from a collaborative research project into responses of Protestant and Catholic religious communities in the Americas to the challenges of globalization. Contributors from the fields of religion, anthropology, political science, and sociology draw on fieldwork in Peru, El Salvador, and the United States to show the interplay of economic globalization, migration, and growing religious pluralism in Latin America.

Organized around three central themes-family, youth, and community; democratization, citizenship, and political participation; and immigration and transnationalism-the book argues that, at the local level, religion helps people, especially women and youths, solidify their identities and confront the challenges of the modern world. Religious communities are seen as both peaceful venues for people to articulate their needs, and forums for building participatory democracies in the Americas. Finally, the contributors examine how religion enfranchises poor women, youths, and people displaced by war or economic change and, at the same time, drives social movements that seek to strengthen family and community bonds disrupted by migration and political violence.


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Cinema and Social Change in Latin America
Conversations with Filmmakers
Edited by Julianne Burton
University of Texas Press, 1986

Since the late 1960s, films from Latin America have won widening audiences in North America and Europe. Until now, no single book has offered an introduction to the diverse personalities and practices that make up this important regional film movement.

In Cinema and Social Change in Latin America, Julianne Burton presents twenty interviews with key figures of Latin American cinema, covering three decades and ranging from Argentina to Mexico. Interviews with pioneers Fernando Birri, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, and Glauber Rocha, renowned feature filmmakers Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Carlos Diegues, prize-winning documentarists Patricio Guzmán and Helena Solberg-Ladd, among others, endeavor to balance personal achievement against the backdrop of historical, political, social, and economic circumstances that have influenced each director's career. Presented also are conversations that cast light on the related activities of acting, distribution, theory, criticism, and film-based community organizing.

More than their counterparts in other regions of the world, Latin American artists and intellectuals acknowledge the degree to which culture is shaped by history and politics. Since the mid-1950s, a period of rising nationalism and regional consciousness, talented young artists and activists have sought to redefine the uses of the film medium in the Latin American context. Questioning the studio and star systems of the Hollywood industrial model, these innovators have developed new forms, content, and processes of production, distribution, and reception.

The specific approaches and priorities of the New Latin American Cinema are far from monolithic. They vary from realism to expressionism, from observational documentary to elaborate fictional constructs, from "imperfect cinema" to a cinema that emulates the high production values of the developed sectors, from self-reflexive to "transparent" cinematic styles, from highly industrialized modes of production to purely artisanal ones. What does not vary is the commitment to film as a vehicle for social transformation and the expression of national and regional cultural autonomy.

From early alternative cinema efforts in Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba to a contemporary perspective from within the Mexican commercial industry to the emerging cinema and video production from Central America, Cinema and Social Change in Latin America offers the most comprehensive look at Latin American film available today.


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City on Fire
Technology, Social Change, and the Hazards of Progress in Mexico City, 1860-1910
Anna Rose Alexander
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
By the mid-nineteenth century, efforts to modernize and industrialize Mexico City had the unintended consequence of exponentially increasing the risk of fire while also breeding a culture of fear. Through an array of archival sources, Anna Rose Alexander argues that fire became a catalyst for social change, as residents mobilized to confront the problem. Advances in engineering and medicine soon fostered the rise of distinct fields of fire-related expertise while conversely, the rise of fire-profiteering industries allowed entrepreneurs to capitalize on crisis.
City on Fire demonstrates that both public and private engagements with fire risk highlight the inequalities that characterized Mexican society at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Coeds Ruining the Nation
Women, Education, and Social Change in Postwar Japanese Media
Julia C. Bullock
University of Michigan Press, 2019
In the late 1800s, Japan introduced a new, sex-segregated educational system. Boys would be prepared to enter a rapidly modernizing public sphere, while girls trained to become “good wives and wise mothers” who would contribute to the nation by supporting their husbands and nurturing the next generation of imperial subjects. When this system was replaced by a coeducational model during the American Occupation following World War II, adults raised with gender-specific standards were afraid coeducation would cause “moral problems”—even societal collapse. By contrast, young people generally greeted coeducation with greater composure. 

This is the first book in English to explore the arguments for and against coeducation as presented in newspaper and magazine articles, cartoons, student-authored school newsletters, and roundtable discussions published in the Japanese press as these reforms were being implemented. It complicates the notion of the postwar years as a moment of rupture, highlighting prewar experiments with coeducation that belied objections that the practice was a foreign imposition and therefore “unnatural” for Japanese culture. It also illustrates a remarkable degree of continuity between prewar and postwar models of femininity, arguing that Occupation-era guarantees of equal educational opportunity were ultimately repurposed toward a gendered division of labor that underwrote the postwar project of economic recovery. Finally, it excavates discourses of gender and sexuality underlying the moral panic surrounding coeducation to demonstrate that claims of rampant sexual deviance, among other concerns, were employed as disciplinary mechanisms meant to reinforce compliance with an ideology of harmonious gender complementarity and to dissuade women from pursuing conventionally masculine prerogatives.
This book will interest scholars of Japanese history and culture and, more broadly, scholars of media, education, and gender and sexuality studies. Written in accessible and engaging language that avoids jargon, it is also suitable for use in undergraduate courses

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Connected Communities
Networks, Identity, and Social Change in the Ancient Cibola World
Matthew A. Peeples
University of Arizona Press, 2018
The Cibola region on the Arizona–New Mexico border has fascinated archaeologists for more than a century. The region’s core is recognized as the ancestral homeland of the contemporary Zuni people, and the area also spans boundaries between the Ancestral Puebloan and Mogollon culture areas. The complexity of cross-cutting regional and cultural designations makes this an ideal context within which to explore the relationship between identity and social change at broad regional scales.

In Connected Communities, Matthew A. Peeples examines a period of dramatic social and political transformation in the ancient Cibola region (ca. A.D. 1150–1325). He analyzes archaeological data generated during a century of research through the lens of new and original social theories and methods focused on exploring identity, social networks, and social transformation. In so doing, he demonstrates the value of comparative, synthetic analysis.

The book addresses some of the oldest enduring questions in archaeology: How do large-scale social identities form? How do they change? How can we study such processes using material remains? Peeples approaches these questions using a new set of methods and models from the broader comparative social sciences (relational sociology and social networks) to track the trajectories of social groups in terms of both networks of interactions (relations) and expressions of similarity or difference (categories). He argues that archaeological research has too often conflated these different kinds of social identity and that this has hindered efforts to understand the drivers of social change.

In his strikingly original approach, Peeples combines massive amounts of new data and comparative explorations of contemporary social movements to provide new insights into how social identities formed and changed during this key period.

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Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change
Experiences from Rural Latin America
Edited by Marcela Vásquez-León, Brian J. Burke, and Timothy J. Finan
University of Arizona Press

Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change presents examples from Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia, examining what is necessary for smallholder agricultural cooperatives to support holistic community-based development in peasant communities. Reporting on successes and failures of these cooperative efforts, the contributors offer analyses and strategies for supporting collective grassroots interests. Illustrating how poverty and inequality affect rural people, they reveal how cooperative organizations can support grassroots development strategies while negotiating local contexts of inequality amid the broader context of international markets and global competition.

The contributors explain the key desirable goals from cooperative efforts among smallholder producers. They are to provide access to more secure livelihoods, expand control over basic resources and commodity chains, improve quality of life in rural areas, support community infrastructure, and offer social spaces wherein small farmers can engage politically in transforming their own communities.

The stories in Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change reveal immense opportunities and challenges. Although cooperatives have often been framed as alternatives to the global capitalist system, they are neither a panacea nor the hegemonic extension of neoliberal capitalism. Through one of the most thorough cross-country comparisons of cooperatives to date, this volume shows the unfiltered reality of cooperative development in highly stratified societies, with case studies selected specifically because they offer important lessons regarding struggles and strategies for adapting to a changing social, economic, and natural environment.


Luis Barros
Brian J. Burke
Charles Cox
Luis Alberto Cuéllar Gómez
Miguel Ricardo Dávila Ladrón de Guevara
Elisa Echagüe
Timothy J. Finan
Andrés González Aguilera
Sonia Carolina López Cerón
Joana Laura Marinho Nogueira
João Nicédio Alves Nogueira
Jessica Piekielek
María Isabel Ramírez Anaya
Rodrigo F. Rentería-Valencia
Lilliana Andrea Ruiz Marín
Marcela Vásquez-León


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Criticism and Social Change
Frank Lentricchia
University of Chicago Press, 1984
"Criticism and Social Change speaks with special timeliness to the role of the political intellectual (here embodied in Kenneth Burke). Lentricchia's provocative analysis demands serious reflection by American radicals."—Frederic Jameson

"A profound meditation on relations obtaining among writing, political consciousness, and criticism—this last taken in its most general sense. It is written with passion and grace; it is shot through with learning, intimate knowledge of the critical tradition, and a deep (though by no means uncritical) understanding of the work (as well as social significance) of Kenneth Burke."—Hayden White

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Cueva Blanca
Social Change in the Archaic of the Valley of Oaxaca
Kent V. Flannery and Frank Hole
University of Michigan Press, 2019
Cueva Blanca lies in a volcanic tuff cliff some 4 km northwest of Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico. It is one of a series of Archaic sites excavated by Kent Flannery and Frank Hole as part of a project on the prehistory and human ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca. The oldest stratigraphic level in Cueva Blanca yielded Late Pleistocene fauna, including some species no longer present in southern Mexico. The second oldest level, Zone E, produced Early Archaic material with calibrated dates as old as 11,000–10,000 BC .  Zones D and C provided a rich Late Archaic assemblage whose closest ties are with the Abejas phase of Puebla’s Tehuacán Valley (fourth millennium BC).  Spatial analyses undertaken on the Archaic living floors include (1) the drawing of density contours for tools and animal bones; (2) a search for Archaic tool kits using rank-order and cluster analysis; and (3) an attempt to define Binfordian “drop zones” using an approach drawn from computer vision.

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Dimensions of the Americas
Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States
Shifra M. Goldman
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Acclaimed art historian Shifra Goldman here provides the first overview of the social history of modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art. Long needed in the field of art history, this collection of thirty-three essays focuses on Latin American artists throughout Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Goldman's extensive introduction provides an up-to-date chronology of modern Latin American art; a history of "social art history" in the United States; and synopses of recent theoretical and historical writings by major scholars from Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, and the United States. In her essays, Goldman discusses a vast array of topics including: the influence of the Mexican muralists on the American continent; the political and artistic significance of poster art and printmaking in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and among Chicanos; the role of women artists such as Guatemalan painter Isabel Ruiz; and the increasingly important role of politics and multinational businesses in the art world of the 1970s and 1980s. She explores the reception of Latin American and Latino art in the United States, focusing on major historical exhibits as well as on exhibits by artists such as Chilean Alfredo Jaar and Argentinian Leandro Katz. Finally, she examines the significance of nationalist and ethnic themes in Latin American and Latino art.

Written in a straightforward style equally accessible to specialists, students, and general audiences, this book will become essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the importance of Latin American art and the complex dynamic shaping it.

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Disease Prevention as Social Change
The State, Society, and Public Health in the United States, France, Great Britain, and Canada
Constance A. Nathanson
Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
From mad-cow disease and E. coli-tainted spinach in the food supply to anthrax scares and fears of a bird flu pandemic, national health threats are a perennial fact of American life. Yet not all crises receive the level of attention they seem to merit. The marked contrast between the U.S. government's rapid response to the anthrax outbreak of 2001 and years of federal inaction on the spread of AIDS among gay men and intravenous drug users underscores the influence of politics and public attitudes in shaping the nation's response to health threats. In Disease Prevention as Social Change, sociologist Constance Nathanson argues that public health is inherently political, and explores the social struggles behind public health interventions by the governments of four industrialized democracies. Nathanson shows how public health policies emerge out of battles over power and ideology, in which social reformers clash with powerful interests, from dairy farmers to tobacco lobbyists to the Catholic Church. Comparing the history of four public health dilemmas—tuberculosis and infant mortality at the turn of the last century, and more recently smoking and AIDS—in the United States, France, Britain, and Canada, Nathanson examines the cultural and institutional factors that shaped reform movements and led each government to respond differently to the same health challenges. She finds that concentrated political power is no guarantee of government intervention in the public health domain. France, an archetypical strong state, has consistently been decades behind other industrialized countries in implementing public health measures, in part because political centralization has afforded little opportunity for the development of grassroots health reform movements. In contrast, less government centralization in America has led to unusually active citizen-based social movements that campaigned effectively to reduce infant mortality and restrict smoking. Public perceptions of health risks are also shaped by politics, not just science. Infant mortality crusades took off in the late nineteenth century not because of any sudden rise in infant mortality rates, but because of elite anxieties about the quantity and quality of working-class populations. Disease Prevention as Social Change also documents how culture and hierarchies of race, class, and gender have affected governmental action—and inaction—against particular diseases. Informed by extensive historical research and contemporary fieldwork, Disease Prevention as Social Change weaves compelling narratives of the political and social movements behind modern public health policies. By comparing the vastly different outcomes of these movements in different historical and cultural contexts, this path-breaking book advances our knowledge of the conditions in which social activists can succeed in battles over public health.

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Dolor y Alegria
Women and Social Change in Urban Mexico
Sarah LeVine; In Collaboration with Clara Sunderland Correa
University of Wisconsin Press, 1993
     In Dolor y Alegría (Sorrow and Joy), fifteen mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca speak about the dramatic effects that urbanization and rapid social change have had on their lives.  Sarah LeVine deftly combines these autobiographical vignettes with ethnographic material, survey findings, and her own observations.  The result is a vivid picture of contrast and continuity.
     While many earlier publications have focused on the poor of Latin America who live at the margins of urban life, Dolor y Alegría explores the experiences of ordinary working and lower-middle class women, most of them transplants from villages and small towns to a densely populated city neighborhood.  In their early years, many experienced family disruption, emotional deprivation, and economic hardship; but steadily increasing educational opportunities, improved health care, and easily available contraception have significantly altered how the younger women relate to their families and the larger society.
     Today’s Mexican schoolgirl, LeVine shows, is encouraged to apply herself to her studies for her own benefit, and the longer she remains in school, the greater the self-confidence she will carry with her into the world of work and later into marriage and motherhood.  Hard economic times have forced many married women into the workplace where their sense of personal efficacy is enhanced; at the same time, in the domestic sphere, their earnings allow them greater negotiating power with husbands and male relatives.  Changes are not confined to the younger generation.  Older women are enjoying better health and living longer; but with adult children either less able or willing to accept responsibility for aged parents than they were in the past, anxiety runs high and family relations are often strained.
     Dolor y Alegría takes a close look at the efforts of three generations of Mexican women to redefine themselves in both family and workplace; it shows that today’s young woman has very different expectations of herself and others from those that her grandmother or even her mother had.

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Emergent Masculinities
Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafran Atlantic Age
Ndubueze L. Mbah
Ohio University Press, 2019

In Emergent Masculinities, Ndubueze L. Mbah argues that the Bight of Biafra region’s Atlanticization—or the interaction between regional processes and Atlantic forces such as the slave trade, colonialism, and Christianization—between 1750 and 1920 transformed gender into the primary mode of social differentiation in the region. He incorporates over 250 oral narratives of men and women across a range of social roles and professions with material culture practices, performance traditions, slave ship data, colonial records, and more to reveal how Africans channeled the socioeconomic forces of the Atlantic world through their local ideologies and practices. The gendered struggles over the means of social reproduction conditioned the Bight of Biafra region’s participation in Atlantic systems of production and exchange, and defined the demography of the region’s forced diaspora. By looking at male and female constructions of masculinity and sexuality as major indexes of social change, Emergent Masculinities transforms our understanding of the role of gender in precolonial Africa and fills a major gap in our knowledge of a broader set of theoretical and comparative issues linked to the slave trade and the African diaspora.


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Enduring Polygamy
Plural Marriage and Social Change in an African Metropolis
Bruce Whitehouse
Rutgers University Press, 2023

Why hasn’t polygamous marriage died out in African cities, as experts once expected it would? Enduring Polygamy considers this question in one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities: Bamako, the capital of Mali, where one in four wives is in a polygamous marriage. Using polygamy as a lens through which to survey sweeping changes in urban life, it offers ethnographic and demographic insights into the customs, gender norms and hierarchies, kinship structures, and laws affecting marriage, and situates polygamy within structures of inequality that shape marital options, especially for young Malian women. Through an approach of cultural relativism, the book offers an open-minded but unflinching perspective on a contested form of marriage. Without shying away from questions of patriarchy and women’s oppression, it presents polygamy from the everyday vantage points of Bamako residents themselves, allowing readers to make informed judgments about it and to appreciate the full spectrum of human cultural diversity.


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Engaged Spirituality
Social Change and American Religion
Stanczak, Gregory C
Rutgers University Press, 2006

In Engaged Spirituality, Gregory C. Stanczak challenges this assumption, arguing that spirituality plays an important social role as well. Based on more than one hundred interviews with individuals of diverse faith traditions, the book shows how prayer, meditation, and ritual provide foundations for activism. Among the stories, a Buddhist monk in Los Angeles intimately describes the physical sensations of strength and compassion that sweep her body when she recites the Buddha’s name in times of selfless service, and a Protestant reverend explains how the calm serenity that she feels during retreats allows her to direct her multi-service agency in San Francisco to creative successes that were previously unimaginable.

In an age when Madonna studies Kabbalah and the internet is bringing Buddhism to the white middle-class, it is clear that formal religious affiliations are no longer enough. Stanczak’s critical examination of spirituality provides us with a way of discussing the factors that impel individuals into social activism and forces us to rethink the question of how “religion” and “spirituality” might be defined.


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Equal Play
Title IX and Social Change
Nancy Hogshead-Makar
Temple University Press, 2007
One of the least understood issues in federal sports policy, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 reflects the nation's aspirational belief that girls and boys, women and men, deserve equal educational opportunities in athletics.  Equal Play shows how this ideal has been implemented -- and thwarted -- by actions in every branch of the federal government.

This reader addresses issues in sports before Title IX and the backlash that has resulted from the policy being instituted.  The editors have collected the best scholarly writing on the landmark events of the last four decades and couple these with new original essays, primary documents from court cases, administrative regulations, and relevant supporting sources.  The result is the most comprehensive single-volume work on the subject.

Equal Play includes essays by many well-known sports journalists who discuss how government actions have shaped, supported, and hindered the goal of gender equality in school athletics.  They discuss the history of women in sports, analyze the meaning of "equal opportunity" for female athletes, and examine shifts in arguments for and against Title IX.  Equal Play will interest anyone who is concerned with gender issues in American athletics and the growth of college sports.

Contributors include: Susan Cahn, Donna de Varona, Julie Foudy, Jessica Gavora, Bil Gilbert, Christine Grant, Mariah Burton Nelson, Gary R. Roberts, Don Sabo, Larry Schwartz, Michael Sokolove, Welch Suggs, Nancy Williamson, and the editors.

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The Farm Labor Movement in the Midwest
Social Change and Adaptation among Migrant Farmworkers
By W. K. Barger and Ernesto M. Reza
University of Texas Press, 1994

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) was founded by Baldemar Velásquez in 1967 to challenge the poverty and powerlessness that confronted migrant farmworkers in the Midwest. This study documents FLOC's development through its first quarter century and analyzes its effectiveness as a social reform movement.

Barger and Reza describe FLOC's founding as a sister organization of the United Farm Workers (UFW). They devote particular attention to FLOC's eight-year struggle (1978-1986) with the Campbell Soup company that led to three-way contracts for improved working conditions between FLOC, Campbell Soup, and Campbell's tomato and cucumber growers in Ohio and Michigan. This contract significantly changed the structure of agribusiness and instituted key reforms in American farm labor.

The authors also address the processes of social change involved in FLOC actions. Their findings are based on extensive research among farmworkers, growers, and representatives of agribusiness, as well as personal involvement with FLOC leaders and supporters.


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Fighting Words
Polemics and Social Change in Literary Naturalism
Ira Wells
University of Alabama Press, 2013
An entirely new understanding of what literary naturalism is and why it matters
Ira Wells, countering the standard narrative of literary naturalism’s much-touted concern with environmental and philosophical determinism, draws attention to the polemical essence of the genre and demonstrates how literary naturalists engaged instead with explosive political and cultural issues that remain fervently debated today. Naturalist writers, Wells argues in Fighting Words, are united less by a coherent philosophy than by an attitude, a posture of aggressive controversy, which happens to cluster loosely around particular social issues. To an extent not yet appreciated, literary naturalists took controversial—and frequently contrarian—positions on a wide range of literary, political, and social issues.
Frank Norris, for instance, famously declared the innate inferiority of female novelists and frequently wrote about literature in tones suggestive of racial warfare. Theodore Dreiser once advocated, with deadly earnestness, a program of state-run infanticide for disabled or unwanted children. Richard Wright praised the Stalin-Hitler agreement of 1939 as “a great step toward peace.” While many of their arguments were irascible, attention-seeking, and self-consciously inflammatory, the combative spirit that fueled these outbursts remains central to the canonical texts of the movement.
Wells considers Frank Norris’s The Octopus in light of the emerging discourses of environmentalism and ecological despoliation, and examines the issue of abortion in Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy. A chapter on Richard Wright’s Native Son takes issue with traditional humanistic readings of its protagonist by analyzing the disturbing relationship between terrorism and lynching as a crime and punishment that resists formal incorporation into the law.
By highlighting the contentious rhetoric that infuses the canonical texts of literary naturalism, Fighting Words opens up a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary interrogation of racial, sexual, and environmental polemics in American culture.

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Following Father Chiniquy
Immigration, Religious Schism, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Illinois
Caroline B. Brettell
Southern Illinois University Press, 2015

Winner, ISHS Certificate of Excellence, 2016

In the late 1850s and early 1860s, the attention of the Catholic and Protestant religious communities around the world focused on a few small settlements of French Canadian immigrants in northeastern Illinois. Soon after arriving in their new home, a large number of these immigrants, led by Father Charles Chiniquy, the charismatic Catholic priest who had brought them there, converted to Protestantism. In this anthropological history, Caroline B. Brettell explores how Father Chiniquy took on both the sacred and the secular authority of the Catholic Church to engineer the religious schism and how the legacy of this rift affected the lives of the immigrants and their descendants for generations. This intriguing study of a nineteenth-century migration of French Canadians to the American Midwest offers an innovative perspective on the immigrant experience in America.

Brettell chronicles how Chiniquy came to lead approximately one thousand French Canadian families to St. Anne, Illinois, in the early 1850s and how his conflict with the Catholic hierarchy over the ownership and administration of church property, delivery of the mass in French instead of Latin, and access to the Bible by laymen led to his excommunication. Drawing on the concept of social drama—a situation of intensely lived conflict that emerges within social groups—Brettell explains the religious schism in terms of larger ethnic and religious disagreements that were happening elsewhere in the United States and in Canada. Brettell also explores legal disputes, analyzes the reemergence of Catholicism in St. Anne in the first decade of the twentieth century, addresses the legacy of Chiniquy in both the United States and Quebec, and closely examines the French Canadian immigrant communities, focusing on the differences between the people who converted to Protestantism and those who remained Catholic.

Occurring when nativism was pervasive and the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party was at its height, Chiniquy’s religious schism offers an opportunity to examine a range of important historical and anthropological issues, including immigration, ethnicity, and religion; changes in household and family structure; the ways social identities are constructed and reconstructed through time; and the significance of charismatic leadership in processes of social and religious change. Through its multidisciplinary approach, Brettell’s enlightening study provides a pioneering assessment of larger national tensions and social processes, some of which are still evident in modern immigration to the United States.


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German Buenos Aires, 1900–1933
Social Change and Cultural Crisis
By Ronald C. Newton
University of Texas Press, 1977

This study of the German community of early twentieth-century Buenos Aires is a major contribution to the literature on Argentine history and on the New World immigrant experience. Beginning with the first wave of immigration in the late nineteenth century and continuing to the outbreak of World War II, Ronald C. Newton reconstructs the growth, development, and influence of a powerful foreign population in what was then the largest city in South America.

In the three decades before World War I, Argentina became a major food-producing and exporting country. Through the port of Buenos Aires was funneled the bulk of the Pampas’ foodstuff and fiber in one direction and Europe’s capital, technology, and surplus labor in the other. The German speakers made up one of the smaller Western European communities within the Argentine metropolis, but their cultural and economic influence was far out of proportion to their numbers. Based in a large and occupationally diverse middle class, the German community was represented at all social levels. Newton analyzes the experience of this well-demarcated group during a period of rapid demographic growth and increasing pressure to assimilate. He constructs working hypotheses that may be applied and refined in further investigations.

The book draws substantially on materials from within the Buenos Aires German community—newspapers, memoirs, the records of associations and welfare agencies—to reconstruct its intense daily life. The author highlights, for instance, the sharp economic reversals German-speaking residents suffered during World War I and shows how their fortunes declined further after continued Germanic immigration in the 1920s. Especially significant is his finding that the German community, which until 1914 had seemed impervious to the currents of Argentine nationalism, became susceptible to assimilation into Argentine society. In concluding chapters Newton demonstrates the way the German economic elite came to terms with the Nazis for opportunistic reasons; thus, the volume also serves as an introduction to the question of Nazism’s diffusion in Argentina.


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Germania, USA
Social Change in New Ulm, Minnesota
Noel Iverson
University of Minnesota Press, 1967

Germania, USA was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

An unusual community in southern Minnesota, New Ulm, a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, is the subject of this sociological study. New Ulm was founded in 1856 by a group of German immigrants who came to the United States as refugees from the revolution of 1848 in Germany. They were members of the Turnverein, a society of liberal thinkers who were a political minority in Germany. In founding New Ulm they established a "utopian" ethnic community, became the town's status elite, and for a long time monopolized its economic, political, and cultural life.

Professor Iverson analyzes four aspects of sociological change in the community—class, status, power, and assimilation. Each aspect is viewed according to the differences found between two generations of the upper status group, the Turners, and two corresponding generations of non-Turners.

In addition to its substantive contribution to our knowledge of ethnic settlements, the study demonstrates a gain in methodological precision over many earlier studies of ethnic communities. Its chief methodological innovation is in the use of scales to verify and measure the changing structure of class, status, and power, and to gauge the extent of assimilation.

The book is of interest not only to sociologists, especially those concerned with the study of community change, but also to political scientists interested in the study of community power structures. Also, the methodology will be instructive to those interested in the design of community studies.


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Globalizing the Caribbean
Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class
Jeb Sprague
Temple University Press, 2019

The beautiful Caribbean basin is fertile ground for a study of capitalism past and present. Transnational corporations move money and labor around the region, as national regulations are reworked to promote conditions benefiting private capital. Globalizing the Caribbean offers a probing account of the region’s experience of economic globalization while considering gendered and racialized social relations and the frequent exploitation of workers.

Jeb Sprague focuses on the social and material nature of this new era in the history of world capitalism. He combines an historical overview of capitalism in the region with theoretical analysis backed by case studies. Sprague elaborates upon the role of class formation and the restructuring of local states. He considers both U.S. hegemony, and how various upsurges from below and crises occur. He examines the globalization of the cruise ship and mining businesses, looks at the growth of migrant labor and reverse flow of remittances, and describes the evolving role of export processing and supranational associations. In doing so, Sprague shows how transnationally oriented elites have come to rule the Caribbean, and how capitalist globalization in the region occurs alongside shifting political, institutional, and organizational dynamics.


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Governing Pleasures
Pornography and Social Change in England, 1815-1914
Sigel, Lisa Z.
Rutgers University Press, 2002
Governing Pleasures is a historical account of the production, distribution, and consumption of pornography in Great Britain from the early nineteenth century to the turn of the twentieth. Lisa Z. Sigel examines how pornography changed over time as a cultural and symbolic object in British society, and asks: What was considered pornographic? Who looked at pornography and read it? What sorts of messages did this medium transmit to both men and women? What was its thematic content, who controlled it, and how did these messages affect sexual and social dynamics?In contrast to recent ahistorical feminist assertions that pornography necessarily teaches men how to oppress women, Sigel views the use of pornography through the lens of historical and social change. In a careful analysis, she illustrates the cultural complexities of the medium and links Victorian pornography to other arenas such as language, science, consumerism, and politics. Most importantly, the author asserts that pornography offered a way for people to make sense of sexuality and its relationship to their world.Governing Pleasures is a greatly needed examination of a neglected topic. Access to public and private collections of pornography has enabled the author to provide vivid illustrations to bolster her arguments.

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Health and Social Change in International Perspective
Lincoln C. Chen
Harvard University Press, 1994

Health and Social Change in International Perspective brings together an unprecedented interdisciplinary series of approaches to understanding the social dimensions of health change around the world. The seventeen contributors—demographers, epidemiologists, economists, anthropologists, public health scientists—are among the intellectual leaders of efforts to respond to the world’s health challenges.

Moving beyond the limits of established theories about demographic and epidemiologic transition, this book offers broad explorations of the social causes and consequences of health change. Consensus is reached on some matters, but critical debate and controversy predominate in others. The authors address several critical questions: What are the forms and structures of health transitions? Do these changes assume universally consistent patterns, or are health transitions particularistic, reflecting space, time, and community? What are the methodological issues in definition and measurement? And how can understanding improve health policy, interventions, and the research agenda?

Exploring new frontiers of a vital topic, Health and Social Change in International Perspective is an invaluable resource for social and health scientists working to understand world health change.


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Hot Feet and Social Change
African Dance and Diaspora Communities
Edited by Kariamu Welsh, Esailama Diouf, and Yvonne Daniel
University of Illinois Press, 2019
The popularity and profile of African dance have exploded across the African diaspora in the last fifty years. Hot Feet and Social Change presents traditionalists, neo-traditionalists, and contemporary artists, teachers, and scholars telling some of the thousands of stories lived and learned by people in the field. Concentrating on eight major cities in the United States, the essays challenges myths about African dance while demonstrating its power to awaken identity, self-worth, and community respect. These voices of experience share personal accounts of living African traditions, their first encounters with and ultimate embrace of dance, and what teaching African-based dance has meant to them and their communities. Throughout, the editors alert readers to established and ongoing research, and provide links to critical contributions by African and Caribbean dance experts.

Contributors: Ausettua Amor Amenkum, Abby Carlozzo, Steven Cornelius, Yvonne Daniel, Charles “Chuck” Davis, Esailama G. A. Diouf, Indira Etwaroo, Habib Iddrisu, Julie B. Johnson, C. Kemal Nance, Halifu Osumare, Amaniyea Payne, William Serrano-Franklin, and Kariamu Welsh


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The Human Meaning of Social Change
Angus and Converse, Philip E. Campbell
Russell Sage Foundation, 1972
This book is a companion piece to Sheldon and Moore's Indicators of Social Change. Whereas Indicators of Social Change was concerned with various kinds of "hard" data, typically sociostructural, this book is devoted chiefly to so-called "softer" data of a more social-psychological sort: the attitudes, expectations, aspirations, and values of the American population. The book deals with the meaning of change from two points of view. First, it is interested in the human meaning which people attribute to the complex social environment in which they find themselves; their understanding of group relations, the political process, and the consumer economy in which they participate. Secondly, it discusses the impact that the various alternatives offered by the environment have on the nature of their lives and the fulfillment of those lives. The twelve essays which make up the volume deal successively with the major domains of life. Each author sets forth an inclusive statement of the most significant dimensions of psychological change in a specific area of life, to review the state of present information, and to project the measurements needed to improve understanding of these changes in the future.

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Impact of Migration on Poland
EU Mobility and Social Change
Anne White, Izabela Grabowska, Pawel Kaczmarczyk, and Krystyna Slany
University College London, 2018
How has the international mobility of Polish citizens intertwined with other influences to shape society, culture, politics, and economics in contemporary Poland?

The Impact of Migration on Poland offers a new approach for understanding how migration affects sending countries and provides a wide-ranging analysis of how Poland has changed, and continues to change, since accession to the European Union in 2004. The authors explore an array of social trends and their causes before using in-depth interview data to illustrate how migration contributes to those causes. They address fundamental questions about whether and how Polish society is becoming more equal and more cosmopolitan, arguing that for particular segments of society migration does make a difference. While the book focuses mainly on those who have stayed in Poland, and their contacts with Poles in other countries, it also analyzes Polish society abroad, a concept that is a far more accurate description than “community” in countries such as the UK.

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Indicators of Social Change
Concepts and Measurements
Eleanor Bernert Sheldon
Russell Sage Foundation, 1968
Includes many original contributions by an assembly of distinguished social scientists. They set forth the main features of a changing American society: how its organization for accomplishing major social change has evolved, and how its benefits and deficits are distributed among the various parts of the population. Theoretical developments in the social sciences and the vast impact of current events have contributed to a resurgence of interest in social change; in its causes, measurement, and possible prediction. These essays analyze what we know, and examine what we need to know in the study, prediction, and possible control of social change.

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Indigenous Migration and Social Change
The Foresteros of Cuzco, 1570-1720
Ann M. Wightman
Duke University Press, 1990
Many observers in colonial Spanish America—whether clerical, governmental, or foreign—noted the large numbers of forasteros, or Indians who were not seemingly attached to any locality. These migrants, or “wanderers,” offended the bureaucratic sensibilities of the Spanish administration, as they also frustrated their tax and revenue efforts. Ann M. Wightman’s research on these early “undocumentals” in the Cuzco region of Peru reveals much of importance on Andean society and its adaptation and resistance to Spanish cultural and political hegemony. The book thereby informs our understanding of social change in the colonial period.
Wightman shows that the dismissal of the forasteros as marginalized rural poor is superficial at best, and through laborious and painstaking archival research she presents a clear picture of the transformation of traditional society as the native populations coped with the disruptions of the conquest—and in doing so, reveals the reciprocal adaptations of the colonial power. Her choice of Cuzco is particularly appropriate, as this was a “heartland” region crucial to both the Incan and Spanish empires. The questions addressed by Wightman are of great concern to current Andean ethnohistory, one of the liveliest areas of such research, and are sure to have an important impact.

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Into Africa
A Transnational History of Catholic Medical Missions and Social Change
Wall, Barbra Mann
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Winner of the 2016 Lavinia Dock Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing

 Awarded first place in the 2016 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in the History and Public Policy category

The most dramatic growth of Christianity in the late twentieth century has occurred in Africa, where Catholic missions have played major roles. But these missions did more than simply convert Africans. Catholic sisters became heavily involved in the Church’s health services and eventually in relief and social justice efforts. In Into Africa, Barbra Mann Wall offers a transnational history that reveals how Catholic medical and nursing sisters established relationships between local and international groups, sparking an exchange of ideas that crossed national, religious, gender, and political boundaries.
Both a nurse and a historian, Wall explores this intersection of religion, medicine, gender, race, and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the years following World War II, a period when European colonial rule was ending and Africans were building new governments, health care institutions, and education systems. She focuses specifically on hospitals, clinics, and schools of nursing in Ghana and Uganda run by the Medical Mission Sisters of Philadelphia; in Nigeria and Uganda by the Irish Medical Missionaries of Mary; in Tanzania by the Maryknoll Sisters of New York; and in Nigeria by a local Nigerian congregation. Wall shows how, although initially somewhat ethnocentric, the sisters gradually developed a deeper understanding of the diverse populations they served. In the process, their medical and nursing work intersected with critical social, political, and cultural debates that continue in Africa today: debates about the role of women in their local societies, the relationship of women to the nursing and medical professions and to the Catholic Church, the obligations countries have to provide care for their citizens, and the role of women in human rights.
A groundbreaking contribution to the study of globalization and medicine, Into Africa highlights the importance of transnational partnerships, using the stories of these nuns to enhance the understanding of medical mission work and global change.

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Inventing the Modern American Family
Family Values and Social Change in 20th Century United States
Editedy by Isabel Heinemann
Campus Verlag, 2012
Family is the foundation of society, and debates on family norms have always touched the very heart of America. This volume investigates the negotiations and transformations of family values and gender norms in the twentieth century as they relate to the overarching processes of social change of that period. By combining long-term approaches with innovative analysis, Inventing the “Modern American Family” transcends not only the classical dichotomies between women’s studies and masculinity studies, but also contribute substantially to the history of gender and culture in the United States.

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Invitations to Love
Literacy, Love Letters, and Social Change in Nepal
Laura M. Ahearn
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Invitations to Love provides a close examination of the dramatic shift away from arranged marriage and capture marriage toward elopement in the village of Junigau, Nepal. Laura M. Ahearn shows that young Nepalese people are applying their newly acquired literacy skills to love-letter writing, fostering a transition that involves not only a shift in marriage rituals, but also a change in how villagers conceive of their own ability to act and attribute responsibility for events. These developments have potential ramifications that extend far beyond the realm of marriage and well past the Himalayas.

The love-letter correspondences examined by Ahearn also provide a deeper understanding of the social effects of literacy. While the acquisition of literary skills may open up new opportunities for some individuals, such skills can also impose new constraints, expectations, and disappointments. The increase in female literacy rates in Junigau in the 1990s made possible the emergence of new courtship practices and facilitated self-initiated marriages, but it also reinforced certain gender ideologies and undercut some avenues to social power, especially for women.

Scholars, and students in such fields as anthropology, women's studies, linguistics, development studies, and South Asian studies will find this book ethnographically rich and theoretically insightful.
Laura M. Ahearn is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University.

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Karl Marx on Society and Social Change
With Selections by Friedrich Engels
Karl Marx
University of Chicago Press, 1973
This volume presents those writings of Marx that best reveal his contribution to sociology, particularly to the theory of society and social change. The editor, Neil J. Smelser, has divided these selections into three topical sections and has also included works by Friedrich Engels.

The first section, "The Structure of Society," contains Marx's writings on the material basis of classes, the basis of the state, and the basis of the family. Among the writings included in this section are Marx's well-known summary from the Preface of A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy and his equally famous observations on the functional significance of religion in relation to politics.

The second section is titled "The Sweep of Historical Change." The first selection here contains Marx's first statement of the main precapitalist forms of production. The second selection focuses on capitalism, its contradictions, and its impending destruction. Two brief final selections treat the nature of communism, particularly its freedom from the kinds of contradictions that have plagued all earlier forms of societies.

The last section, "The Mechanisms of Change," reproduces several parts of Marx's analysis of the mechanisms by which contradictions develop in capitalism and generate group conflicts. Included is an analysis of competition and its effects on the various classes, a discussion of economic crises and their effects on workers, and Marx's presentation of the historical specifics of the class struggle.

In his comprehensive Introduction to the selections, Professor Smelser provides a biography of Marx, indentifies the various intellectual traditions which formed the background for Marx's writings, and discusses the selections which follow. The editor describes Marx's conception of society as a social system, the differences between functionalism and Marx's theories, and the dynamics of economic and political change as analyzed by Marx.

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Language Of Experience
Literate Practices And Social Change
Gwen Gorzelsky
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005

The Language of Experience examines the relationship between literacy and change--both personal and social. Gorzelsky studies three cases, two historical and one contemporary, that speak to key issues on the national education agenda.

"Struggle" is a community literacy program for urban teens and parents. It encourages them to reflect on, articulate, and revise their life goals and design and implement strategies for reaching them. To provide historical context for this and other contemporary efforts in using literacy to promote social change, Gorzelsky analyzes two radical religious and political movements of the English Civil Wars and the 1930s unionizing movement in the Pittsburgh region. Charting the similarities and differences in the function of literate practices in each case shows how different situations and contexts can foster very different outcomes.

Gorzelsky's analytic frame is drawn from Gestalt theory, which emphasizes the holistic nature of perception, communication, and learning. Through it she views how discourse and language structures interact with experience and how this interaction changes awareness and perception.

The book is methodologically innovative in its integration of a macro-social view of cultural, social, and discursive structures with a micro-social view of the potential for change embodied in them. Through her analysis and in her use of the voices of the people she studies, Gorzelsky offers a tool for analyzing individual instances of literate practices and their potential for fostering change.


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Law and Social Change in Postwar Japan
Frank K. Upham
Harvard University Press, 1987

Many people believe that conflict in the well-disciplined Japanese society is so rare that the Japanese legal system is of minor importance. Frank Upham shows conclusively that this view is mistaken and demonstrates that the law is extensively used, on the one hand, by aggrieved groups to articulate their troubles and mobilize political support and, on the other, by the government to channel and manage conflict after it has arisen.

This is the first Western book to take law seriously as an integral part of the dynamics of Japanese business and society, and to show how an informal legal system can work in a complex industrial democracy. Upham does this by focusing on four recent controversies with broad social implications: first, how Japan dealt with the world’s worst industrial pollution and eventually became a model for Western environmental reforms; second, how the police and courts have allowed one Japanese outcast group to use carefully orchestrated physical coercion to achieve wide-ranging affirmative action programs; third, how Japanese working women used the courts to force employers to eliminate many forms of discrimination and eventually convinced the government to pass an equal employment opportunity act; and, finally, how the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and various sectors of Japanese industry have used legal doctrine to cope with the dramatic changes in Japan’s economy over the last twenty-five years.

Readers interested in the interaction of law and society generally; those interested in contemporary Japanese sociology, politics, and anthropology; and American lawyers, businessmen, and government officials who want to understand how law works in Japan will all need this unusual new book.


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Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change
Lauran R. Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani, eds.
Duke University Press, 2008
Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change is the first systematic and detailed overview of modern Tibetan literature, which has burgeoned only in the last thirty years. This comprehensive collection brings together fourteen pioneering scholars in the nascent field of Tibetan literary studies, including authors who are active in the Tibetan literary world itself. These scholars examine the literary output of Tibetan authors writing in Tibetan, Chinese, and English, both in Tibet and in the Tibetan diaspora.

The contributors explore the circumstances that led to the development of modern Tibetan literature, its continuities and breaks with classical Tibetan literary forms, and the ways that writers use forms such as magical realism, satire, and humor to negotiate literary freedom within the People’s Republic of China. They provide crucial information about Tibetan writers’ lives in China and abroad, the social and political contexts in which they write, and the literary merits of their oeuvre. Along with deep social, cultural, and political analysis, this wealth of information clarifies the complex circumstances that Tibetan writers face in the PRC and the diaspora. The contributors consider not only poetry, short stories, and novels but also other forms of cultural production—such as literary magazines, films, and Web sites—that provide a public forum in the Tibetan areas of the PRC, where censorship and restrictions on public gatherings remain the norm. Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change includes a previously unavailable list of modern Tibetan works translated into Western languages and a comprehensive English-language index of names, subjects, and terms.

Contributors: Pema Bhum, Howard Y. F. Choy, Yangdon Dhondup, Lauran R. Hartley, Hortsang Jigme, Matthew T. Kapstein, Nancy G. Lin, Lara Maconi, Françoise Robin, Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani, Ronald D. Schwartz, Tsering Shakya, Sangye Gyatso (aka Gangzhün), Steven J. Venturino,
Riika Virtanen


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Music and Social Change in South Africa
Maskanda Past and Present
Kathryn Olsen
Temple University Press, 2014
Music and Social Change in South Africa looks at contemporary maskanda-a folk musical genre distinguished by fast guitar picking and blues-style vocal intonation-against the backdrop of South Africa's history. A performance practice that emerged in the early decades of the twentieth century among Zulu migrant workers, maskanda is strongly associated with young Zulu men's experiences of repression and dislocation during imperial and, more particularly, apartheid rule.
Working closely with translated song lyrics and musical notation-and applying musical and socio-political analysis to this music and its cultural context-Olsen argues that maskanda offers insight into how the post-apartheid ideal of social transformation is experienced by those who were marginalized for most of the twentieth century. 
Drawing on a decade of research, Olsen strives to demystify the Zulu part of contemporary experience in South Africa and to reveal some of the complexities of the social, economic, and political landscape of contemporary South Africa.

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Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya
Leadership, Representation, and Social Change
Ousseina D. Alidou
University of Wisconsin Press, 2013
In education, journalism, legislative politics, social justice, health, law, and other arenas, Muslim women across Kenya are emerging as leaders in local, national, and international contexts, advancing reforms through their activism. Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya draws on extensive interviews with six such women, revealing how their religious and moral beliefs shape reform movements that bridge ethnic divides and foster alliances in service of creating a just, multicultural, multiethnic, and multireligious democratic citizenship.
            Mwalim Azara Mudira opened a school of theology for Muslim women. Nazlin Omar Rajput of The Nur magazine was a pioneer in reporting on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim community. Amina Abubakar, host of a women's radio show, has publicly addressed the sensitive subject of sexual crimes against Muslim women. Two women who are members of parliament are creating new socioeconomic and political opportunities for girls and women, within a framework that still embraces traditional values of marriage and motherhood.
            Examining the interplay of gender, agency, and autonomy, Ousseina D. Alidou shows how these Muslim women have effected change in the home, the school, the mosque, the media, and more—and she illuminates their determination as actors to challenge the oppressive influences of male-dominated power structures. In looking at differences as opportunities rather than obstacles, these women reflect a new sensibility among Muslim women and an effort to redefine the meaning of women's citizenship within their own community of faith and within the nation.

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A New Type of Womanhood
Discursive Politics and Social Change in Antebellum America
Natasha Kirsten Kraus
Duke University Press, 2008
In A New Type of Womanhood, Natasha Kirsten Kraus retells the history of the 1850s woman’s rights movement. She traces how the movement changed society’s very conception of “womanhood” in its successful bid for economic rights and rights of contract for married women. Kraus demonstrates that this discursive change was a necessary condition of possibility for U.S. women to be popularly conceived as civil subjects within a Western democracy, and she shows that many rights, including suffrage, followed from the basic right to form legal contracts. She analyzes this new conception of women as legitimate economic actors in relation to antebellum economic and demographic changes as well as changes in the legal structure and social meanings of contract.

Enabling Kraus’s retelling of the 1850s woman’s rights movement is her theory of “structural aporias,” which takes the institutional structures of any particular society as fully imbricated with the force of language. Kraus reads the antebellum relations of womanhood, contract, property, the economy, and the nation as a fruitful site for analysis of the interconnected power of language, culture, and the law. She combines poststructural theory, particularly deconstructive approaches to discourse analysis; the political economic history of the antebellum era; and the interpretation of archival documents, including woman’s rights speeches, petitions, pamphlets, and convention proceedings, as well as state legislative debates, reports, and constitutional convention proceedings. Arguing that her method provides critical insight not only into social movements and cultural changes of the past but also of the present and future, Kraus concludes A New Type of Womanhood by considering the implications of her theory for contemporary feminist and queer politics.


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Nihil Obstat
Religion, Politics, and Social Change in East-Central Europe and Russia
Sabrina P. Ramet
Duke University Press, 1998
Nihil Obstat—Latin for "nothing stands in the way"—examines the interplay between religion and politics in East-Central Europe and Russia. While focusing on the postcommunist, late twentieth century, Sabrina P. Ramet discusses developments as far back as the eleventh century to explain the patterns that have developed over time and to show how they still affect contemporary interecclesiastical relations as well as those among Church, state, and society.
Based on interview research in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia, and on materials published in German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, and English, Ramet paints a clear picture of the political and religious fragility of former communist states, which are experiencing some aspects of freedom and choice for the first time. With its comprehensive discussion of the largest religious institutions in the area, especially the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and its extensive survey of nontraditional religious associations that have become active in the region since 1989, this study makes a distinct contribution to growing discussions about the rise of fundamentalism and the inner dilemmas of modernity. With its depth of information and thoughtful exploration of cultural traditions, Nihil Obstat uniquely presents the ramifications and complexities of European religion in a postcommunist world.

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No Slam Dunk
Gender, Sport and the Unevenness of Social Change
Cooky, Cheryl
Rutgers University Press, 2018
In just a few decades, sport has undergone a radical gender transformation. However, Cheryl Cooky and Michael A. Messner suggest that the progress toward gender equity in sports is far from complete. The continuing barriers to full and equal participation for young people, the far lower pay for most elite-level women athletes, and the continuing dearth of fair and equal media coverage all underline how much still has yet to change before we see gender equality in sports.  

The chapters in No Slam Dunk show that is this not simply a story of an “unfinished revolution.” Rather, they contend, it is simplistic optimism to assume that we are currently nearing the conclusion of a story of linear progress that ends with a certain future of equality and justice.  This book provides important theoretical and empirical insights into the contemporary world of sports to help explain the unevenness of social change and how, despite significant progress, gender equality in sports has been “No Slam Dunk.”  

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Philanthropy and Social Change in Latin America
Cynthia Sanborn
Harvard University Press, 2005

Latin America is a profoundly philanthropic region with deeply rooted traditions of solidarity with the less fortunate. Recently, different forms of philanthropy are emerging in the region, often involving community organization and social change.

This volume brings together groundbreaking perspectives on such diverse themes as corporate philanthropy, immigrant networks, and new grant-making and operating foundations with corporate, family, and community origins.


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Precarious Professionals
Gender, Identities and Social Change in Modern Britain
Edited by Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas
University of London Press, 2021
Precarious Professionals details the fight for equality in the workplace, particularly among women and queer people in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain.
Precarious Professionals uncovers the inequalities and insecurities which lay at the heart of professional life in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. This book challenges conventional categories in the history of work, exploring instead the everyday labor of maintaining a professional identity on the margins of the traditional professions. Situating new historical perspectives on gender at the forefront of their research, the contributors explore how professional cultures could not only define themselves against but often flourished outside of, the confines of patriarchal codes and structures.

Precarious Professionals offers twelve fascinating case studies, ranging between the 1840s and the 1960s. From pioneering female lawyers and scientists to ballet dancers, secretaries, historians, humanitarian relief workers, social researchers, and Cold War diplomats, this book reveals that precarity was a thread woven throughout the very fabric of modern professional life. Together, these essays enrich our understanding of the histories and mysteries of professional identity and help us to reimagine the future of work in precarious times.

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Protest Arts, Gender, and Social Change
Fiction, Popular Songs, and the Media in Hausa Society across Borders
Ousseina D. Alidou
University of Michigan Press, 2024
Protest Arts, Gender, and Social Change: Fiction, Popular Songs, and the Media in Hausa Society across Borders by Ousseina Alidou examines how a new generation of novelists, popular songwriters, and musical performers in contemporary Hausa society are using their creative works to effect social change. This book empathizes with the reality of the forms of oppression, social isolation, and marginalization that vulnerable and underprivileged communities in contemporary Hausa society in Northern Nigeria and the Niger Republic have been experiencing from the mid-1980s to the present. It also highlights the ways in which song performances produce an intertextual dialogue between their lyrics and visual dramatic narratives to raise awareness against social ills, including gender-based violence and social inequalities exposed by biomedical health pandemics such as HIV and COVID-19. In these creative Hausa narratives, the oppressed and marginalized have agency in articulating their own experiences.

While there is an abundance of social science studies giving voice to the dominant actors of hegemonic violence in Hausa society, there is a dearth of works that center the voices of the afflicted, unprivileged, and marginalized class, among whom are women and youth. One aim of this book is to examine the ways popular songs and fiction fill up the humanistic urgency to capture the dignity of the life of those dehumanized by local, national, and international hegemonic religious and secular forces. The book focuses on the resistance narratives of one female novelist and six song composers and performers that generate alternative counterhegemonic responses to dominant patriarchal discourses produced by cultural, religious, and political elites, thus reaching out to marginalized local and national communities and global audiences. Alidou interweaves the social, political, and biomedical epidemics with the concept of “Hausa interiority” to create a unique perspective on contemporary Hausa culture and politics through the lens of artistic productions.

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Radicalism and Social Change in Jamaica, 1960-1972
Obika Gray
University of Tennessee Press, 1991
In August 1962, the island nation of Jamaica achieved independence from Great Britain. In this provocative social and political history of the first decade of independence, Obika Gray explores the impact of radical social movements on political change in Jamaica during a turbulent formative era.
Led by a minority elite and a middle class of mixed racial origins, two parties, each with its associated workers’ union, emerged to dominate the postcolonial political scene. Gray argues that party leaders, representing the dominant social class, felt vulnerable to attack and resorted to dictatorial measures to consolidate their power. These measures, domestic social crises, and the worldwide rise of Black Power and other Third World ideologies provoked persistent challenges to the established parties’ political and moral authority. With students, radical intellectuals, and the militant urban poor in the vanguard, the protest movement took many forms. Rastafarian religious symbolism, rebel youth’s cultural innovations, efforts to organize independent labor unions, and the intelligentsia’s varied attempts to use mass media to reach broader audiences—all influenced the course of political events in this period. Grounding his tale in relevant theory, Gray persuasively contends that, despite its narrow social and geographical base of support, this urban protest movement succeeded in moving the major parties toward broader
and more progressive agendas.

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The Reconquest Of Montreal
Language Policy and Social Change in a Bilingual City
Marc V. Levine
Temple University Press, 1991

Although Montreal has been a bilingual city since 1760 and demographically dominated by French-speakers for well over a century and a quarter, it was not until the late 1960s that full-fledged challenges to the city’s English character emerged. Since then. two decades of agitation over la question linguistique as well as the enactment of three language laws have altered the places of French and English in Montreal‘s schools, public administration, economy. and even commercial signs. In this book, Marc Levine examines the nature of this stunning transformation and, in particular, the role of public policy in promoting it.

The reconquest of Montreal by the French-speaking majority makes for interesting history. It includes episodes of intense conflict and occasional violence and tells the fascinating story of how an economically disadvantaged and culturally threatened linguistic community mobilized politically and used the state to redistribute group power in Canada’s second largest city. In addition, the history of Montreal’s language question offers analysts of urban politics and public policy an excellent case study of some of the central issues facing cities containing more than one major linguistic community.

After tracing the politicization of the language question in the 1960s and 1970s, Levine analyzes the impact of the three controversial language laws penacted by the Quebec provincial government between 1969 and 1977. Exhaustively researched, The Reconquest of Montreal is the definitive study of the most explosive issue in Quebec political life.

In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.

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Regulating a New Society
Public Policy and Social Change in America, 1900–1933
Morton Keller
Harvard University Press, 1994

A leading scholar of twentieth-century American history looks again at the beginning of the century, this time giving us a remarkable portrait of the emergence of modern society and its distinctive transformations and social problems. As in Regulating a New Economy, his earlier book on the changing American economy, Morton Keller integrates political, legal, and governmental history, now providing the first comprehensive study of the ideas and interests that shaped early twentieth-century American social policy.

Keller looks at the major social institutions: the family, voluntary associations, religion, and education. He examines important social issues: the rights of the individual, the regulation of public mores (gambling, drugs, prostitution, alcohol abuse), the definition and punishment of crime, and social welfare policy (poverty, public health, conditions of labor). His final area of concern is one that assumed new importance after 1900: social policy directed at major groups, such as immigrants, blacks, Native Americans, and women.

The interpretive theme is fresh and controversial. Keller sees early twentieth-century American government not as an artifact of class, race, and gender conflict but as the playing out of tension between the Progressive thrust to restore social cohesion through the principle of order and organization and two other, mutually antipodal, social interests: the weight of the American past and the growing pluralism of modern America. The interplay among these elements--Progressivism, persistence, pluralism--shaped early twentieth-century social policy. The result was no clear victory for any one of these public attitudes, but rather the emergence and delineation of most of the social issues that have dominated American public life for the rest of the century.


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Remembering the Hacienda
Religion, Authority, and Social Change in Highland Ecuador
By Barry J. Lyons
University of Texas Press, 2006

From the colonial period through the mid-twentieth century, haciendas dominated the Latin American countryside. In the Ecuadorian Andes, Runa—Quichua-speaking indigenous people—worked on these large agrarian estates as virtual serfs. In Remembering the Hacienda: Religion, Authority, and Social Change in Highland Ecuador, Barry Lyons probes the workings of power on haciendas and explores the hacienda's contemporary legacy.

Lyons lived for three years in a Runa village and conducted in-depth interviews with elderly former hacienda laborers. He combines their wrenching accounts with archival evidence to paint an astonishing portrait of daily life on haciendas. Lyons also develops an innovative analysis of hacienda discipline and authority relations. Remembering the Hacienda explains the role of religion as well as the reshaping of Runa culture and identity under the impact of land reform and liberation theology.

This beautifully written book is a major contribution to the understanding of social control and domination. It will be valuable reading for a broad audience in anthropology, history, Latin American studies, and religious studies.


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The Return of Inequality
Social Change and the Weight of the Past
Mike Savage
Harvard University Press, 2021

A pioneering book that takes us beyond economic debate to show how inequality is returning us to a past dominated by empires, dynastic elites, and ethnic divisions.

The economic facts of inequality are clear. The rich have been pulling away from the rest of us for years, and the super-rich have been pulling away from the rich. More and more assets are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Mainstream economists say we need not worry; what matters is growth, not distribution. In The Return of Inequality, acclaimed sociologist Mike Savage pushes back, explaining inequality’s profound deleterious effects on the shape of societies.

Savage shows how economic inequality aggravates cultural, social, and political conflicts, challenging the coherence of liberal democratic nation-states. Put simply, severe inequality returns us to the past. By fracturing social bonds and harnessing the democratic process to the strategies of a resurgent aristocracy of the wealthy, inequality revives political conditions we thought we had moved beyond: empires and dynastic elites, explosive ethnic division, and metropolitan dominance that consigns all but a few cities to irrelevance. Inequality, in short, threatens to return us to the very history we have been trying to escape since the Age of Revolution.

Westerners have been slow to appreciate that inequality undermines the very foundations of liberal democracy: faith in progress and trust in the political community’s concern for all its members. Savage guides us through the ideas of leading theorists of inequality, including Marx, Bourdieu, and Piketty, revealing how inequality reimposes the burdens of the past. At once analytically rigorous and passionately argued, The Return of Inequality is a vital addition to one of our most important public debates.


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Saving the World
A Brief History of Communication for Devleopment and Social Change
Emile G. McAnany
University of Illinois Press, 2012
This far-reaching and long overdue chronicle of communication for development from a leading scholar in the field presents in-depth policy analyses to outline a vision for how communication technologies can impact social change and improve human lives. Drawing on the pioneering works of Daniel Lerner, Everett Rogers, and Wilbur Schramm as well as his own personal experiences in the field, Emile G. McAnany builds a new, historically cognizant paradigm for the future that supplements technology with social entrepreneurship.
McAnany summarizes the history of the field of communication for development and social change from Truman's Marshall Plan for the Third World to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Part history and part policy analysis, Saving the World argues that the communication field can renew its role in development by recognizing large aid-giving institutions have a difficult time promoting genuine transformation. McAnany suggests an agenda for improving and strengthening the work of academics, policy makers, development funders, and any others who use communication in all of its forms to foster social change.

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Singing Out
GALA Choruses and Social Change
Heather MacLachlan
University of Michigan Press, 2020
Can you change the world through song? This appealing idea has long been the professed aim of singers who are part of choruses affiliated with the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA). Theses choruses first emerged in the 1970s, and grew out of a very American tradition of (often gender-segregated) choral singing that explicitly presents itself as a community-based activity. By taking a close look at these choruses and their mission, Heather MacLachlan unpacks the fascinating historical and cultural dynamics behind groups that seek to change society for the better by encouraging acceptance of LGBT-identified people and promoting diversity more generally. She characterizes their mission as “integrationist rather than liberationist” and zeroes in on the inherent tension between GALA’s progressive social goals and the fact that the music most often performed by GALA groups is deeply rooted in a fairly narrowly conceived tradition of art music that identifies as white, Euro-centric, and middle class--and that much of the membership identifies as white and middle class as well.

Pundits often wax eloquent about the power of music, asserting that it can, in some positive way, change the world. Such statements often rest on an unexamined claim that music can and does foster social justice. Singing Out: GALA Choruses and Social Change tackles the premise underlying such claims, analyzing groups of amateur singers who are explicitly committed to an agenda of social justice.


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Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution in a Maya Community
Dean E. Arnold
University Press of Colorado, 2008
How and why do ceramics and their production change through time? Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution in a Maya Community is a unique ethno-archaeological study that attempts to answer these questions by tracing social change among potters and changes in the production and distribution of their pottery in a the Mexican community of Ticul between 1965 and 1997.

Dean E. Arnold made ten visits to Ticul, Yucatan, Mexico, witnessing the changes in transportation infrastructure, the use of piped water, and the development of tourist resorts. Even in this context of social change and changes in the demand for pottery, most of the potters in 1997 came from the families that had made pottery in 1965. This book traces changes and continuities in that population of potters, in the demand and distribution of pottery, and in the procurement of clay and temper, paste composition, forming, and firing.

In this volume, Arnold bridges the gap between archaeology and ethnography, using his analysis of contemporary ceramic production and distribution to generate new theoretical explanations for archaeologists working with pottery from antiquity. When the descriptions and explanations of Arnold’s findings in Ticul are placed in the context of the literature on craft specialization, a number of insights can be applied to the archaeological record that confirm, contradict, and nuance generalizations concerning the evolution of ceramic specialization. This book will be of special interest to anthropologists, archaeologists, and ethnographers.


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Social Change and the Family in Taiwan
Arland Thornton and Hui-Sheng Lin
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Until the 1940s, social life in Taiwan was generally organized through the family—marriages were arranged by parents, for example, and senior males held authority. In the following years, as Taiwan evolved rapidly from an agrarian to an industrialized society, individual decisions became less dependent on the family and more influenced by outside forces. Social Change and the Family in Taiwan provides an in-depth analysis of the complex changes in family relations in a society undergoing revolutionary social and economic transformation.

This interdisciplinary study explores the patterns and causes of change in education, work, income, leisure time, marriage, living arrangements, and interactions among extended kin. Theoretical chapters enunciate a theory of family and social change centered on the life course and modes of social organization. Other chapters look at the shift from arranged marriages toward love matches, as well as changes in dating practices, premarital sex, fertility, and divorce.

Contributions to the book are made by Jui-Shan Chang, Ming-Cheng Chang, Deborah S. Freedman, Ronald Freedman, Thomas E. Fricke, Albert Hermalin, Mei-Lin Lee, Paul K. C. Liu, Hui-Sheng Lin, Te-Hsiung Sun, Arland Thornton, Maxine Weinstein, and Li-Shou Yang.

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Social Change in a Metropolitan Community
Otis Dudley Duncan
Russell Sage Foundation, 1973
How has American society changed over the last fifteen years? Do we raise our children differently now than in 1953? Has women's liberation produced a shift in attitudes toward marriage or altered our idea about appropriate activities for women? Have our attitudes toward race undergone a significant revision? In this challenging volume, three eminent sociologists examine questions like these in the light of hard data which have become available, year by year, over the last two decades. The major purpose of the book is to demonstrate how measures of social change can be developed, capitalizing on past efforts in survey research. An omnibus survey, carried out in 1971, was designed almost entirely as a selective repitition of questions originally asked in the 1950s. It provides precise and reliable measures of change in such areas as marital and sex roles, social participation, child rearing, religious behavior, political orientations, and racial attitudes. Lucid and authoritative, Social Change in a Metropolitan Community presents a unique body of information on changes in public opinion, social norms, and institutional behavior. Its large number of statistical measurements are presented in an extremely accessible form—almost always as simple percentage comparisons. The research findings included here are unduplicated by any other study, and as a source of information on current social trends they provide fascinating reading for anyone who wishes to enlarge his understanding of the temper of our times.

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Social Change in Contemporary China
C.K. Yang and the Concept of Institutional Diffusion
Wenfang Tang
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006

Social Change in Contemporary China offers a wide-ranging examination of Chinese institutional change in areas of education, religion, health care, economics, labor, family, and local communities in the post-Mao era. Based on the pioneering work of sociologist C. K. Yang (1911–1999), and his institutional diffusion theory, the essays analyze and develop the theory as it applies to both public and private institutions.  The interrelationship of these institutions composes what Yang termed the Chinese “system,” and affects nearly every aspect of life. Yang examined the influence of external factors on each institution, such as the influence of Westernization and Communism on family, and the impact of industrialization on rural markets. He also analyzed the impact of public opinion and past culture on institutions, therein revealing the circular nature of diffusion. Perhaps most significant are Yang’s insights on the role of religion in Chinese society. Despite the common perception that China had no religion, he uncovers the influence of classical Confucianism as the basis for many ethical value systems, and follows its diffusion into state and kinship systems, as well as Taoism and Buddhism.

Writing in the early years of Communism, Yang had little hard data with which to test his theories. The contributors to this volume expand upon Yang’s groundbreaking approach and apply the model of diffusion to a rapidly evolving contemporary China, providing a window into an increasingly modern Chinese society and its institutions.


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Social Change in Medieval Iran 132-628 AH (750-1231 AD)
The Perspectives of Persian Historiography
Maryam Kamali
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
This study contributes to the history of social changes in Iran during the Abbasid Caliphate (AH 132–656, AD 750–1258) by foregrounding the perspective of Persian language historians – from Abu Ali Bal'ami (AH 363, AD 974), the first known Persian historian, to Atamelak Joveyni (AH 623–681, AD 1226–1283), the great historian of the Mongol Era. By applying the insights of Anthony Giddens and the theory of structuration to address the interactions of social agents and structures, this book provides a coherent narrative of social transformation in medieval Iran.

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The Southern Elite and Social Change
Essays in Honor of Willard B. Gatewood, Jr.
Randy Finley
University of Arkansas Press, 2002
Elites have shaped southern life and communities, argues the distinguished historian Willard Gatewood. These essays—written by Gatewood's colleagues and former students in his honor—explore the influence of particular elites in the South from the American Revolution to the Little Rock integration crisis. They discuss not only the power of elites to shape the experiences of the ordinary people, but the tensions and negotiations between elites in a particular locale, whether those elites were white or black, urban or rural, or male or female. Subjects include the particular kinds of power available to black elites in Savannah, Georgia, during the American Revolution; the transformation of a southern secessionist into an anti-slavery activist during the Civil War; a Tenessee "aristocrat of color" active in politics from Reconstruction to World War II; middle-class Southern women, both black and white, in the New Deal and the Little Rock integration crisis; and the different brands of paternalism in Arkansas plantations during the Jacksonian and Jim Crow eras and in the postwar Georgia carpet industry.

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Straight Edge
Hardcore Punk, Clean Living Youth, and Social Change
Haenfler, Ross
Rutgers University Press, 2006

Straight edge is a clean-living youth movement that emerged from the punk rock subculture in the early 1980s. Its basic tenets promote a drug-free, tobacco-free, and sexually responsible lifestyle—tenets that, on the surface, seem counter to those typical of teenage rebellion. For many straight-edge kids, however, being clean and sober was (and still is) the ultimate expression of resistance—resistance to the consumerist and self-indulgent ethos that defines mainstream U.S. culture.

In this first in-depth sociological analysis of the movement, Ross Haenfler follows the lives of dozens of straight-edge youths, showing how for these young men and women, and thousands of others worldwide, the adoption of the straight-edge doctrine as a way to better themselves evolved into a broader mission to improve the world in which they live. Straight edge used to signify a rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex, yet modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement in environmental and political issues.

The narrative moves seamlessly between the author’s personal experiences and theoretical concerns, including how members of subcultures define “resistance,” the role of collective identity in social movements, how young men experience multiple masculinities in their quest to redefine manhood, and how young women establish their roles in subcultures. This book provides fresh perspectives on the meaning of resistance and identity in any subculture.


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Technological Shortcuts to Social Change
Amitai Etzioni
Russell Sage Foundation, 1973
Evaluates a technological approach to social change which seeks to cure society's ills by dealing with its symptoms, rather than root causes. It examines four such technological shortcuts in terms of their relevance to specific social problems: methadone in controlling heroin addiction; antabuse in treating alcoholism; the breath analyzer in highway safety; and gun control in reducing crime. The authors seek solutions which do not require large amounts of new resources or planning, and will accelerate the pace of social change. They indicate that technological handling of such problems may be the answer.

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Theater and Social Change, Volume 31
Alisa Solomon, ed.
Duke University Press
From the Federal Theater Projects of the Great Depression to the disruptive performances of the 1960s and 1970s, theater has played an important role in American radicalism. This special issue of <a href=”>Theater reports on socially conscious, politically active theaters in the United States. Despite the evaporation of Cold War passions and the rise of conservatism in the 1980s and 1990s, such theater work remains a persistent and evolving presence on the political landscape. Since the first inauguration of George W. Bush, new opportunities have arisen for political performance and for significant new challenges to these artists.

Theater and Social Change not only tracks the historical evolution of political theater but also explores the current state and future prospects of different modes, including agit-prop, demonstrations, solo performance, Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, and community-based production. With such notable contributors as Anna Deavere Smith, Jonathan Kalb, Holly Hughes, and Tony Kushner, the issue offers a diverse assemblage of personal statements, conversations, photographs, interviews, and performance text.

Contributors include: Reverend Billy, Jan Cohen-Cruz, Arlene Goldbard, Sharon Green, Lani Guinier, Holly Hughes, Jonathan Kalb, Tony Kushner, Judith Malina, Robbie McCauley, John O'Neal, Claudia Orenstein, Bill Rauch, Julie Salverson, Anna Deavere Smith, Alisa Solomon, Roberta Uno


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Therapeutic Revolutions
Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century
Edited by Jeremy A. Greene, Flurin Condrau, and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins
University of Chicago Press, 2016
When asked to compare the practice of medicine today to that of a hundred years ago, most people will respond with a story of therapeutic revolution: Back then we had few effective remedies, but now we have more (and more powerful) tools to fight disease, from antibiotics to psychotropics to steroids to anticancer agents.

This collection challenges the historical accuracy of this revolutionary narrative and offers instead a more nuanced account of the process of therapeutic innovation and the relationships between the development of medicines and social change. These assembled histories and ethnographies span three continents and use the lived experiences of physicians and patients, consumers and providers, and marketers and regulators to reveal the tensions between universal claims of therapeutic knowledge and the actual ways these claims have been used and understood in specific sites, from postwar West Germany pharmacies to twenty-first century Nigerian street markets. By asking us to rethink a story we thought we knew, Therapeutic Revolutions offers invaluable insights to historians, anthropologists, and social scientists of medicine.

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They Eat from Their Labor
Work and Social Change in Colonial Bolivia
Ann Zulawski
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995

A study of the growth of the indigenous labor force in upper Peru (now Bolivia) during colonial times. Ann Zulawski provides case studies in mining and agriculture, and places her data within a larger historical context than analyzes Iberian and Andean concepts of gender, property, and labor. She concludes that although mercantilism made a critical impact in the New World, the colonial economic system in the Andes was not yet capitalist. Attitudes of both indigenous peoples and Spanish colonizers hindered the process of turning work into a commodity. In addition, the mobilization of labor power both reinforced and undermined each society's ideas about the economic and social roles of men and women.


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A Unified Theory of Collective Action and Social Change
Luis Fernando Medina
University of Michigan Press, 2007

The notion that groups form and act in ways that respond to objective, external costs and benefits has long been the key to accounting for social change processes driven by collective action. Yet this same notion seems to fall apart when we try to explain how collectivities emerge out of the choices of individuals. This book overcomes that dilemma by offering an analysis of collective action that, while rooted in individual decision making, also brings out the way in which objective costs and benefits can impede or foster social coordination. The resulting approach enables us to address the causes and consequences of collective action with the help of the tools of modern economic theory. To illustrate this, the book applies the tools it develops to the study of specific collective action problems such as clientelism, focusing on its connections with economic development and political redistribution; and wage bargaining, showing its economic determinants and its relevance for the political economy of the welfare state.

"Medina's study is a great step forward in the analytics of collective action. He shows the inadequacies of currently standard models and shows that straightforward revisions reconcile rational-choice and structural viewpoints. It will influence all future work."
—Kenneth Arrow, Stanford University

"Olson, Schelling, and now Medina. A Unified Theory deepens our understanding of collective action and contributes to the foundations of our field. A major work."
—Robert H. Bates, Harvard University

"Medina thinks that the main problem of social action is not whether or not to cooperate but how to do it. To this end he has produced an imaginative approach to analyzing strategic coordination problems that produces plausible predictions in a range of circumstances."
—John Ferejohn, Stanford University

Luis Fernando Medina is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.


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Very Special Episodes
Televising Industrial and Social Change
Jonathan Cohn
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Very Special Episodes examines how the quintessential “very special episode” format became a primary way in which the television industry responded to and shaped social change, cultural traumas, and industrial transformations. With essays covering shows ranging from the birth of Desi Arnaz, Jr. on I Love Lucy to contemporary examples such as a delayed episode of Black-ish and the streaming-era phenomenon of the “Very Special Seasons” of UnReal and 13 Reasons Why, this collection seriously and critically uses the “very special episode” to chart the history of American television and its self-identified status as an arbiter of culture.


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We Make the Road by Walking
Conversations on Education and Social Change
Myles Horton
Temple University Press, 1990

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Women of the Andes
Patriarchy and Social Change in Two Peruvian Towns
Susan C. Bourque and Kay Barbara Warren
University of Michigan Press, 1981

Pilar is a capable, energetic merchant in the small, Peruvian highland settlement of Chiuchin. Genovena, an unmarried day laborer in the same town, faces an impoverished old age without children to support her. Carmen is the wife of a prosperous farmer in the agricultural community of Mayobamba, eleven thousand feet above Chiuchin in the Andean sierra. Mariana, a madre soltera—single mother—without a husband or communal land of her own, also resides in Mayobamba.

These lives form part of an interlocking network that the authors carefully examine in Women of the Andes. In doing so, they explore the riddle of women’s structural subordination by analyzing the social, political, and economic realities of life in Peru. They examine theoretical explanations of sexual hierarchies against the backdrop of life histories. The result is a study that pinpoints the mechanisms perpetuating sexual repression and traces the impact of social change and national policy on women’s lives.


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Words like Water
Queer Mobilization and Social Change in China
Fugazzola, Caterina
Temple University Press, 2023
After China officially “decriminalized” same-sex behavior in 1997, both the visibility and public acceptance of tongzhi, an inclusive identity term that refers to nonheterosexual and gender nonconforming identities in the People’s Republic of China, has improved. However, for all the positive change, there are few opportunities for political and civil rights advocacy under Xi Jinping’s authoritarian rule.

Words like Water explores the nonconfrontational strategies the tongzhi movement uses in contemporary China. Caterina Fugazzola analyzes tongzhi organizers’ conceptualizations of, and approaches to, social change, explaining how they avoid the backlash that meets Western tactics, such as protests, confrontation, and language about individual freedoms. In contrast, the groups’ intentional use of community and family-oriented narratives, discourses, and understandings of sexual identity are more effective, especially in situations where direct political engagement is not possible.

Providing on-the-ground stories that examine the social, cultural, and political constraints and opportunities, Words like Water emphasizes the value of discursive flexibility that allows activists to adapt to changing social and political conditions.

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