The influx of African migrants into Europe in recent years has raised important issues about changing labor economies, new technologies of border control, and the effects of armed conflict. But attention to such broad questions often obscures a fundamental fact of migration: its effects on ordinary life. Affective Circuits brings together essays by an international group of well-known anthropologists to place the migrant family front and center. Moving between Africa and Europe, the book explores the many ways migrants sustain and rework family ties and intimate relationships at home and abroad. It demonstrates how their quotidian efforts—on such a mass scale—contribute to a broader process of social regeneration.
The contributors point to the intersecting streams of goods, people, ideas, and money as they circulate between African migrants and their kin who remain back home. They also show the complex ways that emotions become entangled in these exchanges. Examining how these circuits operate in domains of social life ranging from child fosterage to binational marriages, from coming-of-age to healing and religious rituals, the book also registers the tremendous impact of state officials, laws, and policies on migrant experience. Together these essays paint an especially vivid portrait of new forms of kinship at a time of both intense mobility and ever-tightening borders.
Katherine Grandjean shows that the English conquest of New England was not just a matter of consuming territory, of transforming woods into farms. It entailed a struggle to control the flow of information—who could travel where, what news could be sent, over which routes winding through the woods along the early American communications frontier.
Philosophers and theorists have long recognized both the subversive and the transformative possibilities of friendship, the intimacy of which can transcend the impersonality of such identity categories as race, class, or gender. Unlike familial relations, friendships are chosen, opening a space of relative freedom in which to create and explore new identities. This process has been particularly valuable to poets marginalized by gender or sexuality since the second half of the twentieth century, as friendship provides both a buffer against and a wedge into predominantly male homosocial poetic communities.
Among Friends presents a richly theorized evocation of friendship as a fluid, critical social space, one that offers a vantage point from which to explore the gendering of poetic institutions and practices from the postwar period to the present. With friendship as an optic, the essays in this volume offer important new insights into the gender politics of the poetic avant-garde, since poetry as an institution has continued to be transformed by dramatic changes wrought by second-wave feminism, sexual liberation, and gay rights. These essays reveal the intimate social negotiations that fight, fracture, and queer the conventions of authority and community that have long constrained women poets and the gendering of poetic subjectivities.
From this shared perspective, the essays collected here investigate a historically and aesthetically wide-ranging array of subjects: from Joanne Kyger and Philip Whalen’s trans-Pacific friendship, to Patti Smith’s grounding of her punk persona in the tension between her romantic friendships with male artists and her more professional connections to the poets of the St. Mark’s scene, and from the gender dynamics of the Language School to the Flarf network’s reconception of poetic community in the digital age and the Black Took Collective’s creation of an intimate poetics of performance. Together, these explorations of poetic friendship open up new avenues for interrogating contemporary American poetry.
Contributors: Maria Damon, Andrew Epstein, Ross Hair, Duriel E. Harris, Daniel Kane, Dawn Lundy Martin, Peter Middleton, Linda Russo, Lytle Shaw, Ann Vickery, Barrett Watten, Ronaldo V. Wilson
Angel De Cora (c. 1870–1919) was a Native Ho-Chunk artist who received relative acclaim during her lifetime. Karen Thronson (1850–1929) was a Norwegian settler housewife who created crafts and folk art in obscurity along with the other women of her small immigrant community. The immigration of Thronson and her family literally maps over the De Cora family’s forced migration across Wisconsin, Iowa, and onto the plains of Nebraska and Kansas. Tracing the parallel lives of these two women artists at the turn of the twentieth century, art historian Elizabeth Sutton reveals how their stories intersected and diverged in the American Midwest.
By examining the creations of these two artists, Sutton shows how each woman produced art or handicrafts that linked her new home to her homeland. Both women had to navigate and negotiate between asserting their authentic self and the expectations placed on them by others in their new locations. The result is a fascinating story of two women that speaks to universal themes of Native displacement, settler conquest, and the connection between art and place.
Writing letters to powerful people to win their favor and garner rewards such as political office, tax relief, and recommendations was an institution in Renaissance Florence; the practice was an important tool for those seeking social mobility, security, and recognition by others. In this detailed study of political and social patronage in fifteenth-century Florence, Paul D. McLean shows that patronage was much more than a pursuit of specific rewards. It was also a pursuit of relationships and of a self defined in relation to others. To become independent in Renaissance Florence, one first had to become connected. With The Art of the Network, McLean fills a gap in sociological scholarship by tracing the historical antecedents of networking and examining the concept of self that accompanies it. His analysis of patronage opens into a critique of contemporary theories about social networks and social capital, and an exploration of the sociological meaning of “culture.”
McLean scrutinized thousands of letters to and from Renaissance Florentines. He describes the social protocols the letters reveal, paying particular attention to the means by which Florentines crafted credible presentations of themselves. The letters, McLean contends, testify to the development not only of new forms of self-presentation but also of a new kind of self to be presented: an emergent, “modern” conception of self as an autonomous agent. They also bring to the fore the importance that their writers attached to concepts of honor, and the ways that they perceived themselves in relation to the Florentine state.
Asia Inside Out reveals the dynamic forces that have linked regions of the world’s largest continent. Connected Places, the second of three volumes, highlights the flows of goods, ideas, and people across natural and political boundaries and illustrates the confluence of factors in the historical construction of place and space.
Despite the devastation caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 60-foot tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, some 96% of those living and working in the most disaster-stricken region of Tōhoku made it through. Smaller earthquakes and tsunamis have killed far more people in nearby China and India. What accounts for the exceptionally high survival rate? And why is it that some towns and cities in the Tōhoku region have built back more quickly than others?
Black Wave illuminates two critical factors that had a direct influence on why survival rates varied so much across the Tōhoku region following the 3/11 disasters and why the rebuilding process has also not moved in lockstep across the region. Individuals and communities with stronger networks and better governance, Daniel P. Aldrich shows, had higher survival rates and accelerated recoveries. Less-connected communities with fewer such ties faced harder recovery processes and lower survival rates. Beyond the individual and neighborhood levels of survival and recovery, the rebuilding process has varied greatly, as some towns and cities have sought to work independently on rebuilding plans, ignoring recommendations from the national government and moving quickly to institute their own visions, while others have followed the guidelines offered by Tokyo-based bureaucrats for economic development and rebuilding.
Legislative member organizations (LMOs)—such as caucuses in the U.S. Congress and intergroups in the European Parliament—exist in lawmaking bodies around the world. Unlike parties and committees, LMOs play no obvious, predefined role in the legislative process. They provide legislators with opportunities to establish social networks with colleagues who share common interests. In turn, such networks offer valuable opportunities for the efficient exchange of policy-relevant—and sometimes otherwise unattainable—information between legislative offices. Building on classic insights from the study of social networks, the authors provide a comparative overview of LMOs across advanced, liberal democracies. In two nuanced case studies of LMOs in the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress, the authors rely on a mix of social network analysis, sophisticated statistical methods, and careful qualitative analysis of a large number of in-depth interviews.
Each year, natural disasters threaten the strength and stability of communities worldwide. Yet responses to the challenges of recovery vary greatly and in ways that aren’t explained by the magnitude of the catastrophe or the amount of aid provided by national governments or the international community. The difference between resilience and disrepair, as Daniel P. Aldrich shows, lies in the depth of communities’ social capital.
Building Resilience highlights the critical role of social capital in the ability of a community to withstand disaster and rebuild both the infrastructure and the ties that are at the foundation of any community. Aldrich examines the post-disaster responses of four distinct communities—Tokyo following the 1923 earthquake, Kobe after the 1995 earthquake, Tamil Nadu after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and New Orleans post-Katrina—and finds that those with robust social networks were better able to coordinate recovery. In addition to quickly disseminating information and financial and physical assistance, communities with an abundance of social capital were able to minimize the migration of people and valuable resources out of the area.
With governments increasingly overstretched and natural disasters likely to increase in frequency and intensity, a thorough understanding of what contributes to efficient reconstruction is more important than ever. Building Resilience underscores a critical component of an effective response.
Chippewa Lake is an idyllic waterfront community in north-central Michigan, popular with retirees and weekenders. The lake is surrounded by a rural farming community, but the area is facing a difficult transition as local demographics shift, and as it transforms from an agriculture-based economy to one that relies on wage labor. As farms have disappeared, local residents have employed a variety of strategies to adapt to a new economic structure. The community, meanwhile, has been indelibly affected by the advent of newcomers and retirees challenging the rural cultural values. An anthropologist with a background in sociology, Cindy L. Hull deftly weaves together oral accounts, historic documents, and participant surveys compiled from her nearly thirty years of living in the area to create a textured portrait of a community in flux.
Written by a combination of established scholars and new critics in the field, the essays collected in Circuit of Apollo attest to the vital practice of commemorating women’s artistic and personal relationships. In doing so, they illuminate the complexity of female friendships and honor as well as the robust creativity and intellectual work contributed by women to culture in the long eighteenth century. Women’s tributes to each other sometimes took the form of critical engagement or competition, but they always exposed the feminocentric networks of artistic, social, and material exchange women created and maintained both in and outside of London. This volume advocates for a new perspective for researching and teaching early modern women that is grounded in admiration.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
For many Americans, participation in community organizations lays the groundwork for future political engagement. But how does this traditional model of civic life relate to the experiences of today's immigrants? Do community organizations help immigrants gain political influence in their neighborhoods and cities? In Civic Hopes and Political Realities, experts from a wide range of disciplines explore the way civic groups across the country and around the world are shaping immigrants' quest for political effectiveness. Civic Hopes and Political Realities shows that while immigrant organizations play an important role in the lives of members, their impact is often compromised by political marginalization and a severe lack of resources. S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Irene Bloemraad examine community organizations in six cities in California and find that even in areas with high rates of immigrant organizing, policymakers remain unaware of local ethnic organizations. Looking at new immigrant destinations, Kristi Andersen finds that community organizations often serve as the primary vehicle for political incorporation—a role once played by the major political parties. Floris Vermeulen and Maria Berger show how policies in two European cities lead to very different outcomes for ethnic organizations. Amsterdam's more welcoming multicultural policies help immigrant community groups attain a level of political clout that similar organizations in Berlin lack. Janelle Wong, Kathy Rim, and Haven Perez report on a study of Latino and Asian American evangelical churches. While the church shapes members' political views on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, church members may also question the evangelical movement's position on such issues as civil rights and immigration. Els de Graauw finds that many non-profit organizations without explicitly political agendas nonetheless play a crucial role in advancing the political interests of their immigrant members. Recent cuts in funding for such organizations, she argues, block not only the provision of key social services, but also an important avenue for political voice. Looking at community organizing in a suburban community, Sofya Aptekar finds that even when immigrant organizations have considerable resources and highly educated members, they tend to be excluded from town politics. Some observers worry that America's increasing diversity is detrimental to civic life and political engagement. Civic Hopes and Political Realities boldly advances an alternative understanding of the ways in which immigrants are enriching America's civic and political realms—even in the face of often challenging circumstances.
Black queer lives often exist outside conventional civic institutions and therefore have to explore alternative intimacies to experience a sense of belonging. Civic Intimacies examines how—and to what extent—these different forms of intimacy catalyze the values, aspirations, and collective flourishing of Black queer denizens of Baltimore. Niels van Doorn draws on 18 months of immersive ethnographic fieldwork for his innovative cross-disciplinary analysis of contemporary debates in political and cultural theory.
Van Doorn describes the way that these systematically marginalized communities improvise on citizenship not just to survive but also to thrive despite the proliferation of violence and insecurity in their lives. By reimagining citizenship as the everyday reparative work of building support structures, Civic Intimacies highlights the extent to which sex, kinship, memory, religious faith, and sexual health are rooted in collective practices that are deeply political. These systems sustain the lives of Black queer Baltimoreans who find themselves stuck in a city they cannot give up on—even though it has in many ways given up on them.
Examines the qualitative nature of capitalism’s processes through the lens of social networks
A Confluence of Transatlantic Network demonstrates how portions of interconnected trust-based kinship, business, and ideational transatlantic networks evolved over roughly a century and a half and eventually converged to engender, promote, and facilitate the migration of southern elites to Brazil in the post–Civil War era. Placing that migration in the context of the Atlantic world sharpens our understanding of the transborder dynamic of such mainstream nineteenth-century historical currents as international commerce, liberalism, Protestantism, and Freemasonry. The manifestation of these transatlantic forces as found in Brazil at midcentury provided disaffected Confederates with a propitious environment in which to try to re-create a cherished lifestyle.
We all know that good study habits, supportive parents, and engaged instructors are all keys to getting good grades in college. But as Janice M. McCabe shows in this illuminating study, there is one crucial factor determining a student’s academic success that most of us tend to overlook: who they hang out with. Surveying a range of different kinds of college friendships, Connecting in College details the fascinatingly complex ways students’ social and academic lives intertwine and how students attempt to balance the two in their pursuit of straight As, good times, or both.
As McCabe and the students she talks to show, the friendships we forge in college are deeply meaningful, more meaningful than we often give them credit for. They can also vary widely. Some students have only one tight-knit group, others move between several, and still others seem to meet someone new every day. Some students separate their social and academic lives, while others rely on friendships to help them do better in their coursework. McCabe explores how these dynamics lead to different outcomes and how they both influence and are influenced by larger factors such as social and racial inequality. She then looks toward the future and how college friendships affect early adulthood, ultimately drawing her findings into a set of concrete solutions to improve student experiences and better guarantee success in college and beyond.
Whether one thinks homosexuals are born or made, they generally are not born into gay families, nor are they socialized to be gay by their peers or schools. How then do people become aware of homosexuality and, in some cases, integrate into gay communities? The making of homosexual identity is the result of a communicative process that entails searching, listening, looking, reading, and finding. Contacts Desired proposes that this communicative process has a history, and it sets out to tell that story.
Martin Meeker here argues that over the course of the twentieth century, a series of important innovations occurred in the networks that linked individuals to a larger social knowledge of homosexuality. He points to three key innovations in particular: the emergence of the homophile movement in the 1950s; the mass media treatments of homosexuals in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and the popularization of do-it-yourself publishing from the late 1940s to the 1970s, which offered bar guides, handmade magazines, and other materials that gay men and lesbians could use to seek one another out. In the process, Meeker unearths a treasure trove of archival materials that reveals how homosexuals played a crucial role in transforming the very structure of communications and urban communities since the postwar era.
"Contacts Desired is a valuable and enduring work of scholarship, surely the best book in gay and lesbian history this year."--Gay and Lesbian Review
Copts in Michigan
Eliot Dickinson Michigan State University Press, 2008 Library of Congress F575.E38D53 2008 | Dewey Decimal 977.4008828172
The Copts, or Egyptian Christians, are a relatively small and tight-knit ethno-religious group, numbering perhaps three thousand people and living mostly in the Detroit metropolitan area. Since they began immigrating to Michigan in the mid-1960s, their community has grown exponentially.
Granted exceptional access to the Coptic community, Eliot Dickinson provides the first in- depth profile of this unique and remarkably successful immigrant group. Drawing on personal interviews to infuse the book with warmth and depth. Copts in Michigan offers readers a compelling view into this vibrant community.
Denied access to traditional advertising platforms by lack of resources, craft breweries have proliferated despite these challenges by embracing social media platforms, and by creating an obsessed culture of fans. In Craft Obsession, Jeff Rice uses craft beer as a case study to demonstrate how social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter function to shape stories about craft.
Rice weaves together theories of writing, narrative, new media, and rhetoric with a personal story of his passion for craft beer. He identifies six key elements of social media rhetoric—anecdotes, repetition, aggregation, delivery, sharing, and imagery—and examines how each helps to transform small, personal experiences with craft into a more widespread movement. When shared via social media, craft anecdotes—such as the first time one had a beer—interrupt and repeat one another, building a sense of familiarity and identity among otherwise unconnected people. Aggregation, the practice of joining unlike items into one space, builds on this network identity, establishing a connection to particular brands or locations, both real and virtual. The public releases of craft beers are used to explore the concept of craft delivery, which involves multiple actors across multiple spaces and results in multiple meanings. Finally, Rice highlights how personal sharing operates within the community of craft beer enthusiasts, who share online images of acquiring, trading for, and consuming a wide variety of beers. These shared stories and images, while personal for each individual, reflect the dependence of craft on systems of involvement. Throughout, Rice relates and reflects on his own experience as a craft beer enthusiast and his participation via social media in these systems.
Both an objective scholarly study and an engaging personal narrative about craft beer, Craft Obsession provides valuable insights into digital writing, storytelling, and social media.
Analyzing the development of a Swedish American identity
The Creation of an Ethnic Identity: Being Swedish American in the Augustana Synod, 1860–1917 analyzes how Swedish American identity was constructed, maintained, and changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Augustana Synod, the largest religious-based organization created by Swedish immigrants in the United States, played an important role in establishing what it meant to be Swedish American.
In this study, author Dag Blanck poses three fundamental questions: How did an ethnic identity develop in the Augustana Synod? What was that identity? Why was an ethnic identity formed? Based on primary sources formerly unknown or neglected, The Creation of an Ethnic Identity examines the Lutheran Augustana Synod, Augustana College, and the Augustana Book Concern to provide insights into how ethnic identity is constructed within a major religious body, a central educational institution, and a major publishing house.
Starting from the concept of ethnicity as something created or invented, Blanck goes on to explore how it was possible for a white European immigrant group like the Swedes to use its ethnicity as a tool of integration into American society. The nature of their ethnicity, says Blanck, was both determined by their cultural origins and also the values and nature of American society as they perceived it. Becoming Swedish American was also a way of becoming American.
The volume, which is augmented by illustrations, integrates the most critical scholarship on immigration and ethnicity over the past half century and provides a strong argument about how ethnicity is shaped over time within an immigrant group.
The “Crow-Omaha problem” has perplexed anthropologists since it was first described by Lewis Henry Morgan in 1871. During his worldwide survey of kinship systems, Morgan learned with astonishment that some Native American societies call some relatives of different generations by the same terms. Why? Intergenerational “skewing” in what came to be named “Crow” and “Omaha” systems has provoked a wealth of anthropological arguments, from Rivers to Radcliffe-Brown, from Lowie to Lévi-Strauss, and many more. Crow-Omaha systems, it turns out, are both uncommon and yet found distributed around the world. For anthropologists, cracking the Crow-Omaha problem is critical to understanding how social systems transform from one type into another, both historically in particular settings and evolutionarily in the broader sweep of human relations.
This volume examines the Crow-Omaha problem from a variety of perspectives—historical, linguistic, formalist, structuralist, culturalist, evolutionary, and phylogenetic. It focuses on the regions where Crow-Omaha systems occur: Native North America, Amazonia, West Africa, Northeast and East Africa, aboriginal Australia, northeast India, and the Tibeto-Burman area. The international roster of authors includes leading experts in their fields.
The book offers a state-of-the-art assessment of Crow-Omaha kinship and carries forward the work of the landmark volume Transformations of Kinship, published in 1998. Intended for students and scholars alike, it is composed of brief, accessible chapters that respect the complexity of the ideas while presenting them clearly. The work serves as both a new benchmark in the explanation of kinship systems and an introduction to kinship studies for a new generation of students.
Series Note: Formerly titled Amerind Studies in Archaeology, this series has recently been expanded and retitled Amerind Studies in Anthropology to incorporate a high quality and number of anthropology titles coming in to the series in addition to those in archaeology.
Networks and computer-mediated communication now penetrate the spaces of everyday life at a fundamental level. We communicate, work, bank, date, check the weather, and fuel conspiracy theories online. In each instance, users interact with network technology as much more than a computational device.
Cyberspaces of Everyday Life provides a critical framework for understanding how the Internet takes part in the production of social space. Mark Nunes draws on the spatial analysis work of Henri Lefebvre to make sense of cyberspace as a social product. Looking at online education, he explores the ways in which the Internet restructures the university. Nunes also examines social uses of the World Wide Web and illustrates the ways online communication alters the relation between the global and the local. He also applies Deleuzian theory to emphasize computer-mediated communications’ performative elements of spatial production.
Addressing the social and cultural implications of spam and anti-spam legislation, as well as how the burst Internet stock bubble and the Patriot Act have affected the relationship between networked spaces and daily living, Cyberspaces of Everyday Life sheds new light on the question of virtual space and its role in the offline world.
Mark Nunes is associate professor and chair of the English, Technical Communication, and Media Arts Department at Southern Polytechnic State University.
French-Indigenous families were a central force in shaping Detroit’s history. Detroit’s Hidden Channels: The Power of French-Indigenous Families in the Eighteenth Century examines the role of these kinship networks in Detroit’s development as a site of singular political and economic importance in the continental interior. Situated where Anishinaabe, Wendat, Myaamia, and later French communities were established and where the system of waterways linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico narrowed, Detroit’s location was its primary attribute. While the French state viewed Detroit as a decaying site of illegal activities, the influence of the French-Indigenous networks grew as members diverted imperial resources to bolster an alternative configuration of power relations that crossed Indigenous and Euro-American nations. Women furthered commerce by navigating a multitude of gender norms of their nations, allowing them to defy the state that sought to control them by holding them to European ideals of womanhood. By the mid-eighteenth century, French-Indigenous families had become so powerful, incoming British traders and imperial officials courted their favor. These families would maintain that power as the British imperial presence splintered on the eve of the American Revolution.
An insightful map of the landscape of social meals, Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality argues that the ways in which Americans eat together play a central role in social life in the United States. Delving into a wide range of research, Alice P. Julier analyzes etiquette and entertaining books from the past century and conducts interviews and observations of dozens of hosts and guests at dinner parties, potlucks, and buffets. She finds that when people invite friends, neighbors, or family members to share meals within their households, social inequalities involving race, economics, and gender reveal themselves in interesting ways: relationships are defined, boundaries of intimacy or distance are set, and people find themselves either excluded or included.
Twitter allows us to build communities, track celebrities, raise our social profile, and promote a personal brand. Adam Hodgkin thinks Twitter is much more than a mere social media tool—it is a terrain ripe for a conceptual and theoretical analysis of our use of digital language. In Following Searle on Twitter, Hodgkin takes John Searle’s theory of speech acts as Status Function Declarations (SFDs)—speech acts that fulfill their meaning by saying the right words in the right context—as a probe for understanding Twitter’s institutional structure and the still-developing toolset that it provides for its members. He argues that Twitter is an institution built, constituted, and evolving through the use of SFDs. Searle’s speech act theories provide a framework for illuminating how Twitter membership arises, how users of Twitter relate to each other by following, and how increasingly complex content is conveyed with tweets. Using this framework, Hodgkin places language, action, intention, and responsibility at the core of the digital culture and the digital institutions that we are constructing.
Combining theoretical perspective with a down-to-earth exposition of present-day digital institutions, Following Searle on Twitter explores how all of our interactions with these emerging institutions are deeply rooted in language, and are the true foundation of social media and contemporary institutions.
You know the scene: amateur soccer players battling over the ball, spectators cheering from the sidelines, vendors selling their wares from carts. Over the past half century, immigration from Latin America has transformed the public landscape in the United States, and numerous communities are witnessing one of the hallmarks of this transformation: the emergence of park soccer. In Fútbol in the Park, David Trouille takes us into the world of Latino soccer players who regularly play in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood where they are not always welcome. Together on the soccer field, sharing beers after the games, and occasionally exchanging taunts or blows, the men build relationships and a sense of who they are. Through these engrossing, revealing, and at times immortalizing activities, they forge new identities, friendships, and job opportunities, giving themselves a renewed sense of self-worth and community. As the United States becomes increasingly polarized over issues of immigration and culture, Fútbol in the Park offers a close look at the individual lives and experiences of migrants.
Based on surveys and interviews of two hundred gay men, Peter Nardi's new study presents the first book-length examination of contemporary urban gay men's friendships. Expertly weaving historical and sociological research on friendship with firsthand information, Nardi argues that friendship is the central organizing element of gay men's lives. Through friendship, gay identities and communities are created, transformed, maintained, and reproduced.
Nardi explores the meaning of friends to some gay men, how friends often become a surrogate family, how sexual behavior and attraction affects these friendships, and how, for many, friends mean more and last longer than romantic relationships. While looking at the psychological joys and sorrows of friendship, he also considers the cultural constraints limiting gay men in contemporary urban America—especially those that deal with dominant images of masculinity and heterosexuality—and how they relate to friendship.
By listening to gay men talk about their interactions, Nardi offers a rare glimpse into the mechanisms of gay life. We learn how gay men meet their friends, what they typically do and talk about, and how these strong relationships contain the roots of larger cultural forces such as social movements and gay identities and neighborhoods. Nardi also points out the political and social consequences when friendships fail to provide support against oppression.
An intimate and informative look at gay life in urban America, Gay Men's Friendships ultimately shows how these relationships challenge the gender order of our society by questioning how masculinity is constructed and by offering a model for a more creative blending of gay and heterosexual masculinity.
In Close Association is the first English-language study of the local networks of women and men who built modern Japan in the Meiji period (1868–1912). Marnie Anderson uncovers in vivid detail how a colorful group of Okayama-based activists founded institutions, engaged in the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement, promoted social reform, and advocated “civilization and enlightenment” while forging pathbreaking conceptions of self and society. Alongside them were Western Protestant missionaries, making this story at once a local history and a transnational one.
Placing gender analysis at its core, the book offers fresh perspectives on what women did beyond domestic boundaries, while showing men’s lives, too, were embedded in home and kin. Writing “history on the diagonal,” Anderson documents the gradual differentiation of public activity by gender in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Meiji-era associations became increasingly sex-specific, though networks remained heterosocial until the twentieth century.
Anderson attends to how the archival record shapes what historians can know about individual lives. She argues for the interdependence of women and men and the importance of highlighting connections between people to explain historical change. Above all, the study sheds new light on how local personalities together transformed Japan.
Cultural preservation, linguistic revitalization, intellectual heritage, and environmental sustainability became central to Indigenous movements in Mexico and Central America after 1992. While the emergence of these issues triggered important conversations, none to date have examined the role that new media has played in accomplishing their objectives.
Indigenous Interfaces provides the first thorough examination of indigeneity at the interface of cyberspace. Correspondingly, it examines the impact of new media on the struggles for self-determination that Indigenous peoples undergo in Mexico and Central America. The volume’s contributors highlight the fresh approaches that Mesoamerica’s Indigenous peoples have given to new media—from YouTubing Maya rock music to hashtagging in Zapotec. Together, they argue that these cyberspatial activities both maintain tradition and ensure its continuity. Without considering the implications of new technologies, Indigenous Interfaces argues, twenty-first-century indigeneity in Mexico and Central America cannot be successfully documented, evaluated, and comprehended.
Indigenous Interfaces rejects the myth that indigeneity and information technology are incompatible through its compelling analysis of the relationships between Indigenous peoples and new media. The volume illustrates how Indigenous peoples are selectively and strategically choosing to interface with cybertechnology, highlights Indigenous interpretations of new media, and brings to center Indigenous communities who are resetting modes of communication and redirecting the flow of information. It convincingly argues that interfacing with traditional technologies simultaneously with new media gives Indigenous peoples an edge on the claim to autonomous and sovereign ways of being Indigenous in the twenty-first century.
Debra A. Castillo
Gloria Elizabeth Chacón
Adam W. Coon
Tajëëw Díaz Robles
Alicia Ivonne Estrada
Jennifer Gómez Menjívar
Sue P. Haglund
Brook Danielle Lillehaugen
Paul Joseph López Oro
Rita M. Palacios
Throughout the world, the kitchen is the heart of family and community life. Yet, while everyone has a story to tell about their grandmother's kitchen, the myriad activities that go on in this usually female world are often devalued, and little scholarly attention has been paid to this crucial space in which family, gender, and community relations are forged and maintained. To give the kitchen the prominence and respect it merits, Maria Elisa Christie here offers a pioneering ethnography of kitchenspace in three central Mexican communities, Xochimilco, Ocotepec, and Tetecala.
Christie coined the term "kitchenspace" to encompass both the inside kitchen area in which everyday meals for the family are made and the larger outside cooking area in which elaborate meals for community fiestas are prepared by many women working together. She explores how both kinds of meal preparation create bonds among family and community members. In particular, she shows how women's work in preparing food for fiestas gives women status in their communities and creates social networks of reciprocal obligation. In a culture rigidly stratified by gender, Christie concludes, kitchenspace gives women a source of power and a place in which to transmit the traditions and beliefs of older generations through quasi-sacramental food rites.
In this groundbreaking study, The Language of Political Incorporation, Amy Liu focuses on Chinese migrants in Central-Eastern Europe and their varying levels of political incorporation in the local community. She examines the linguistic diversity of migrant networks, finding institutional trust and civic engagement depend not on national identity, but on the network’s linguistic diversity—namely, whether the operating language is a migrant’s mother tongue or a lingua franca.
The Language of Political Incorporation uses original survey data to assess when the Chinese engage positively with the authorities and when they become civic minded. The results are surprising. In Hungary, the Chinese community has experienced high levels of political incorporation in part because they have not been targeted by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. In contrast, migrants in Romania sought the assistance of the Chinese embassy to fight an effort to collect back taxes.
Liu also compares the Chinese experiences in Central-Eastern Europe with those of Muslims in the region, as well as how the Chinese are treated in Western Europe. Additionally, she considers how the local communities perceive the Chinese. The Language of Political Incorporation concludes by offering best practices for how governments can help migrants become more trusting of—and have greater involvement with—locals in their host countries. Ultimately, Liu demonstrates the importance of linguistic networks for the incorporation of immigrants.
Lineages Embedded in Temple Networks explores the key role played by elite Daoists in social and cultural life in Ming China, notably by mediating between local networks—biological lineages, territorial communities, temples, and festivals—and the state. They did this through their organization in clerical lineages—their own empire-wide networks for channeling knowledge, patronage, and resources—and by controlling central temples that were nodes of local social structures.
In this book, the only comprehensive social history of local Daoism during the Ming largely based on literary sources and fieldwork, Richard G. Wang delineates the interface between local organizations (such as lineages and temple networks) and central state institutions. The first part provides the framework for viewing Daoism as a social institution in regard to both its religious lineages and its service to the state in the bureaucratic apparatus to implement state orthodoxy. The second part follows four cases to reveal the connections between clerical lineages and local networks. Wang illustrates how Daoism claimed a universal ideology and civilizing force that mediated between local organizations and central state institutions, which in turn brought meaning and legitimacy to both local society and the state.
What happens when the market tries to help the poor? In many parts of the world today, neoliberal development programs are offering ordinary people the tools of free enterprise as the means to well-being and empowerment. Schemes to transform the poor into small-scale entrepreneurs promise them the benefits of the market and access to the rewards of globalization. Markets of Dispossession is a theoretically sophisticated and sobering account of the consequences of these initiatives.
Julia Elyachar studied the efforts of bankers, social scientists, ngo members, development workers, and state officials to turn the craftsmen and unemployed youth of Cairo into the vanguard of a new market society based on microenterprise. She considers these efforts in relation to the alternative notions of economic success held by craftsmen in Cairo, in which short-term financial profit is not always highly valued. Through her careful ethnography of workshop life, Elyachar explains how the traditional market practices of craftsmen are among the most vibrant modes of market life in Egypt. Long condemned as backward, these existing market practices have been seized on by social scientists and development institutions as the raw materials for experiments in “free market” expansion. Elyachar argues that the new economic value accorded to the cultural resources and social networks of the poor has fueled a broader process leading to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.
Focusing on marriage figurines—double human figurines that represent relations formed through social alliances—Hendon, Joyce, and Lopiparo examine the material relations created in Honduras between AD 500 and 1000, a period of time when a network of social houses linked settlements of a variety of sizes in the region. The authors analyze these small, seemingly insignificant artifacts using the theory of materiality to understand broader social processes.
They examine the production, use, and disposal of marriage figurines from six sites—Campo Dos, Cerro Palenque, Copán, Currusté, Tenampua, and Travesia—and explore their role in rituals and ceremonies, as well as in the forming of social bonds and the celebration of relationships among communities. They find evidence of historical traditions reproduced over generations through material media in social relations among individuals, families, and communities, as well as social differences within this network of connected yet independent settlements.
Material Relations provides a new and dynamic understanding of how social houses functioned via networks of production and reciprocal exchange of material objects and will be of interest to Mesoamerican archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians.
Chicago is home to the second-largest Mexican immigrant population in the United States, yet the activities of this community have gone relatively unexamined by both the media and academia. In this groundbreaking new book, Xóchitl Bada takes us inside one of the most vital parts of Chicago’s Mexican immigrant community—its many hometown associations.
Hometown associations (HTAs) consist of immigrants from the same town in Mexico and often begin quite informally, as soccer clubs or prayer groups. As Bada’s work shows, however, HTAs have become a powerful force for change, advocating for Mexican immigrants in the United States while also working to improve living conditions in their communities of origin. Focusing on a group of HTAs founded by immigrants from the state of Michoacán, the book shows how their activism has bridged public and private spheres, mobilizing social reforms in both inner-city Chicago and rural Mexico.
Bringing together ethnography, political theory, and archival research, Bada excavates the surprisingly long history of Chicago’s HTAs, dating back to the 1920s, then traces the emergence of new models of community activism in the twenty-first century. Filled with vivid observations and original interviews, Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán gives voice to an underrepresented community and sheds light on an underexplored form of global activism.
Half of all workers are hired through personal referrals, and networks of social connections channel the flows of capital, technology, and international trade. Sociologists and economists alike recognize that economic exchange is shaped by social networks, which propagate information and facilitate trust, but each discipline brings a distinct theoretical perspective to the study of networks. Sociologists have focused on how networks shape individual behavior, economists on how individual choices shape networks. The Missing Links is a bold effort by an interdisciplinary group of scholars to synthesize sociological and economic theories of how economic networks emerge and evolve. Interweaving sophisticated theoretical models and concrete case studies, The Missing Links is both an introduction to the study of economic networks and a catalyst for further research. Economists Rachel Kranton and Deborah Minehart illustrate their field's approach to modeling network formation, showing how manufacturers form networks of suppliers in ways that maximize profits. Exemplifying the sociological approach, Ronald Burt analyzes patterns of cooperation and peer evaluations among colleagues at a financial organization. He finds that dense connections of shared acquaintances lead to more stable reputations. In the latter half of the book, contributors combine the insights of sociology and economics to explore a series of case studies. Ray Reagans, Ezra Zuckerman, and Bill McEvily investigate an R & D firm in which employees participate in overlapping collaborative teams, allowing the authors to disentangle the effects of network structure and individual human capital on team performance. Kaivan Munshi and Mark Rosenzweig examine how economic development and rising inequality in India are reshaping caste-based networks of mutual insurance and job referrals. Their study shows that people's economic decisions today are shaped both by the legacy of the caste hierarchies and by the particular incentives and constraints that each individual faces in an evolving labor market. Economic globalization is forging new connections between people in distant corners of the world, while unsettling long-standing social relations. Anyone interested in understanding the opportunities and challenges of this era of rapid change will find a highly informative guide in The Missing Links.
Most Native Americans in the United States live in cities, where many find themselves caught in a bind, neither afforded the full rights granted U.S. citizens nor allowed full access to the tribal programs and resources—particularly health care services—provided to Native Americans living on reservations. A scholar and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Renya K. Ramirez investigates how urban Native Americans negotiate what she argues is, in effect, a transnational existence. Through an ethnographic account of the Native American community in California’s Silicon Valley and beyond, Ramirez explores the ways that urban Indians have pressed their tribes, local institutions, and the federal government to expand conventional notions of citizenship.
Ramirez’s ethnography revolves around the Paiute American activist Laverne Roberts’s notion of the “hub,” a space that allows for the creation of a sense of belonging away from a geographic center. Ramirez describes “hub-making” activities in Silicon Valley, including sweat lodge ceremonies, powwows, and American Indian Alliance meetings, gatherings at which urban Indians reinforce bonds of social belonging and forge intertribal alliances. She examines the struggle of the Muwekma Ohlone, a tribe aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay area, to maintain a sense of community without a land base and to be recognized as a tribe by the federal government. She considers the crucial role of Native women within urban indigenous communities; a 2004 meeting in which Native Americans from Mexico and the United States discussed cross-border indigenous rights activism; and the ways that young Native Americans in Silicon Valley experience race and ethnicity, especially in relation to the area’s large Chicano community. A unique and important exploration of diaspora, transnationalism, identity, belonging, and community, Native Hubs is intended for scholars and activists alike.
Neighborhood Technologies expands upon sociologist Thomas Schelling’s well-known study of segregation in major American cities, using this classic work as the basis for a new way of researching social networks across many different disciplines. Up to now, research has focused on macro-level behaviors that, together, form rigid systems of neighborhood relations. But can neighborhoods conversely affect larger, global dynamics? What relationships can be found between micro- and macro- perspectives?
To answer these and related questions, this volume introduces the concept of “neighborhood technologies” as a model for intermediate, or meso-level, research into the links between local agents and neighborhood relations. Bridging the gap between the sciences and humanities, Tobias Harks and Sebastian Vehlken have assembled a group of contributors who are either natural scientists with an interest in interdisciplinary research or technology-savvy humanists. With insights into computer science, mathematics, sociology, media and cultural studies, theater studies, and architecture, the book will inform new research.
Neither Separate Nor Equal
edited by Barbara Ellen Smith Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HQ1438.S63N45 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.420975
When she began work on this collection, Barbara Ellen Smith was asked, "Why work on a book about women in the South? Nobody writes books about women in the Midwest." In an era of intensified globalization, when populations, cultures, and capital move across the boundaries of nation-states in multiple forms and directions, the concept of a subnational region seems parochial and out of date. "But," Smith argues, "it is precisely because of the historical construction of the secessionist South as an embattled region when all manners of social problems tend to be blamed on poor women and children and those whose skin is anything but white, that the experiences of racially diverse women in a region legendary for both white supremacy and male supremacy are important to explore."
Collecting in one volume the work of such well-known scholars on Appalachia and the South as Carl Stack, Mab Segrest, and Sally Maggard, among others, Neither Separate Nor Equal analyzes the complex and dramatic developments in the lives of contemporary Southern women. Case studies vividly portray women's diverse circumstances activities: from rural African American women in the Mississippi Delta taking on new roles as community builders to female textile workers in North Carolina contending with automation and reorganization of the mills.
Focusing on the South's historical legacies as they are manifested and contested in the lives of women today, including the tensions between long-lasting patterns of regional distinctiveness and the disruptions of globalizations, this collection approaches differences of race and class not as forms of separation among women, but as social -- be they often contentious, difficult, or exploitive -- relationships. Unifying around a theme of relationally, Neither Separate Nor Equal offers searching empirical studies of Southern women and a conceptual model for feminist scholarship as a whole.
Networking Arguments presents an original study on the use and misuse of global institutional rhetoric and the effects of these practices on women, particularly in developing countries. Using a feminist lens, Rebecca Dingo views the complex networks that rhetoric flows through, globally and nationally, and how it’s often reconfigured to work both for and against women and to maintain existing power structures.
To see how rhetorics travel, Dingo deconstructs the central terminology employed by global institutions—mainstreaming, fitness, and empowerment—and shows how their meanings shift depending on the contexts in which they’re used. She studies programs by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the United States, among others, to view the original policies, then follows the trail of their diffusion and manipulation and the ultimate consequences for individuals.
To analyze transnational rhetorical processes, Dingo builds a theoretical framework by employing concepts of transcoding, ideological traffic, and interarticulation to uncover the intricacies of power relationships at work within networks. She also views transnational capitalism, neoliberal economics, and neocolonial ideologies as primary determinants of policy and arguments over women’s roles in the global economy.
Networking Arguments offers a new method of feminist rhetorical analysis that allows for an increased understanding of global gender policies and encourages strategies to counteract the negative effects they can create.
In recent years U.S. public policy has focused on strengthening the nuclear family as a primary strategy for improving the lives of America's youth. It is often assumed that this normative type of family is an independent, self-sufficient unit adequate for raising children. But half of all households in the United States with young children have two employed parents. How do working parents provide care and mobilize the help that they need?
In Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care, Karen V. Hansen investigates the lives of working parents and the informal networks they construct to help care for their children. She chronicles the conflicts, hardships, and triumphs of four families of various social classes. Each must navigate the ideology that mandates that parents, mothers in particular, rear their own children, in the face of an economic reality that requires that parents rely on the help of others. In vivid family stories, parents detail how they and their networks of friends, paid caregivers, and extended kin collectively close the "care gap" for their school-aged children.
Hansen not only debunks the myth that families in the United States are independent, isolated, and self-reliant units, she breaks new theoretical ground by asserting that informal networks of care can potentially provide unique and valuable bonds that nuclear families cannot.
Oriental Networks explores forms of interconnectedness between Western and Eastern hemispheres during the long eighteenth century, a period of improving transportation technology, expansion of intercultural contacts, and the emergence of a global economy. In eight case studies and a substantial introduction, the volume examines relationships between individuals and institutions, precursors to modern networks that engaged in forms of intercultural exchange. Addressing the exchange of cultural commodities (plants, animals, and artifacts), cultural practices and ideas, the roles of ambassadors and interlopers, and the literary and artistic representation of networks, networkers, and networking, contributors discuss the effects on people previously separated by vast geographical and cultural distance. Rather than idealizing networks as inherently superior to other forms of organization, Oriental Networks also considers Enlightenment expressions of resistance to networking that inform modern skepticism toward the concept of the global network and its politics. In doing so the volume contributes to the increasingly global understanding of culture and communication.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
In Passionate Work, Renyi Hong theorizes the notion of being “passionate about your work” as an affective project that encourages people to endure economically trying situations like unemployment, job change, repetitive and menial labor, and freelancing. Not simply a subject of aspiration, passion has been deployed as a means to build resilience and mend disappointments with our experiences of work. Tracking the rise of passion in nineteenth-century management to trends like gamification, coworking, and unemployment insurance, Hong demonstrates how passion can emerge in instances that would not typically be understood as passionate. Gamification numbs crippling boredom by keeping call center workers in an unthinking, suspensive state, pursuing even the most banal tasks in hope of career advancement. Coworking spaces marketed toward freelancers combat loneliness and disconnection at the precise moment when middle-class sureties are profoundly threatened. Ultimately, Hong argues, the ideal of passionate work sustains a condition of cruel optimism in which passion is offered as the solution for the injustices of contemporary capitalism.
Peer Power seeks to explode existing myths about children's friendships, power and popularity, and the gender chasm between elementary school boys and girls. Based on eight years of intensive insider participant observation in their own children's community, Peter and Patti Adler discuss the vital components of the lives of preadolescents, popularity, friendships, cliques, social status, social isolation, loyalty, bullying, boy-girl relationships, and afterschool activities. They describe how friendships shift and change, how people are drawn into groups and excluded from them, how clique leaders maintain their power and popularity, and how individuals' social experiences and feelings about themselves differ from the top of the pecking order to the bottom. In so doing, the Adlers focus their attention on the peer culture of the children themselves and the way this culture extracts and modifies elements from adult culture. Children's peer culture, as it is nourished in those spaces where grown ups cannot penetrate, stands between individual children and the larger adult society. As such, it is a mediator and shaper, influencing the way children collectively interpret their surroundings and deal with the common problems they face.
The Adlers explore some of the patterns that develop in this social space, noting both the differences in boys' and girls' gendered cultures and the overlap in many social dynamics, afterschool activities, role behaviour, romantic inclinations and social stratification. For example, children's participation in adult-organized afterschool activities - a now-prominent feature of many American children's social experience - has profound implications for their socialization and development, moving them away from the negotiated, spontaneous character of play into the formal systems of adult norms and values at ever-younger ages. When they retreat from adults, however, they still display distinctive peer group dynamics, forging strong ingroup/outgroup differentiation, loyalty and identification. Peer culture thus contains informal social mechanisms through which children create their social order, determine their place and identity, and develop positive and negative feelings about themselves. Studying children's peer culture is thus valuable as it reveals not only how this subculture parallels the adult world but also how it differs from it.
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
In big cities, major museums and elite galleries tend to dominate our idea of the art world. But beyond the cultural core ruled by these moneyed institutions and their patrons are vibrant, local communities of artists and art lovers operating beneath the high-culture radar. Producing Local Color is a guided tour of three such alternative worlds that thrive in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Pilsen, and Rogers Park.
These three neighborhoods are, respectively, historically African American, predominantly Mexican American, and proudly ethnically mixed. Drawing on her ethnographic research in each place, Diane Grams presents and analyzes the different kinds of networks of interest and support that sustain the making of art outside of the limelight. And she introduces us to the various individuals—from cutting-edge artists to collectors to municipal planners—who work together to develop their communities, honor their history, and enrich the experiences of their neighbors through art. Along with its novel insights into these little examined art worlds, Producing Local Color also provides a thought-provoking account of how urban neighborhoods change and grow.
Much of today's heated academic discussion about "social capital" is either theoretical in nature or revolves around national survey data, neither of which adequately explains the specific social networks that actually sustain life in cities. This is the first book about social capital that both spans a broad range of social contexts and time periods and focuses on a single city, Philadelphia. Contributors examine such subjects as voter behavior, education, neighborhood life, church participation, park advocacy, and political activism. The wide scope of the book reflects its concern for comprehending the uniqueness and diversity of urban social networks.Moving beyond typical definitions, the original essays collected here utilize case studies to demonstrate how social capital is nested in larger structures of power and cannot be appreciated without an understanding of context. Arguing that urban society is "social capital writ large," contributors complicate and deepen our knowledge of a crucial concept and its fruitful applications.
Human beings are social animals. Yet despite vast amounts of research into political decision making, very little attention has been devoted to its social dimensions. In political science, social relationships are generally thought of as mere sources of information, rather than active influences on one’s political decisions.
Drawing upon data from settings as diverse as South Los Angeles and Chicago’s wealthy North Shore, Betsy Sinclair shows that social networks do not merely inform citizen’s behavior, they can—and do—have the power to change it. From the decision to donate money to a campaign or vote for a particular candidate to declaring oneself a Democrat or Republican, basic political acts are surprisingly subject to social pressures. When members of a social network express a particular political opinion or belief, Sinclair shows, others notice and conform, particularly if their conformity is likely to be highly visible.
We are not just social animals, but social citizens whose political choices are significantly shaped by peer influence. The Social Citizen has important implications for our concept of democratic participation and will force political scientists to revise their notion of voters as socially isolated decision makers.
Using classic theories and methodologies, this collection maintains that individuals make political choices by taking into account the views, preferences, evaluations, and actions of other people who comprise their social networks. These include family members, friends, neighbors, and workmates, among others. The volume re-establishes the research of the Columbia School of Electoral Sociology from several decades ago, and contrasts it with rational choice theory and the Michigan School of Electoral Analysis. Written by political scientists with a range of interests, this volume returns the social logic of politics to the heart of political science.
Randall Collins traces the movement of philosophical thought in ancient Greece, China, Japan, India, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. What emerges from this history is a social theory of intellectual change, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. Instead, Collins focuses on the social locations where sophisticated ideas are formed: the patterns of intellectual networks and their inner divisions and conflicts.
National news reports periodically proclaim that American life is lonelier than ever, and new books on the subject with titles like Bowling Alone generate considerable anxiety about the declining quality of Americans' social ties. Still Connected challenges such concerns by asking a simple yet significant question: have Americans' bonds with family and friends changed since the 1970s, and, if so, how? Noted sociologist Claude Fischer examines long-term trends in family ties and friendships and paints an insightful and ultimately reassuring portrait of Americans' personal relationships. Still Connected analyzes forty years of survey research to address whether and how Americans' personal ties have changed—their involvement with relatives, the number of friends they have and their contacts with those friends, the amount of practical and emotional support they are able to count on, and how emotionally tied they feel to these relationships. The book shows that Americans today have fewer relatives than they did forty years ago and that formal gatherings have declined over the decades—at least partially as a result of later marriages and more women in the work force. Yet neither the overall quantity of personal relationships nor, more importantly, the quality of those relationships has diminished. Americans' contact with relatives and friends, as well as their feelings of emotional connectedness, has changed relatively little since the 1970s. Although Americans are marrying later and single people feel lonely, few Americans report being socially isolated and the percentage who do has not really increased. Fischer maintains that this constancy testifies to the value Americans place on family and friends and to their willingness to adapt to changing circumstances in ways that sustain their social connections. For example, children now often have schedules as busy as their parents. Yet today's parents spend more quality time with their children than parents did forty years ago—although less in the form of organized home activities and more in the form of accompanying them to play dates or sports activities. And those family meals at home that seem to be disappearing? While survey research shows that families dine at home together less often, it also shows that they dine out together more often. Americans are fascinated by the quality of their relationships with family and friends and whether these bonds fray or remain stable over time. With so many voices heralding the demise of personal relationships, it's no wonder that confusion on this topic abounds. An engrossing and accessible social history, Still Connected brings a much-needed note of clarity to the discussion. Americans' personal ties, this book assures us, remain strong.
Ronald Burt describes the social structural theory of competition that has developed through the last two decades. The contrast between perfect competition and monopoly is replaced with a network model of competition. The basic element in this account is the structural hole: a gap between two individuals with complementary resources or information. When the two are connected through a third individual as entrepreneur, the gap is filled, creating important advantages for the entrepreneur. Competitive advantage is a matter of access to structural holes in relation to market transactions.
If all politics is local, then so is almost everything else, argues sociologist Gary Alan Fine. We organize our lives by relying on those closest to us—family members, friends, work colleagues, team mates, and other intimates—to create meaning and order. In this thoughtful and wide-ranging book, Fine argues that the basic building blocks of society itself are forged within the boundaries of such small groups, the "tiny publics" necessary for a robust, functioning social order at all levels. Action, meaning, authority, inequality, organization, and institutions all have their roots in small groups. Yet for the past twenty-five years social scientists have tended to ignore the power of groups in favor of an emphasis on organizations, societies, or individuals. Based on over thirty-five years of Fine's own ethnographic research across an array of small groups, Tiny Publics presents a compelling new theory of the pivotal role of small groups in organizing social life. No social system can thrive without flourishing small groups. They provide havens in an impersonal world, where faceless organizations become humanized. Taking examples from such diverse worlds as Little League baseball teams, restaurant workers, high school debate teams, weather forecasters, and political volunteers, Fine demonstrates how each group has its own unique culture, or idioculture—the system of knowledge, beliefs, behavior, and customs that define and hold a group together. With their dense network of relationships, groups serve as important sources of social and cultural capital for their members. The apparently innocuous jokes, rituals, and nicknames prevalent within Little League baseball teams help establish how teams function internally and how they compete with other teams. Small groups also provide a platform for their members to engage in broader social discourse and a supportive environment to begin effecting change in larger institutions. In his studies of mushroom collectors and high school debate teams, Fine demonstrates the importance of stories that group members tell each other about their successes and frustrations in fostering a strong sense of social cohesion. And Fine shows how the personal commitment political volunteers bring to their efforts is reinforced by the close-knit nature of their work, which in turn has the power to change larger groups and institutions. In this way, the actions and debates begun in small groups can eventually radiate outward to affect every level of society. Fine convincingly demonstrates how small groups provide fertile ground for the seeds of civic engagement. Outcomes often attributed to large-scale social forces originate within such small-scale domains. Employing rich insights from both sociology and social psychology, as well as vivid examples from a revealing array of real-work groups, Tiny Publics provides a compelling examination of the importance of small groups and of the rich vitality they bring to social life. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Emily Rosenberg examines the social and cultural networks that emerged from global exchanges between 1870 and 1945. Transnational connections were being formed many decades before "globalization" became a commonplace term in economic and political discourse, and these currents underscore the fluidity of spatial and personal identifications.
Tero Karppi University of Minnesota Press, 2020 Library of Congress HM742.K377 2021 | Dewey Decimal 302.30285
Exploring and conceptualizing practices, technologies, and politics of disconnecting
How do we think beyond the dominant images and imaginaries of connectivity? Undoing Networks enables a different connectivity: “digital detox” is a luxury for stressed urbanites wishing to lead a mindful life. Self-help books advocate “digital minimalism” to recover authentic experiences of the offline. Artists envision a world without the internet. Activists mobilize against the expansion of the 5G network.
If connectivity brought us virtual communities, information superhighways, and participatory culture, disconnection comes with privacy tools, Faraday shields, and figures of the shy. This book explores nonusage and the “right to disconnect” from work and from the excessive demands of digital capitalism.
When an industrious slave named Willis Hodges Cromwell earned the money to obtain liberty for his wife—who then bought freedom for him and for their children—he set in motion a family saga that resounds today. His youngest son, John Wesley Cromwell, became an educator, lawyer, and newspaper publisher—and one of the most influential men of letters in the generation that bridged Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois. Now, in Unveiled Voices, Unvarnished Memories, his granddaughter, Adelaide M. Cromwell, documents the journey of her family from the slave marts of Annapolis to achievements in a variety of learned professions.
John W. Cromwell began the family archives from which this book is drawn—letters and documents that provide an unprecedented view of how one black family thought, strived, and survived in American society from the seventeenth century to the twentieth. These papers reflect intimate thoughts about such topics as national and local leaders, moral behavior, color consciousness, and the challenges of everyday life in a racist society. They also convey a wealth of rich insights on the burdens that black parents’ demands for achievement placed on their children, the frequently bitter rivalries within the intellectual class of the African American community, and the negative impact on African American women of sexism in a world dominated by black men whose own hold on respect was tentative at best.
The voices gathered here give readers an inside look at the formation and networks of the African American elite, as John Cromwell forged friendships with such figures as journalist John E. Bruce and the Reverend Theophilus Gould Steward. Letters with those two faithfully depict the forces that shaped the worldview of the small but steadily expanding community of African American intellectuals who helped transform the nation’s attitudes and policies on race, and whose unguarded comments on a wide range of matters will be of particular interest to social historians. Additional correspondence between John and his son, John Jr., brings the family story into modern times.
Unveiled Voices, Unvarnished Memories is a rare look at the public and private world of individuals who refused to be circumscribed by racism and the ghetto while pursuing their own well-being. Its narrative depth breaks new ground in African American history and offers a unique primary source for that community.
For decades now, scholars and politicians alike have argued that the concentration of poverty in city housing projects would produce distrust, alienation, apathy, and social isolation—the disappearance of what sociologists call social capital. But relatively few have examined precisely how such poverty affects social capital or have considered for what reasons living in a poor neighborhood results in such undesirable effects.
This book examines a neglected Puerto Rican enclave in Boston to consider the pros and cons of social scientific thinking about the true nature of ghettos in America. Mario Luis Small dismantles the theory that poor urban neighborhoods are inevitably deprived of social capital. He shows that the conditions specified in this theory are vaguely defined and variable among poor communities. According to Small, structural conditions such as unemployment or a failed system of familial relations must be acknowledged as affecting the urban poor, but individual motivations and the importance of timing must be considered as well.
Brimming with fresh theoretical insights, Villa Victoria is an elegant work of sociology that will be essential to students of urban poverty.
Conventional wisdom holds that trust is essential for cooperation between individuals and institutions—such as community organizations, banks, and local governments. Not necessarily so, according to editors Karen Cook, Margaret Levi, and Russell Hardin. Cooperation thrives under a variety of circum-stances. Whom Can We Trust? examines the conditions that promote or constrain trust and advances our understanding of how cooperation really works. From interpersonal and intergroup relations to large-scale organizations, Whom Can We Trust? uses empirical research to show that the need for trust and trustworthiness as prerequisites to cooperation varies widely. Part I addresses the sources of group-based trust. One chapter focuses on the assumption—versus the reality—of trust among coethnics in Uganda. Another examines the effects of social-network position on trust and trustworthiness in urban Ghana and rural Kenya. And a third demonstrates how cooperation evolves in groups where reciprocity is the social norm. Part II asks whether there is a causal relationship between institutions and feelings of trust in individuals. What does—and doesn't—promote trust between doctors and patients in a managed-care setting? How do poverty and mistrust figure into the relations between inner city residents and their local leaders? Part III reveals how institutions and networks create environments for trust and cooperation. Chapters in this section look at trust as credit-worthiness and the history of borrowing and lending in the Anglo-American commercial world; the influence of the perceived legitimacy of local courts in the Philippines on the trust relations between citizens and the government; and the key role of skepticism, not necessarily trust, in a well-developed democratic society. Whom Can We Trust? unravels the intertwined functions of trust and cooperation in diverse cultural, economic, and social settings. The book provides a bold new way of thinking about how trust develops, the real limitations of trust, and when trust may not even be necessary for forging cooperation. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Although scholars have emphasized the importance of women’s networks for civil society in twentieth-century Japan, Women and Networks in Nineteenth-Century Japan is the first book to tackle the subject for the contentious and consequential nineteenth century. The essays traverse the divide when Japan started transforming itself from a decentralized to a centralized government, from legally imposed restrictions on movement to the breakdown of travel barriers, and from ad hoc schooling to compulsory elementary school education. As these essays suggest, such changes had a profound impact on women and their roles in networks. Rather than pursue a common methodology, the authors take diverse approaches to this topic that open up fruitful avenues for further exploration.
Most of the essays in this volume are by Japanese scholars; their inclusion here provides either an introduction to their work or the opportunity to explore their scholarship further. Because women are often invisible in historical documentation, the authors use a range of sources (such as diaries, letters, and legal documents) to reconstruct the familial, neighborhood, religious, political, work, and travel networks that women maintained, constructed, or found themselves in, sometimes against their will. In so doing, most but not all of the authors try to decenter historical narratives built on men’s activities and men’s occupational and status-based networks, and instead recover women’s activities in more localized groupings and personal associations.