In this book, Reuven Brenner argues that people bet on new ideas and are more willing to take risks when they have been outdone by their fellows on local, national, or international scales. Such bets mean that people deviate from the beaten path and either gamble, commit crimes, or come up with new ideas in art, business, or politics, and ideas concerning war and peace in particular. By using evidence on gambling, crime, and creativity now and during the Industrial Revolution, by examining innovations in English and French inheritance laws and the emergence of welfare legislation, and by looking at what has happened before and after wars, Brenner reaches the conclusion that hope and fear, envy and vanity, sentiments provoked when being leapfrogged, make humans race.
The essays in this volume analyze the growing stresses of demographic trends in the United States and their implications for policymakers. They describe projections for U.S. birth rates, changing family patterns, age-dependency ratio, immigration, geographical distribution, income distribution, and international standing. This book was published under the auspices of the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, DC.
For years, anthropology has brought the lives and beliefs of "exotic" peoples to audiences in the West. Diagnosing America: Anthropology and Public Engagement reveals the power of anthropological description and analysis when applied to social, economic, and political problems in the contemporary United States and demonstrates the urgent need for this work.
Debunking the notion of anthropology as a "value-free" science, the authors argue forcefully for an anthropology expressly committed to cultural pluralism and democratic participation.
At the same time, individual essays demonstrate the applicability of standard anthropological methods to the study of contemporary U.S. society and culture as they investigate contested values, community politics, middle-class economics, and workplace culture or describe the psychophysiological stress effects of exclusion on African- Americans and the coping mechanisms of Mexican-Americans along the border.
Diagnosing America and the challenging "Statement to the Profession" that concludes it call for anthropologists to reach beyond the parochialism of their own discipline and to engage history, economics, sociology, and the policy sciences. It will be of interest to scholars in each of these fields who are concerned with the study and resolution of contemporary social problems in the United States and to students of American culture in this country and abroad.
Shepard Forman is Director of the International Affairs Program of the Ford Foundation and a former Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan.
Will the future be one of economic expansion, greater tolerance, liberating inventions, and longer, happier lives? Or do we face economic stagnation, declining quality of life, and a technologically enhanced totalitarianism worse than any yet seen? The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040 draws its inspiration from a more optimistic time, and tome, The Fabulous Future: America in 1980, in which Fortune magazine celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary by publishing the predictions of thought leaders of its time.
In the present volume, the world’s leading specialists from diverse fields project developments in their areas of expertise, from religion and the media to the environment and nanotechnology. Will we be happier, and what exactly does happiness have to do with our economic future? Where is higher education heading and how should it develop? And what is the future of prediction itself? These exciting essays provoke sharper questions, reflect unexpectedly on one another, and testify to our present anxieties about the surprising world to come.
A volume in the Social Science Frontiers series, which are occasional publications reviewing new fields for social science development. These occasional publications seek to summarize recent work being done in particular areas of social research, to review new developments in the field, and to indicate issues needing further investigation. The publications are intended to help orient those concerned with developing current research programs and broadening the use of social science in the policy-making process. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Social Science Frontiers Series
Concerns itself with the future of sociology, and of all social science. The thirteen authors—among them Wendell Bell, Kai T. Erikson, Scott Greer, Robert Boguslaw, James Mau, and Ivar Oxaal—are oriented toward a redefinition of the role of the social scientist as advisor to policymakers and administrators in all major areas of social concern, for the purpose of studying and shaping the future. This book contains research strategies for such "futurologistic" study, theories on its merits and dangers, as well as an annotated bibliography of social science studies of the future.
From meat consumption to automobile production to hydropower, Vital Signs, Volume 20 documents over two dozen trends that are shaping our future in concise analyses and clear tables and graphs. The twentieth volume of the Worldwatch Institute series demonstrates that while remarkable progress has been made over the past year, much remains to be done to get the planet on a more sustainable track.
Worldwide, people are waking up to the realities of a resource-constrained planet: investments and subsidies for renewable energy have reached new heights, consumers are slowly shifting away from meat-heavy diets, and new employment structures like co-operatives are democratizing the global economy. Yet with over 1 billion people lacking access to electricity, natural disasters that are more costly than ever before, and an adherence to the factory farm model of food production, it is clear that many obstacles loom on the horizon.
Covering a wide range of environmental, economic, and social themes, Vital Signs, Volume 20 is the go-to source for straightforward data and analyses on the latest issues facing an increasingly crowded planet. By placing each trend within a global framework, Vital Signs, Volume 20 identifies the solutions we need to transition toward a more sustainable world.
This book will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, and students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics.