There are two Indias: the caste and class elite who hold all power and make up 10 to 15 percent of the population, and everyone else. Averting the Apocalypse is about everyone else. Arthur Bonner, a former New York Times reporter with long experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia, conducted interviews over many months while traveling almost 20,000 miles within India seeking out the underclass and social activists who together are beginning to mobilize for social change at the bottom of Indian society. Working in areas torn by violence, Bonner offers a terrifyingly accurate portrait of a society bloodied by decades of unequal social structure and the absence of a civil society and political mechanism capable of responding to the exploitation of the poor and weak. Bonner finds that India’s inability or refusal to address its debilitating social structure may be the precursor to an apocalyptic social upheaval unless heed is paid to the social movements that his first-hand investigation reveals.
Even within anthropology, a discipline that strives to overcome misrepresentations of peoples and cultures, colonialist depictions of the so-called Dark Continent run deep. The grand narratives, tribal tropes, distorted images, and “natural” histories that forged the foundations of discourse about Africa remain firmly entrenched. In Beyond Words, Andrew Apter explores how anthropology can come to terms with the “colonial library” and begin to develop an ethnographic practice that transcends the politics of Africa’s imperial past.
The way out of the colonial library, Apter argues, is by listening to critical discourses in Africa that reframe the social and political contexts in which they are embedded. Apter develops a model of critical agency, focusing on a variety of language genres in Africa situated in rituals that transform sociopolitical relations by self-consciously deploying the power of language itself. To break the cycle of Western illusions in discursive constructions of Africa, he shows, we must listen to African voices in ways that are culturally and locally informed. In doing so, Apter brings forth what promises to be a powerful and influential theory in contemporary anthropology.
Bridging the Distance examines a number of the problems and prospects of the rural West that have largely been neglected by scholars. The issues are considered in four sections—Defining the Rural West, Community, Economy, and Land Use—each with an introduction by editor David Danbom. The essays highlight factors that set the region apart from the rest of the country and provide varied perspectives on challenges faced by those living in often isolated areas. Contributors cover matters such as a hazing incident that divided a small Colorado town and the effects of media coverage; challenges in areas of Montana and Wyoming where the ideas of new exurbanites regarding natural resources differ from those of long-time residents; conflict between surface water and ground water users in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska; and the shortcomings of health care among Latino immigrants in rural California. Essays on rural economy suggest how states can better use fiscal policies to advance long-term economic health and how resources can be exploited in ways that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. On the question of land use, one essay shares the viewpoint of a ranching family in Nevada that has long struggled with the government over grazing cattle on federal lands. Another examines the case of the Goshute Indians of Skull Valley, whose efforts to use their reservation for nuclear waste storage roused the ire of the state of Utah.
The essays in Bridging the Distance are fresh, informative, and insightful examinations of the complex problems facing the rural West. This is a book that will spur both conversations and the search for solutions.
China’s Communist Party seized power in 1949 after a long guerrilla insurgency followed by full-scale war, but the revolution was just beginning. Andrew Walder narrates the rise and fall of the Maoist state from 1949 to 1976—an epoch of startling accomplishments and disastrous failures, steered by many forces but dominated above all by Mao Zedong.
Cities, Sin, and Social Reform in Imperial Germany breaks new ground in the history of social thought and action in Imperial Germany, focusing on socially liberal efforts to counteract perceived problems in the area of moral behavior.
Thematically and methodologically wide-ranging and innovative, this volume considers a broad spectrum of responses not only to the supposed breakdown of social cohesion but also to specific forms of deviant behavior. It draws on large numbers of writings from the period by clergymen, jurists, medical doctors, educators, social workers, and others. This literature illuminates the histories not only of urbanization and cities but also of sexuality and Christianity, crime and criminology, leisure and education, youth and women, charity and social work, and the welfare state as well as local government.
Focusing on positive instead of escapist responses to the challenges that inhered in urban society, this work can be read as part of an ongoing reassessment of the German Empire that points away from the idea that Germans were traveling an antimodernist Sonderweg, or special path, that led inevitably to National Socialism and the Third Reich. Although intended primarily for scholars and students of modern Germany, this book should speak to a variety of readers, among them anyone who cares about the history of cities, deviant behavior, or social reform.
Andrew Lees is Professor of History, Rutgers University.
"Everyone knows 'drunk driving' is a 'serious' offense. And yet, everyone knows lots of 'drunk drivers' who don't get involved in accidents, don't get caught by the police, and manage to compensate adequately for their 'drunken disability.' Everyone also knows of 'drunk drivers' who have been arrested and gotten off easy. Gusfield's book dissects the conventional wisdom about 'drinking-driving' and examines the paradox of a 'serious' offense that is usually treated lightly by the judiciary and rarely carries social stigma."—Mac Marshall, Social Science and Medicine
"A sophisticated and thoughtful critic. . . . Gusfield argues that the 'myth of the killer drunk' is a creation of the 'public culture of law.' . . . Through its dramatic development and condemnation of the anti-social character of the drinking-driver, the public law strengthens the illusion of moral consensus in American society and celebrates the virtues of a sober and orderly world."—James D. Orcutt, Sociology and Social Research
"Joseph Gusfield denies neither the role of alcohol in highway accidents nor the need to do something about it. His point is that the research we conduct on drinking-driving and the laws we make to inhibit it tells us more about our moral order than about the effects of drinking-driving itself. Many will object to this conclusion, but none can ignore it. Indeed, the book will put many scientific and legal experts on the defensive as they face Gusfield's massive erudition, pointed analysis and criticism, and powerful argumentation. In The Culture of Public Problems, Gusfield presents the experts, and us, with a masterpiece of sociological reasoning."—Barry Schwartz, American Journal of Sociology
This book is truly an outstanding achievement. . . . It is sociology of science, sociology of law, sociology of deviance, and sociology of knowledge. Sociologists generally should find the book of great theoretical interest, and it should stimulate personal reflection on their assumptions about science and the kind of consciousness it creates. They will also find that the book is a delight to read."—William B. Bankston, Social Forces
In this new collection of his most acute and durable political writing, readers will recognize the spirit of indignation and hope Goodman first roused in the 1960s with Growing Up Absurd. "Stoehr tells his [Goodman's] story well.This is the genuine kind of decentralism."--The Nation
Suffused with pain and power, Minnie Bruce Pratt's poetry is as evocative of the swamps and streets of the southern United States as it is of the emotional lives of those too often forced into the margins of society. Vivid, lush, and intensely honest, these poems capture the rough edges of the world and force us to pay attention.
The Displaced of Capital
Anne Winters University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3573.I539D57 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 2005 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
The long-awaited follow-up to The Key to the City—a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986—Anne Winters's The Displaced of Capital emanates a quiet and authoritative passion for social justice, embodying the voice of a subtle, sophisticated conscience.
The "displaced" in the book's title refers to the poor, the homeless, and the disenfranchised who populate New York, the city that serves at once as gritty backdrop, city of dreams, and urban nightmare. Winters also addresses the culturally, ethnically, and emotionally excluded and, in these politically sensitive poems, writes without sentimentality of a cityscape of tenements and immigrants, offering her poetry as a testament to the lives of have-nots. In the central poem, Winters witnesses the relationship between two women of disparate social classes whose friendship represents the poet's political convictions. With poems both powerful and musical, The Displaced of Capital marks Anne Winters's triumphant return and assures her standing as an essential New York poet.
Adapting a verse from the Epistle of James —"doers of the word"— nineteenth-century black women activists Sojourner Truth, Jarena Lee, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, among others, travelled throughout the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern regions of the United States. They preached, lectured, and wrote on issues of religious evangelicism, abolition, racial uplift, moral reform, temperance, and women's rights, thereby defining themselves as public intellectuals.
In situating these women within the emerging African-American urban communities of the free North, Doers of the Word provides an important counterweight to the vast scholarship on Southern slavery and argues that black "Civil Rights movements" cannot be seen as a purely modern phenomenon. In particular, the book examines the ways in which this Northern black population, despite its heterogeneity, came together and established social organizations that would facilitate community empowerment; yet Peterson's analysis also acknowledges, and seeks to explain, the highly complex relationship of black women to these institutions, a relationship that rendered their stance as public intellectuals all the more bold and defiant.
Peterson begins her study in the 1830s, when a substantial body of oratory and writing by black women first emerged, and traces the development of this writing through the shifting political climate up to the end of Reconstruction. She builds her analyses upon Foucault's interdisciplinary model of discourse with an explicitly feminist approach, drawing upon sermons, spiritual autobiographies, travel and slave narratives, journalism, essays, poetry, speeches, and fiction. From these, Peterson is able to answer several key questions. First, what empowered these women to act, to speak out, and to write? Why, and in what ways, were they marginalized within both the African-American and larger American communities? Where did they act, speak, and write from?
In this important interdisciplinary study, Clare Eby argues that the writings of Theodore Dreiser and Thorstein Veblen form a neglected chapter in the history of United States cultural criticism that is especially relevant today.
This study leaves behind the narrow frameworks through which most of Veblen's and Dreiser's writings have been interpreted, covering a wide range of both authors' major and minor works. Moving beyond Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class and Dreiser's Sister Carrie, Eby shows how the two writers, as saboteurs of the status quo, anticipated many preoccupations of cultural critics today: the cultural role of the intellectual, the relationship of science to society, the place of consumption in modern life, and the intersection of class, gender, and power.
Eby uses cultural criticism as a unifying concept that shows how Veblen fuses satire, sociology, economics, history, psychology, anthropology, political science, and philosophy; and how Dreiser connects fiction, travelogue, literary manifesto, occasional essay, autobiography, biography, and philosophy. By reading Veblen through Dreiser, and Dreiser through Veblen, Eby illustrates the striking parallels between their works, demonstrating how literature and social science can merge in cultural criticism.
Although Dreiser's interest in the natural and social sciences has often been noted, this study provides the only extended analysis of how his works actually resemble, and strive to become, critically informed social science. Similarly, despite the singularity of Veblen's rhetoric, the centrality of literary devices to his works has never been systematically examined. By placing the works of Veblen and Dreiser into dialogue, this study contributes significantly to the recent attempts to bring together the concerns of literary analysts and social scientists.
Dreiser and Veblen, Saboteurs of the Status Quo makes an important contribution not only to Dreiser and Veblen studies but also to cultural criticism itself.
Fire and Ink is a powerful and impassioned anthology of stories, poems, interviews, and essays that confront some of the most pressing social issues of our day. Designed to inspire and inform, this collection embodies the concepts of “breaking silence,” “bearing witness,” resistance, and resilience. Beyond students and teachers, the book will appeal to all readers with a commitment to social justice.
Fire and Ink brings together, for the first time in one volume, politically engaged writing by poets, fiction writers, and essayists. Including many of our finest writers—Martín Espada, Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Patricia Smith, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sharon Olds, Arundhati Roy, Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn Forche, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Alice Walker, Linda Hogan, Gary Soto, Kim Blaeser, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Li-Young Lee, and Jimmy Santiago Baca, among others—this is an indispensable collection.
This groundbreaking anthology marks the emergence of social action writing as a distinct field within creative writing and literature. Featuring never-before-published pieces, as well as reprinted material, Fire and Ink is divided into ten sections focused on significant social issues, including identity, sexuality and gender, the environment, social justice, work, war, and peace. The pieces can often be gripping, such as “Frame,” in which Adrienne Rich confronts government and police brutality, or Chris Abani’s “Ode to Joy,” which documents great courage in the face of mortal danger.
Fire and Ink serves as a wonderful reader for a wide range of courses, from composition and rhetoric classes to courses in ethnic studies, gender studies, American studies, and even political science, by facing a past that was often accompanied by injustice and suffering. But beyond that, this collection teaches us that we all have the power to create a more equitable and just future.
A fable-like tale of a small community afflicted by a mysterious plague
Juxtaposing barbarity and whimsy, Brian Conn’s The Fixed Stars is a novel that has the tenor of a contemporary fable with nearly the same dreamlike logic.
At the novel’s heart are the John’s Day celebration and the interactions of a small community dealing with a mystery disease. Routinely citizens are quarantined and then reintegrated into society in rituals marked by a haunting brutality. The infected and the healthy alike are quarantined. In a culture that has retreated from urbanism into a more pastoral society, the woman who nurtures spiders and the man who spins hemp exist alongside the mass acceptance of sexual promiscuity. Conn delivers a compelling portrait of a calamitous era, one tormented by pestilence, disease, violence, and post–late capitalism. An unflinching look at a world impossible to situate in time, The Fixed Stars is mythic and darkly magical.
The Global Citizen
Donella Meadows Island Press, 1991 Library of Congress HN65.M43 1991 | Dewey Decimal 306.0973
In The Global Citizen, Donella Meadows challenges us to view the world as an interconnected system for which we are all responsible. This collection of the best of Meadows's environmental writings demonstrates her rare ability to discuss complex issues such as population, poverty and development, and solid waste disposal in a clear, concise, engaging way for a wide audience.
For nearly forty years now, governments in rich democracies have been shifting labour market risks from the state and employers to employees, cutting the generosity of social programmes even as they have tightened restrictions on eligibility. This book analyses those changes in eighteen countries and shows that the most important factor in explaining whether cuts are made is the economic world view of a particular government. While the economic pressures that are typically pointed to as the causes of these reforms do exist, Alexander Horn shows that they are nonetheless secondary to ideology.
Hard Times: For These Times
Heidi Stillman Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3619.T55H37 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The highly acclaimed adaptation of Dickens's classic novel--a 2001 Jeff Award Winner!
The citizens of Charles Dickens's Coketown have moved readers for over a century. Now, Heidi Stillman's stunning adaptation brings these iconic characters to life on the stage, revealing the universality of their hopes and suffering in their times and in ours. The world premiere of Hard Times was presented by the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago in 2001. The Play won five Joseph Jefferson Awards, for best production of a play, best director, best adaptation, best choreography, and best lighting design.
An Intellectual in Public
Alan Wolfe University of Michigan Press, 2004 Library of Congress E885.W645 2003 | Dewey Decimal 305.5520973
A new collection of essays from one of the most courageous and honest thinkers writing today
"The question of the public intellectual is very much in the air again," writes Alan Wolfe. As one of our eminent social commentators, Wolfe should know; he's been writing, with fierce intellectual independence, about American public and private life since the 1960s.
In this new collection of essays spanning seven years of contributions to The New Republic, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and other prominent publications, Wolfe displays the courage necessary to write honestly—yet free of ideology, cant, and piety—about the things Americans take very seriously.
Wolfe thinks big; indeed, the essays in An Intellectual in Public confront many of the most controversial issues of our time: country, God, race, sex, material consumption, and left and right. Beginning and ending the book are original essays describing the public intellectual's role, and how Wolfe believes that role ought to be filled.
An Intellectual in Public is not only a demonstration of Wolfe's pointed analytical skills but a testament to his belief that "severely ideological thinking" is inappropriate for some of our most difficult problems, and that "neither the right nor the left can speak for all of America."
Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and also Professor of Political Science at Boston College. He is the author of over a dozen books, including One Nation After All: What Middle Class Americans Really Think About: God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, the Right, the Left and Each Other.
A Lydia Maria Child Reader
Carolyn L. Karcher Duke University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS1293.A6 1997 | Dewey Decimal 818.309
From the 1820s to the 1870s, Lydia Maria Child was as familiar to the American public as her Thanksgiving song, "Over the river and through the wood, / To grandfather’s house we go," remains today. Hardly a sphere of nineteenth-century life can be found in which Child did not figure prominently as a pathbreaker. She crusaded against slavery and racism, combated religious bigotry, championed women’s rights, publicized the plight of the urban poor, and campaigned for justice toward Native Americans. Showing an uncanny ability to pinpoint and respond to new cultural needs, Child pioneered almost every category of nineteenth-century American letters—historical fiction, the short story, children’s literature, the domestic advice book, women’s history, antislavery fiction, journalism, and the literature of aging. This rich collection is the first to represent the full range of Child’s contributions as a literary innovator, social reformer, and progressive thinker over a career spanning six decades. It features stories, editorials, articles, and letters to politicians culled from rare newspapers and periodicals and never before published in book form; extracts from her trailblazing childrearing manual, history of women, and primer for the emancipated slaves; and a generous sampling of her best-known writings on slavery, the Indian question, poverty, and women’s rights. Witty, incisive, and often daringly unconventional, Child’s writings open a panoramic window on nineteenth-century American culture while addressing issues still relevant to our own time. In this anthology, the editor of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl reemerges in her own right as one of the nation’s greatest prophets.
Banks failed, inequality grew, people were out of work, and slavery threatened to rend the nation in two. The Panic of 1837 drew forth reformers who, animated by self-reliance, became prophets of a new moral order that would make America great again. Philip Gura captures a Romantic moment that was soon overtaken by civil war and postwar pragmatism.
Addressing volatile social issues such as gender, pornography, race, welfare, immigration, and schooling, Alan Wolfe examines the ills of American society in the 1990s. He shows that it is possible to be critical and fair at the same time, and concludes that social criticism does not lie within the boundaries of either left-wing or right-wing ideas, but rather is connected to a broad understanding of liberalism. This immensely readable book illustrates the power of social criticism to enlarge discussion of issues at the heart of democracy today.
"In applying a realist approach to controversies over immigration, pornography, race relations, and the apparent communications gap between the genders, Wolfe seeks to demonstrate the advantages of combining the insights of criticism and the tools of social science."—Library Journal
"A plea for a return to liberal thinking, an insistence on the value of 'social criticism beyond politics.' "—Washington Post Book World
"[Wolfe] surveys contemporary public discourse on racial and sexual relations, welfare policy, immigration, pornography, education and cultural politics . . . he manages to bring some fresh thinking to most of these stale debates."—T. J. Jackson Lears, New York Times Book Review
To combat behavior they viewed as sexually promiscuous, politically undesirable, or downright criminal, social activists in Progressive-era New York employed private investigators to uncover the roots of society’s problems. New York Undercover follows these investigators—often journalists or social workers with no training in surveillance—on their information-gathering visits to gambling parlors, brothels, and meetings of criminal gangs and radical political organizations.
Drawing on the hundreds of detailed reports that resulted from these missions, Jennifer Fronc reconstructs the process by which organizations like the National Civic Federation and the Committee of Fourteen generated the knowledge they needed to change urban conditions. This information, Fronc demonstrates, eventually empowered government regulators in the Progressive era and beyond, strengthening a federal state that grew increasingly repressive in the interest of pursuing a national security agenda. Revealing the central role of undercover investigation in both social change and the constitution of political authority, New York Undercover narrates previously untold chapters in the history of vice and the emergence of the modern surveillance state.
American society today is hardly recognizable from what it was a century ago. Integrated schools, an information economy, and independently successful women are just a few of the remarkable changes that have occurred over just a few generations. Still, the country today is influenced by many of the same factors that revolutionized life in the late nineteenth century—immigration, globalization, technology, and shifting social norms—and is plagued by many of the same problems—economic, social, and racial inequality. One Nation Divisible, a sweeping history of twentieth-century American life by Michael B. Katz and Mark J. Stern, weaves together information from the latest census with a century's worth of data to show how trends in American life have changed while inequality and diversity have endured. One Nation Divisible examines all aspects of work, family, and social life to paint a broad picture of the American experience over the long arc of the twentieth century. Katz and Stern track the transformations of the U.S. workforce, from the farm to the factory to the office tower. Technological advances at the beginning and end of the twentieth century altered the demand for work, causing large population movements between regions. These labor market shifts fed both the explosive growth of cities at the dawn of the industrial age and the sprawling suburbanization of today. One Nation Divisible also discusses how the norms of growing up and growing old have shifted. Whereas the typical life course once involved early marriage and living with large, extended families, Americans today commonly take years before marrying or settling on a career path, and often live in non-traditional households. Katz and Stern examine the growing influence of government on trends in American life, showing how new laws have contributed to more diverse neighborhoods and schools, and increased opportunities for minorities, women, and the elderly. One Nation Divisible also explores the abiding economic paradox in American life: while many individuals are able to climb the financial ladder, inequality of income and wealth remains pervasive throughout society. The last hundred years have been marked by incredible transformations in American society. Great advances in civil rights have been tempered significantly by rising economic inequality. One Nation Divisible provides a compelling new analysis of the issues that continue to divide this country and the powerful role of government in both mitigating and exacerbating them. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
In a bold argument, Marilyn Lake shows that race and reform were mutually supportive as Progressivism became the political logic of settler colonialism at the turn of the 20th century. She points to exchanges between American and Australasian reformers who shared racial sensibilities, along with a commitment to forging an ideal social order.
An unprecedented examination of class-bridging reform and U.S. literary history at the turn of the twentieth century
Reading for Reform rewrites the literary history of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America by putting social reform institutions at the center of literary and cultural analysis. Examining the vibrant, often fractious literary cultures that developed as part of the Progressive mandate to uplift the socially disadvantaged, it shows that in these years reformers saw literature as a way to combat the myriad social problems that plagued modern U.S. society. As they developed distinctly literary methods for Americanizing immigrants, uplifting and refining wage-earning women, and educating black students, their institutions gave rise to a new social purpose for literature.
Class-bridging reform institutions—the urban settlement house, working girls’ club, and African American college—are rarely addressed in literary history. Yet, Laura R. Fisher argues, they engendered important experiments in the form and social utility of American literature, from minor texts of Yiddish drama and little-known periodical and reform writers to the fiction of Edith Wharton and Nella Larsen. Fisher delves into reform’s vast and largely unexplored institutional archives to show how dynamic sites of modern literary culture developed at the margins of social power.
Fisher reveals how reformist approaches to race, class, religion, and gender formation shaped American literature between the 1880s and the 1920s. In doing so, she tells a new story about the fate of literary practice, and the idea of literature’s practical value, during the very years that modernist authors were proclaiming art’s autonomy from concepts of social utility.
What role has litigation played in the struggle for equal pay between women and men? In Rights at Work, Michael W. McCann explains how wage discrimination battles have raised public legal consciousness and helped reform activists mobilize working women in the pay equity movement over the past two decades.
Rights at Work explores the political strategies in more than a dozen pay equity struggles since the late 1970s, including battles of state employees in Washington and Connecticut, as well as city employees in San Jose and Los Angeles. Relying on interviews with over 140 union and feminist activists, McCann shows that, even when the courts failed to correct wage discrimination, litigation and other forms of legal advocacy provided reformers with the legal discourse—the understanding of legal rights and their constraints—for defining and advancing their cause.
Rights at Work offers new insight into the relation between law and social change—the ways in which grass roots social movements work within legal rights traditions to promote progressive reform.
On one side are the policy makers, on the other, the movements and organizations that challenge public policy. Where and how the two meet is a critical juncture in the democratic process. Bringing together a distinguished group of scholars from several different disciplines in the social sciences, Routing the Opposition connects the substance and content of policies with the movements that create and respond to them. Local antidrug coalitions, the organic agriculture movement, worker's compensation reforms, veterans' programs, prison reform, immigrants' rights campaigns: these are some of the diverse areas in which the contributors to this volume examine the linkages between the practices, organization, and institutional logic of public policy and social movements. The authors engage such topics as the process of involving multiple stakeholders in policy making, the impact of overlapping social networks on policy and social movement development, and the influence of policy design on the increase or decline of civic involvement. Capturing both successes and failures, Routing the Opposition focuses on strategies and outcomes that both transform social movements and guide the development of public policy, revealing as well what happens when the very different organizational cultures of activists and public policy makers interact.
Filling a void in Jane Addams scholarship, this first volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams collects extant documents from the formative years of the major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author. Documenting the early development of Addams's social principles, the documents reveal the leadership skills that led her into a life of public commitment.
For all her public compassion and visibility as an outspoken pacifist, Progressive reformer, and founder of Hull-House, Addams was an intensely private person who revealed her personal side only to family and close friends. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other writings from her childhood in Cedarville, Illinois, and her education at the Rockford Female Seminary, this volume provides heretofore unavailable insight into her developing ideas, educational experiences, and personal relationships.
More than just biographical records, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams defines the era in which Addams lived. Unique yet representative of the spiritual ideals and political sensibilities of post-Civil War women and society, Addams's lesser-known, personal writings are necessary reading for scholars and historians. The volume explores important themes, including the migration of families westward, the first generation of college women, and the religious and domestic lives of nineteenth-century Americans. The editors' rich annotation of individuals and events featured in the documents and appendix of biographical profiles represent a trove of primary research and place the documents in historical context.
Venturing into Usefulness, the second volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, documents the experience of this major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author between June 1881, when at twenty-one she had just graduated from Rockford Female Seminary, and early 1889, when she was on the verge of founding the Hull-House settlement with Ellen Gates Starr. During these years she evolved from a high-minded but inexperienced graduate of a women's seminary into an educated woman and seasoned traveler well-exposed to elite culture and circles of philanthropy. Themes inaugurated in the previous volume are expanded here, including dilemmas of family relations and gender roles; the history of education; the dynamics of female friendship; religious belief and ethical development; changes in opportunities for women; and the evolution of philanthropy, social welfare, and reform ideas.
In 1889 an unknown but determined Jane Addams arrived in the immigrant-burdened, politically corrupt, and environmentally challenged Chicago with a vision for achieving a more secure, satisfying, and hopeful life for all. Eleven years later, her œscheme, as she called it, had become Hull-House and stood as the template for the creation of the American settlement house movement while Addams's writings and speeches attracted a growing audience to her ideas and work. The third volume in this acclaimed series documents Addams's creation of Hull-House and her rise to worldwide fame as the acknowledged female leader of progressive reform. It also provides evidence of her growing commitment to pacifism. Here we see Addams, a force of thought, action, and commitment, forming lasting relationships with her Hull-House neighbors and the Chicago community of civic, political, and social leaders, even as she matured as an organizer, leader, and fund-raiser, and as a sought after speaker, and writer. The papers reveal her positions on reform challenges while illuminating her strategies, successes, and responses to failures. At the same time, the collection brings to light Addams's private life. Letters and other documents trace how many of her Hull-House and reform alliances evolved into deep, lasting friendships and also explore the challenges she faced as her role in her own family life became more complex. Fully annotated and packed with illustrations, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Volume 3 is a portrait of a woman as she changed and as she changed history.
The civic sociology of Herbert Blumer speaks to the fundamental problem of modernity: how freedom and equity can be ensured when institutional and personal relations are threatened by disparate groups and factions--in short, by difference.
Balancing essays on Herbert Blumer with Blumer's own writings on race relations, labor and management conflict, urbanization, and popular culture, this volume--originally published as Social Order and the Public Philosophy--establishes Blumer's thought as a basis for a public policy that remains faithful to the essential character of human life in a permanently pluralized and segmented society.
Stanford M. Lyman and Arthur J. Vidich situate Blumer's ideas in the context of earlier public philosophers, such as William Graham Sumner, Herbert Croly, and Walter Lippmann. They consider the implications of Blumer's works for America's most pressing social issues and propose a sophisticated civic sociology of their own based on his studies and methods. Their new afterword affirms the rich harvest Blumer's philosophy continues to yield for postmodern society.
As a nineteenth-century think tank that sought answers to France’s pressing “social question,” the Musée Social reached across political lines to forge a reformist alliance founded on an optimistic faith in social science. In A Social Laboratory for Modern France Janet R. Horne presents the story of this institution, offering a nuanced explanation of how, despite centuries of deep ideological division, the French came to agree on the basic premises of their welfare state. Horne explains how Musée founders believed—and convinced others to believe—that the Third Republic would carry out the social mission of the French Revolution and create a new social contract for modern France, one based on the rights of citizenship and that assumed collective responsibility for the victims of social change. Challenging the persistent notion of the Third Republic as the stagnant backwater of European social reform, Horne instead depicts the intellectually sophisticated and progressive political culture of a generation that laid the groundwork for the rise of a hybrid welfare system, characterized by a partnership between private agencies and government. With a focus on the cultural origins of turn-of-the-century thought—including religion, republicanism, liberalism, solidarism, and early sociology—A Social Laboratory for Modern France demonstrates how French reformers grappled with social problems that are still of the utmost relevance today and how they initiated a process that gave the welfare state the task of achieving social cohesion within an industrializing republic.
Much like today, the early twentieth century was a period of rising economic inequality and political polarization in America. But it was also an era of progressive reform—a time when the Russell Sage Foundation and other philanthropic organizations were established to promote social science as a way to solve the crises of industrial capitalism. In Social Science for What? Alice O'Connor relates the history of philanthropic social science, exploring its successes and challenges over the years, and asking how these foundations might continue to promote progressive social change in our own politically divided era. The philanthropic foundations established in the early 1900s focused on research which, while intended to be objective, was also politically engaged. In addition to funding social science research, in its early years the Russell Sage Foundation also supported social work and advocated reforms on issues from child welfare to predatory lending. This reformist agenda shaped the foundation's research priorities and methods. The Foundation's landmark Pittsburgh Survey of wage labor, conducted in 1907-1908, involved not only social scientists but leaders of charities, social workers, and progressive activists, and was designed not simply to answer empirical questions, but to reframe the public discourse about industrial labor. After World War II, many philanthropic foundations disengaged from political struggles and shifted their funding toward more value-neutral, academic social inquiry, in the belief that disinterested research would yield more effective public policies. Consequently, these foundations were caught off guard in the 1970s and 1980s by the emergence of a network of right-wing foundations, which was successful in promoting an openly ideological agenda. In order to counter the political in-roads made by conservative organizations, O'Connor argues that progressive philanthropic research foundations should look to the example of their founders. While continuing to support the social science research that has contributed so much to American society over the past 100 years, they should be more direct about the values that motivate their research. In this way, they will help foster a more democratic dialogue on important social issues by using empirical knowledge to engage fundamentally ethical concerns about rising inequality. O'Connor's message is timely: public-interest social science faces unprecedented challenges in this era of cultural warfare, as both liberalism and science itself have come under assault. Social Science for What? is a thought-provoking critique of the role of social science in improving society and an indispensable guide to how progressives can reassert their voice in the national political debate. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Centennial Series
Sojourner Truth's America
Margaret Washington University of Illinois Press, 2009 Library of Congress E185.97.T8W37 2009 | Dewey Decimal 306.362092
This fascinating biography tells the story of nineteenth-century America through the life of one of its most charismatic and influential characters: Sojourner Truth. In an in-depth account of this amazing activist, Margaret Washington unravels Sojourner Truth's world within the broader panorama of African American slavery and the nation's most significant reform era.
Born into bondage among the Hudson Valley Dutch in Ulster County, New York, Isabella was sold several times, married, and bore five children before fleeing in 1826 with her infant daughter one year before New York slavery was abolished. In 1829, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a domestic, preached, joined a religious commune, and then in 1843 had an epiphany. Changing her name to Sojourner Truth, she began traveling the country as a champion of the downtrodden and a spokeswoman for equality by promoting Christianity, abolitionism, and women's rights.
Gifted in verbal eloquence, wit, and biblical knowledge, Sojourner Truth possessed an earthy, imaginative, homespun personality that won her many friends and admirers and made her one of the most popular and quoted reformers of her times. Washington's biography of this remarkable figure considers many facets of Sojourner Truth's life to explain how she became one of the greatest activists in American history, including her African and Dutch religious heritage; her experiences of slavery within contexts of labor, domesticity, and patriarchy; and her profoundly personal sense of justice and intuitive integrity.
Organized chronologically into three distinct eras of Truth's life, Sojourner Truth's America examines the complex dynamics of her times, beginning with the transnational contours of her spirituality and early life as Isabella and her embroilments in legal controversy. Truth's awakening during nineteenth-century America's progressive surge then propelled her ascendancy as a rousing preacher and political orator despite her inability to read and write. Throughout the book, Washington explores Truth's passionate commitment to family and community, including her vision for a beloved community that extended beyond race, gender, and socioeconomic condition and embraced a common humanity. For Sojourner Truth, the significant model for such communalism was a primitive, prophetic Christianity.
Illustrated with dozens of images of Truth and her contemporaries, Sojourner Truth's America draws a delicate and compelling balance between Sojourner Truth's personal motivations and the influences of her historical context. Washington provides important insights into the turbulent cultural and political climate of the age while also separating the many myths from the facts concerning this legendary American figure.
The feminist campaign against pornography, the furor over a racial epithet in the O. J. Simpson trial, and Iran's continuing threat to kill Salman Rushdie exemplify the intense passions aroused by hurtful speech. Richard Abel offers an original framework for understanding and attempting to resolve these pervasive and intractable conflicts. Drawing on sociological theories of symbolic politics, he views such confrontations as struggles for respect among status categories defined by nationality, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, and physical difference. Abel convincingly exposes the inadequacies of the conventional responses to speech: absolutist civil libertarianism and enthusiastic state regulation. Instead, he argues, only apologies exchanged within the communities that construct collective identities can readjust social standing damaged by hurtful words and images. In recasting the problem in terms of equalizing cultural capital, Abel opens a new pathway through the wrongs and rights of speech.
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.
"Toward Better Problems is a work of considerable merit.... [Weston] is effective in showing how the 'theoretical' approach obscures the real values at issue and hinders their realization."
--James Gouinlock, Emory University
In Toward Better Problems, Anthony Weston develops a pragmatic approach to the pressing moral issues of our time. Weston seeks to address practical problems in the spirit of John Dewey: that is, by focusing on specific human concerns and multiple, overlapping values rather than on abstract philosophical principles. Weston showcases his method in sustained discussion of four highly controversial areas: abortion, animal rights, environmentalism, and justice.
Weston takes up uncomfortable issues, such as how we raise food animals; test medicines, cosmetics, and chemicals on animals; and justify speciesism. He engages philosophically the treatment of land and seas as limitless garbage dumps, the creation of radioactive wastes and their disposal, and fundamental problems of social justice. But Weston's aim is not to "solve" such problems as if they were some kind of puzzle. The aim instead is to creatively transform such problematic situations into something more promising and tractable, thereby leaving us with "better problems."
A nation's collective memory does not simply exist. It is created. But what factors influence its form and content? And what roles do the news media play in fashioning our collective memory? Here Jill A. Edy observes the process of negotiating a meaning for the past as it unfolds in the news, exploring the ways that news practices, the relationships between actors who make the news, the expectations of news audiences, and the impact of current events affect the development of collective memories in a mass society.Using the 1965 Watts riots and the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as case studies, Edy creates a useful framework for understanding how, over time, conflicting versions of events are resolved, what forms the resolutions take, and how those resolutions influence the representation of current news stories. Anyone who is interested in political communication and the role of media in public culture will find a wealth of insights in this valuable new book.
Under the Influence presents the first investigation of the social, cultural, and political factors that affected drinking and temperance among Russian and Soviet industrial workers from 1895 to 1932. Kate Transchel examines the many meanings of working-class drinking and temperance in a variety of settings, from Moscow to remote provinces, and illuminates the cultural conflicts and class dynamics that were deeply rooted in drinking rituals and the failure of attempted reforms by the Tsarist and Soviet authorities.
As the title suggests, workers were often under the influence of alcohol, but they were also under political influences that defined what it meant to be a Soviet worker. Perhaps more importantly, they were under deeper, prerevolutionary cultural influences that continued to shape lower-class identities after 1917. The more the Soviet state tried to control working-class drinking, the more workers resisted. Radical legislation, massive propaganda, and even coercion were not sufficient to motivate workers to abandon traditional forms of fraternization.
Under the Influence highlights working-class culture and underscores the limitations the Bolsheviks faced in attempting to create a cultural revolution to complete their social and political revolution.
Walking Back Up Depot Street
Minnie Bruce Pratt University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3566.R35W35 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Selected as ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Gay/Lesbian Book of the Year
In Pratt's fourth volume of poems, Walking Back Up Depot Street, we are led by powerful images into what is both a story of the segregated rural South and the story of a white woman named Beatrice who is leaving that home for the postindustrial North. Beatrice searches for the truth behind the public story-the official history-of the land of her childhood. She struggles to free herself from the lies she was taught while growing up-and she finds the other people who are also on this journey.
In these dramatically multivocal narrative poems, we hear the words and rhythms of Bible Belt preachers, African-American blues and hillbilly gospel singers, and sharecropper country women and urban lesbians. We hear the testimony of freed slaves and white abolitionists speaking against Klan violence, fragments of speeches by union organizers and mill workers, and snatches of songs from those who marched on the road to Selma. Beatrice walks back into the past and finds the history of resistance that she has never been taught; she listens to her fellow travelers as they all get ready to create the future.
When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity.
Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life.
As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.
When it was published in 2015, Andrew Hartman’s history of the culture wars was widely praised for its compelling and even-handed account of the way they developed and came to define American politics as the twentieth century drew to its close. Receiving nearly as much attention, however, was Hartman’s declaration that the culture wars were over—and the left had won. In the wake of Trump’s rise, which was driven in large part by aggressive fanning of those culture war flames, Hartman has brought A War for the Soul of America fully up to date, detailing the ways in which Trump’s success, while undeniable, represents the last gasp of culture war politics—and how the reaction he has elicited can show us early signs of the very different politics to come.
“As a guide to the late twentieth-century culture wars, Hartman is unrivalled. . . . Incisive portraits of individual players in the culture wars dramas. . . . Reading Hartman sometimes feels like debriefing with friends after a raucous night out, an experience punctuated by laughter, head-scratching, and moments of regret for the excesses involved.”—New Republic
William M. Epstein charges that most current social welfare programs are not held to credible standards in their design or their results. Rather than spending less on such research and programs, however, Epstein suggests we should spend much more, and do the job right.
The American public and policymakers need to rely on social science research for objective, credible information when trying to solve problems of employment, affordable housing, effective health care, and family integrity. But, Epstein contends, politicians treat welfare issues as ideological battlegrounds; they demand immediate results from questionable data and implement policies long before social researchers can complete their analyses. Social scientists often play into the political agenda, supporting poorly conceived programs and doing little to test and revise them. Analyzing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the recent welfare reform act, Food Stamps, Medicaid, job training, social services, and other programs, Epstein systematically challenges the conservative’s vain hope that neglect is therapeutic for the poor, as well as the liberal’s conceit that a little bit of assistance is sufficient.
The Worker: Dominion and Form
Ernst Jünger, Edited by Laurence Paul Hemming, Translated from the German by Bogdan Costea and Laurence Paul Hemming Northwestern University Press, 2017 Library of Congress HD4901.J8613 2017 | Dewey Decimal 331.8
Written in 1932, just before the fall of the Weimar Republic and on the eve of the Nazi accession to power, Ernst Jünger’s The Worker: Dominion and Form articulates a trenchant critique of bourgeois liberalism and seeks to identify the form characteristic of the modern age. Jünger’s analyses, written in critical dialogue with Marx, are inspired by a profound intuition of the movement of history and an insightful interpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophy.
Martin Heidegger considered Jünger “the only genuine follower of Nietzsche,” singularly providing “an interpretation which took shape in the domain of that metaphysics which already determines our epoch, even against our knowledge; this metaphysics is Nietzsche's doctrine of the ‘will to power.’” In The Worker, Jünger examines some of the defining questions of that epoch: the nature of individuality, society, and the state; morality, justice, and law; and the relationships between freedom and power and between technology and nature.
This work, appearing in its entirety in English translation for the first time, is an important contribution to debates on work, technology, and politics by one of the most controversial German intellectuals of the twentieth century. Not merely of historical interest, The Worker carries a vital message for contemporary debates about world economy, political stability, and equality in our own age, one marked by unsettling parallels to the 1930s.