From its beginnings in Twilight fan-fiction to its record-breaking sales as an e-book and paperback, the story of the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels is both unusual and fascinating. Having sold over seventy million copies worldwide since 2011, E. L. James’s lurid series about a sexual ingénue and the powerful young entrepreneur who introduces her to BDSM sex has ingrained itself in our collective consciousness. But why have these particular novels—poorly written and formulaic as they are—become so popular, especially among women over thirty?
In this concise, engaging book, Eva Illouz subjects the Fifty Shades cultural phenomenon to the serious scrutiny it has been begging for. After placing the trilogy in the context of best-seller publishing, she delves into its remarkable appeal, seeking to understand the intense reading pleasure it provides and how that resonates with the structure of relationships between men and women today. Fifty Shades, Illouz argues, is a gothic romance adapted to modern times in which sexuality is both a source of division between men and women and a site to orchestrate their reconciliation. As for the novels’ notorious depictions of bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism, Illouz shows that these are as much a cultural fantasy as a sexual one, serving as a guide to a happier romantic life. The Fifty Shades trilogy merges romantic fantasy with self-help guide—two of the most popular genres for female readers.
Offering a provocative explanation for the success and popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, Hard-Core Romance is an insightful look at modern relationships and contemporary women’s literature.
Originally composed in Latin by Gilbertus Anglicus (Gilbert the Englishman), his Compendium of Medicine was a primary text of the medical revolution in thirteenth-century Europe. Composed mainly of medicinal recipes, it offered advice on diagnosis, medicinal preparation, and prognosis. In the fifteenth-century it was translated into Middle English to accommodate a widening audience for learning and medical “secrets.”
Faye Marie Getz provides a critical edition of the Middle English text, with an extensive introduction to the learned, practical, and social components of medieval medicine and a summary of the text in modern English. Getz also draws on both the Latin and Middle English texts to create an extensive glossary of little-known Middle English pharmaceutical and medical vocabulary.
Herman Schmalenbach (1885-1950), a friend of Husserl and a scholarly critic of Tönnies and Weber, carried on the tradition of Georg Simmel and ranks as one of the most important representatives of phenomenological society. However, because of historical and political circumstances, Schmalenbach's writings have received little attention either in his native Germany or abroad. Now Günther Lüschen and Gregory P. Stone have provided the first English translations of some of Schmalenbach's most important works. In their introductory essay to this collection, the editors appraise Schmalenbach as scholar, philosopher, and sociologist.
The historic architecture and settlements of the Zuni Indian Tribe in western New Mexico provide an unusual opportunity to investigate social change. In this monograph, the development of historic Zuni society is analyzed by delineating systematic links between the structure of Zuni society and the structure of architectural forms that the Zuni people built to facilitate their activities. Ferguson shows how the structure of open space within Zuni settlements was linked to defense. As long as the Zunis were subject to attack by Spaniards or Navajos, they built settlements that were difficult for outsiders to get into or move around in. As the need for defense waned, settlements became more open and accessible. He also shows how the internal spaces of traditional Zuni houses are oriented around the activities of the women--matriarchs of their families and clans. Federal housing projects tended to spatially isolate the activities of women from interaction with the rest of the household, thus instituting unexpected social change.
Historic Zuni Architecture and Society utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, analyzing archaeological data using method, theory, and techniques from the fields of architecture, planning, and ethnology. Archaeologists will find in the book an innovative application of space syntax to archaeological problems, and cultural anthropologists and others interested in the history of the Zuni Indians will value its observations about changes that are currently taking place in Zuni social organization.
How did the fact become modernity's most favored unit of knowledge? How did description come to seem separable from theory in the precursors of economics and the social sciences?
Mary Poovey explores these questions in A History of the Modern Fact, ranging across an astonishing array of texts and ideas from the publication of the first British manual on double-entry bookkeeping in 1588 to the institutionalization of statistics in the 1830s. She shows how the production of systematic knowledge from descriptions of observed particulars influenced government, how numerical representation became the privileged vehicle for generating useful facts, and how belief—whether figured as credit, credibility, or credulity—remained essential to the production of knowledge.
Illuminating the epistemological conditions that have made modern social and economic knowledge possible, A History of the Modern Fact provides important contributions to the history of political thought, economics, science, and philosophy, as well as to literary and cultural criticism.
Winner of the 1999 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural
During the early 1900s, Amsterdam developed an international reputation as an urban mecca when invigorating reforms gave rise to new residential neighborhoods encircling the city's dispirited nineteenth-century districts. This new housing, built primarily with government subsidy, not only was affordable but also met rigorous standards of urban planning and architectural design. Nancy Stieber explores the social and political developments that fostered this innovation in public housing.
Drawing on government records, professional journals, and polemical writings, Stieber examines how government supported large-scale housing projects, how architects like Berlage redefined their role as architects in service to society, and how the housing occupants were affected by public debates about working-class life, the cultural value of housing, and the role of art in society.
Stieber emphasizes the tensions involved in making architectural design a social practice while she demonstrates the success of this collective enterprise in bringing about effective social policy and aesthetic progress.
The question of how law matters has long been fundamental to the law and society field. Social science scholarship has repeatedly demonstrated that law matters less, or differently, than those who study only legal doctrine would have us believe. Yet research in this field depends on a belief in the relevance of law, no matter how often gaps are identified.
These essays show how law is relevant in both an "instrumental" and a "constitutive" sense, as a tool to accomplish particular purposes and as an important force in shaping the everyday worlds in which we live. Essays examine these issues by focusing on legal consciousness, the body, discrimination, and colonialism as well as on more traditional legal concerns such as juries and criminal justice.