In The Mangle of Practice (1995), the renowned sociologist of science Andrew Pickering argued for a reconceptualization of research practice as a “mangle,” an open-ended, evolutionary, and performative interplay of human and non-human agency. While Pickering’s ideas originated in science and technology studies, this collection aims to extend the mangle’s reach by exploring its application across a wide range of fields including history, philosophy, sociology, geography, environmental studies, literary theory, biophysics, and software engineering.
The Mangle in Practice opens with a fresh introduction to the mangle by Pickering. Several contributors then present empirical studies that demonstrate the mangle’s applicability to topics as diverse as pig farming, Chinese medicine, economic theory, and domestic-violence policing. Other contributors offer examples of the mangle in action: real-world practices that implement a self-consciously “mangle-ish” stance in environmental management and software development. Further essays discuss the mangle as philosophy and social theory. As Pickering argues in the preface, the mangle points to a shift in interpretive sensibilities that makes visible a world of de-centered becoming. This volume demonstrates the viability, coherence, and promise of such a shift, not only in science and technology studies, but in the social sciences and humanities more generally.
Contributors: Lisa Asplen, Dawn Coppin, Adrian Franklin, Keith Guzik, Casper Bruun Jensen,Yiannis Koutalos, Brian Marick, Randi Markussen, Andrew Pickering, Volker Scheid, Esther-Mirjam Sent, Carol Steiner, Maxim Waldstein
"This book is the perfect primer for understanding media in the digital age. We are in an era when newspaper, radio, and television are fast becoming archeological concepts. Herein are the reasons why."
---Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child and cofounder of the MIT Media Laboratory
"Congratulations to Neuman and colleagues for a fascinating exploration of how previous new media were constructed, whether things could have been otherwise, and what can be learned for future media."
---Sonia Livingstone, Department of Media and Communications, the London School of Economics and Political Science
In Media, Technology, and Society, some of the most prominent figures in media studies explore the issue of media evolution. Focusing on a variety of compelling examples in media history, ranging from the telephone to the television, the radio to the Internet, these essays collectively address a series of notoriously vexing questions about the nature of technological change. Is it possible to make general claims about the conditions that enable or inhibit innovation? Does government regulation tend to protect or thwart incumbent interests? What kinds of concepts are needed to address the relationship between technology and society in a nonreductive and nondeterministic manner? To what extent can media history help us to understand and to influence the future of media in constructive ways? The contributors' historically grounded responses to these questions will be relevant to numerous fields, including history, media and communication studies, management, sociology, and information studies.
W. Russell Neuman is John Derby Evans Professor of Media Technology and Research Professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan.
DIGITALCULTUREBOOKS: a collaborative imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library
The middle years of the nineteenth century were a time of dynamic artistic and social changes in America. Now, Melodramatic Formations is the first study to trace these changes in popular stage melodrama's production, dramatic form, and audience reception. Bruce McConachie shows how the theatrical mutability that characterized the years 1820 to 1870 is inextricably tied to the decline of elite paternalism and republicanism and the rise of bourgeois rationalism and respectability.
Taking a rigorous interdisciplinary approach, McConachie examines several historical regularities of production, genre, and audience. Here theatre (and its drama) has at long last been returned to its general culture, rather than being treated as an isolated phenomenon. Ultimately, he develops a new notion of a theatrical formation—a construct where groups of spectators and theatre performers produce each other as artists-to-be-experienced and audiences-to-be-entertained.
Throughout Melodramatic Formations McConachie illustrates how theatre both maintains and produces various ideologies; he convincingly shows that theatre is a major player in our social and cultural history. This book will be of interest to all in American studies, theatre history, and American cultural history.
Combining social, political, and economic history, Louisa Schell Hoberman examines a neglected period in Mexico’s colonial past, providing the first book-length study of the period’s merchant elite and its impact on the evolution of Mexico. Through extensive archival research, Hoberman brings to light new data that illuminate the formation, behavior, and power of the merchant class in New Spain. She documents sources and uses of merchant wealth, tracing the relative importance of mining, agriculture, trade, and public office. By delving into biographical information on prominent families, Hoberman also reveals much about the longevity of the first generation’s social and economic achievements. The author’s broad analysis situates her study in the overall environment in which the merchants thrived. Among the topics discussed are the mining and operation of the mint, Mexico’s political position vis-a-vis Spain, and the question of an economic depression in the seventeenth century.
A thousand years ago, village farmers in the Mimbres Valley of what is now southwestern New Mexico created stunning black-on-white pottery. Mimbres pottery has added a fascinating dimension to southwestern archaeology, but it has also led to the partial or total destruction of most Mimbres sites. The Mimbres Foundation, in one of the few modern investigations of a Mimbres pueblo, excavated the Mattocks site, containing about 180 surface rooms in addition to pit structures. Mimbres Life and Society details the Mattocks site’s architecture and artifacts, and it includes 160 figures, showing more than 400 photographs of painted vessels from the site.
Mimbres pueblos, as early examples of people using surface room blocks, are ideal for investigating questions about how and why people moved from earlier subterranean pit structures to aboveground room blocks. The authors consider the number of households living at the site before and after the transition, as well as the lack of evidence for subsistence intensification and population growth as causes of this transition. These analyses suggest that each room block on the site housed a single family as opposed to multiple families, the more common interpretation. There were not necessarily more households on the site during the Classic period than earlier.
Patricia A. Gilman and Steven A. LeBlanc spent five seasons excavating at the Mattocks site and many more analyzing and writing about Mattocks site data. They note that subtle social differences among people were at play, and they emphasize that the Mattocks site may be unique among Mimbres pueblos in many aspects. Mimbres Life and Society reveals broad-ranging implications for southwestern archaeologists and anyone interested in understanding the ancient Southwest and early village societies.
The great Russian psychologist L. S. Vygotsky has long been recognized as a pioneer in developmental psychology. But his theory of development has never been well understood in the West. Mind in Society corrects much of this misunderstanding. Carefully edited by a group of outstanding Vygotsky scholars, the book presents a unique selection of Vygotsky's important essays.
Written from the standpoint of the social behaviorist, this treatise contains the heart of Mead's position on social psychology. The analysis of language is of major interest, as it supplied for the first time an adequate treatment of the language mechanism in relation to scientific and philosophical issues.
"If philosophical eminence be measured by the extent to which a man's writings anticipate the focal problems of a later day and contain a point of view which suggests persuasive solutions to many of them, then George Herbert Mead has justly earned the high praise bestowed upon him by Dewey and Whitehead as a 'seminal mind of the very first order.'"—Sidney Hook, The Nation
George Herbert Mead is widely recognized as one of the most brilliantly original American pragmatists. Although he had a profound influence on the development of social philosophy, he published no books in his lifetime. This makes the lectures collected in Mind, Self, and Society all the more remarkable, as they offer a rare synthesis of his ideas.
This collection gets to the heart of Mead’s meditations on social psychology and social philosophy. Its penetrating, conversational tone transports the reader directly into Mead’s classroom as he teases out the genesis of the self and the nature of the mind. The book captures his wry humor and shrewd reasoning, showing a man comfortable quoting Aristotle alongside Alice in Wonderland.
Included in this edition are an insightful foreword from leading Mead scholar Hans Joas, a revealing set of textual notes by Dan Huebner that detail the text’s origins, and a comprehensive bibliography of Mead’s other published writings. While Mead’s lectures inspired hundreds of students, much of his brilliance has been lost to time. This new edition ensures that Mead’s ideas will carry on, inspiring a new generation of thinkers.
Latin American history—the stuff of wars, elections, conquests, inventions, colonization, and all those other events and processes attributed to adults—has also been lived and partially forged by children. Taking a fresh look at Latin American and Caribbean society over the course of more than half a millennium, this book explores how the omission of children from the region's historiography may in fact be no small matter.
Children currently make up one-third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, and over the centuries they have worked, played, worshipped, committed crimes, and fought and suffered in wars. Regarded as more promising converts to the Christian faith than adults, children were vital in European efforts to invent loyal subjects during the colonial era. In the contemporary economies of Latin America and the Caribbean—where 23 percent of people live on a dollar per day or less—the labor of children may spell the difference between survival and starvation for millions of households.
Minor Omissions brings together scholars of history, anthropology, religion, and art history as well as a talented young author who has lived in the streets of a Brazilian city since the age of nine. The book closes with the prophetic dystopian tale "The Children's Rebellion" by the noted Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi.
Musical talent in Western culture is regarded as an extraordinary combination of technical proficiency and interpretative sensitivity. In Music, Disability, and Society, Alex Lubet challenges the rigid view of technical skill and writes about music in relation to disability studies. He addresses the ways in which people with disabilities are denied the opportunity to participate in music.
Elaborating on the theory of "social confluence," Lubet provides a variety of encounters between disability and music to observe radical transformations of identity. Considering hand-injured and one-handed pianists; the impairments of jazz luminaries Django Reinhardt, Horace Parlan, and "Little" Jimmy Scott; and the "Blind Orchestra" of Cairo, he shows how the cultural world of classical music contrasts sharply with that of jazz and how musicality itself is regarded a disability in some religious contexts. Music, Disability, and Society also explains how language difference can become a disability for Asian students in American schools of music, limiting their education and careers.
Lubet offers pungent criticism of the biases in music education and the music profession, going so far as to say that culture disables some performers by adhering to rigid notions of what a musician must look like, how music must be played, who may play it, and what (if any) is the legitimate place of music in society. In Music, Disability, and Society, he convincingly argues that where music is concerned, disability is a matter of culture, not physical impairment.