Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist

How to Explain the World Without Becoming a Bore

Author: Peter L. Berger

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616143908

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

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Peter L. Berger is arguably the best-known American sociologist living today. Since the 1960s he has been publishing books on many facets of the American social scene, and several are now considered classics. So it may be hard to believe Professor Berger’s description of himself as an "accidental sociologist." But that in fact accurately describes how he stumbled into sociology. In this witty, intellectually stimulating memoir, Berger explains not only how he became a social scientist, but the many adventures that this calling has led to. Rather than writing an autobiography, he focuses on the main intellectual issues that motivated his work and the various people and situations he encountered in the course of his career. Full of memorable vignettes and colorful characters depicted in a lively narrative often laced with humor, Berger’s memoir conveys the excitement that a study of social life can bring. The first part of the book describes Berger’s initiation into sociology through the New School for Social Research, "a European enclave in the midst of Greenwich Village bohemia." Berger was first a student at the New School and later a young professor amidst a clique of like-minded individuals. There he published The Social Construction of Reality (with colleague Thomas Luckmann), one of his most successful books, followed by The Sacred Canopy on the sociology of religion, also still widely cited. The book covers Berger’s experience as a "globe-trekking sociologist" including trips to Mexico, where he studied approaches to Third World poverty; to East Asia, where he discovered the potential of capitalism to improve social conditions; and to South Africa, where he chaired an international study group on the future of post-Apartheid society. Berger then tells about his role as the director of a research center at Boston University. For over two decades he and his colleagues have been tackling such important issues as globalization, the secularization of Europe, and the ongoing dialectic between relativism and fundamentalism in contemporary culture. What comes across throughout is Berger’s boundless curiosity with the many ways in which people interact in society. This book offers longtime Berger readers as well as newcomers to sociology proof that the sociologist’s attempt to explain the world is anything but boring. From the Hardcover edition.

The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People

Building a Foundation for Better Understanding

Author: Institute of Medicine,Board on the Health of Select Populations,Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309210658

Category: Medical

Page: 366

View: 3682

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At a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals--often referred to under the umbrella acronym LGBT--are becoming more visible in society and more socially acknowledged, clinicians and researchers are faced with incomplete information about their health status. While LGBT populations often are combined as a single entity for research and advocacy purposes, each is a distinct population group with its own specific health needs. Furthermore, the experiences of LGBT individuals are not uniform and are shaped by factors of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographical location, and age, any of which can have an effect on health-related concerns and needs. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People assesses the state of science on the health status of LGBT populations, identifies research gaps and opportunities, and outlines a research agenda for the National Institute of Health. The report examines the health status of these populations in three life stages: childhood and adolescence, early/middle adulthood, and later adulthood. At each life stage, the committee studied mental health, physical health, risks and protective factors, health services, and contextual influences. To advance understanding of the health needs of all LGBT individuals, the report finds that researchers need more data about the demographics of these populations, improved methods for collecting and analyzing data, and an increased participation of sexual and gender minorities in research. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People is a valuable resource for policymakers, federal agencies including the National Institute of Health (NIH), LGBT advocacy groups, clinicians, and service providers.

Uncertain Futures

Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economy

Author: Jens Beckert,Richard Bronk

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192552759

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

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Uncertain Futures considers how economic actors visualize the future and decide how to act in conditions of radical uncertainty. It starts from the premise that dynamic capitalist economies are characterized by relentless innovation and novelty and hence exhibit an indeterminacy that cannot be reduced to measurable risk. The organizing question then becomes how economic actors form expectations and make decisions despite the uncertainty they face. This edited volume lays the foundations for a new model of economic reasoning by showing how, in conditions of uncertainty, economic actors combine calculation with imaginaries and narratives to form fictional expectations that coordinate action and provide the confidence to act. It draws on groundbreaking research in economic sociology, economics, anthropology, and psychology to present theoretically grounded empirical case studies. These demonstrate how grand narratives, central bank forward guidance, economic forecasts, finance models, business plans, visions of technological futures, and new era stories influence behaviour and become instruments of power in markets and societies. The market impact of shared calculative devices, social narratives, and contingent imaginaries underlines the rationale for a new form of narrative economics.

Solitary Witch

The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation

Author: Silver RavenWolf

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide

ISBN: 0738717622

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 608

View: 7467

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The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation This book has everything a teen Witch could want and need between two covers: a magickal cookbook, encyclopedia, dictionary, and grimoire. It relates specifically to today's young adults and their concerns, yet is grounded in the magickal work of centuries past. Information is arranged alphabetically and divided into five distinct categories: (1) Shadows of Religion and Mystery, (2) Shadows of Objects, (3) Shadows of Expertise and Proficiency, (4) Shadows of Magick and Enchantment, and (5) Shadows of Daily Life. It is organized so readers can skip over the parts they already know, or read each section in alphabetical order. Features By the author of the best-selling Teen Witch and mother of four teen Witches A jam-packed learning and resource guide for serious young Witches All categories are discussed in modern terms and their associated historical roots Includes endnotes and footnotes that cite sources or add clarification A training companion to Teen Witch and To Ride a Silver Broomstick

Community Economic Development

Author: Rhonda G. Phillips,Terry Besser

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134905823

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

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The role of economic development in communities is multi-faceted, having an array of antecedents, impacts, and implications. This volume explores the relationships between economic development and community development, focusing on the aspects that impact communities such as social capital, participation, and business development. It discusses the need for aligning the goals of community betterment more closely with economic improvement and finding ways to enhance leadership and other resources. Including both current contributions and "classics," the evolution of the relationship between’ and roles of, the two kinds of development is explored. The articles in the volume present several theoretical perspectives of development. Most common among them are sustainable economic development and social capital theories. Utilizing these theories and data from various sources, the authors are able to suggest specific development strategies for improving community economic and quality of life outcomes. The volume offers an exploration of directions for future research, including the need for more theoretical and empirical work on the role of amenity development on rural community economic and quality-of- life outcomes. Practitioners of community and economic development, along with researchers and students will find this volume useful and relevant for both theory and application. This book is a compilation of articles published in the Journal of the Community Development Society.

The New Sociology of Knowledge

The Life and Work of Peter L. Berger

Author: Michaela Pfadenhauer

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351478443

Category: Social Science

Page: 175

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A classical sociologist can be defined as someone whose works occupied a central position among the sociological ideas and notions of an era. Following this criterion, Michaela Pfadenhauer demonstrates the relevance of Peter L. Berger's work to the sociology of knowledge. Pfadenhauer shows that Berger is not only a sociologist of religion, but one whose works are characterized by a sociology-of-knowledge perspective.Berger stands out among his fellow social scientists both quantitatively and qualitatively. He has written numerous books, which have been translated into many languages, and a multitude of essays in scholarly journals and popular magazines. For decades, he has played a role in shaping both public debate and social scientific discourse in America and far beyond.As a sociologist of knowledge, Berger has played three roles: he has been a theoretician of modern life, an analyst of modern religiosity, and an empiricist of global economic culture. In all areas, the focus on processes rather than status quo is characteristic of Berger's thinking. This book provides an in-depth view on the critical thinking of one of the most important sociologists that present times has to offer. It includes four written essays by Berger.

The Handbook of Economic Sociology

Author: Neil J. Smelser,Richard Swedberg

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400835585

Category: Social Science

Page: 752

View: 8226

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The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of economic sociology available. The first edition, copublished in 1994 by Princeton University Press and the Russell Sage Foundation as a synthesis of the burgeoning field of economic sociology, soon established itself as the definitive presentation of the field, and has been widely read, reviewed, and adopted. Since then, the field of economic sociology has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and to move into new theoretical and empirical territory. The second edition, while being as all-embracing in its coverage as the first edition, represents a wholesale revamping. Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg have kept the main overall framework intact, but nearly two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors. As in the first edition, they bring together leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences. But the thirty chapters of this volume incorporate many substantial thematic changes and new lines of research--for example, more focus on international and global concerns, chapters on institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, organization and networks, and the economic sociology of the ancient world. The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures. It is a must read for all faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field. A thoroughly revised and updated version of the most comprehensive treatment of economic sociology available Almost two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors Authors include leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences Substantial thematic changes and new lines of research, including more focus on international and global concerns, institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, and organization and networks The definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures A must read for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field

The Anglican Communion at a Crossroads

The Crises of a Global Church

Author: Christopher Craig Brittain,Andrew McKinnon

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 0271081376

Category: Religion

Page: 264

View: 3939

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Worldwide debates over issues of sexuality and gender have come to a head in recent years in mainline and evangelical churches, with the Anglican Communion—a worldwide network of churches that trace their practice to Canterbury and claim some 85 million members—among the most publicly visible sites of contestation. This thorough and compelling analysis of the conflicts within the Communion argues that they are symptoms of long-simmering issues that must be addressed when Anglican bishops and archbishops meet at the 2020 Lambeth Conference. To many, the disagreements over such issues as LGBTQ clergy, same-sex marriage, and women’s ordination suggest an insurmountable crisis facing Anglicans, one that may ultimately end the Communion. Christopher Craig Brittain and Andrew McKinnon argue otherwise. Drawing on extensive empirical research and interviews with influential Anglican leaders, they show how these struggles stem from a complex interplay of factors, notably the forces and effects of globalization, new communications technology, and previous decisions made by the Communion. In clarifying both the theological arguments and social forces at play as the bishops and primates of the Anglican Communion prepare to set the Church’s course for the next decade, Brittain and McKinnon combine sociological and theological methodologies to provide both a nuanced portrait of Anglicanism in a transnational age and a primer on the issues with which the Lambeth Conference will wrestle. Insightful, informative, and thought-provoking, The Anglican Communion at a Crossroads is an invaluable resource for understanding the debates taking place in this worldwide community. Those interested in Anglicanism, sexuality and the Christian tradition, the sociology of religion, and the evolving relationship between World Christianity and churches in the Global North will find it indispensable.

The Social Construction of Reality

A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

Author: Peter L. Berger,Thomas Luckmann

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1453215468

Category: Social Science

Page: 219

View: 2850

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The classic work that redefined the sociology of knowledge and has inspired a generation of philosophers and thinkers In this seminal book, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society. Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, Berger and Luckmann go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge—the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people. When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term social construction,effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.

The Blackwell Companion to Sociology

Author: Judith R Blau

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470692731

Category: Social Science

Page: 640

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The Blackwell Companion to Sociology is a milestone collection of new essays by renowned sociologists, covering both the traditions and strengths of the field as well as newer developments and directions. Authors from the US, the UK, Europe and elsewhere have contributed to this all-in-one reference work, highlighting the relevance of interdisciplinary and international perspectives, while at the same time representing the scope and quality of sociology in its current form.

Beyond the Invisible Hand

Groundwork for a New Economics

Author: Kaushik Basu

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400836271

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 312

View: 3664

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One of the central tenets of mainstream economics is Adam Smith's proposition that, given certain conditions, self-interested behavior by individuals leads them to the social good, almost as if orchestrated by an invisible hand. This deep insight has, over the past two centuries, been taken out of context, contorted, and used as the cornerstone of free-market orthodoxy. In Beyond the Invisible Hand, Kaushik Basu argues that mainstream economics and its conservative popularizers have misrepresented Smith's insight and hampered our understanding of how economies function, why some economies fail and some succeed, and what the nature and role of state intervention might be. Comparing this view of the invisible hand with the vision described by Kafka--in which individuals pursuing their atomistic interests, devoid of moral compunction, end up creating a world that is mean and miserable--Basu argues for collective action and the need to shift our focus from the efficient society to one that is also fair. Using analytic tools from mainstream economics, the book challenges some of the precepts and propositions of mainstream economics. It maintains that, by ignoring the role of culture and custom, traditional economics promotes the view that the current system is the only viable one, thereby serving the interests of those who do well by this system. Beyond the Invisible Hand challenges readers to fundamentally rethink the assumptions underlying modern economic thought and proves that a more equitable society is both possible and sustainable, and hence worth striving for. By scrutinizing Adam Smith's theory, this impassioned critique of contemporary mainstream economics debunks traditional beliefs regarding best economic practices, self-interest, and the social good.

Giants

The Global Power Elite

Author: Peter Phillips

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN: 160980872X

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 422

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A look at the top 300 most powerful players in world capitalism, who are at the controls of our economic future. Who holds the purse strings to the majority of the world's wealth? There is a new global elite at the controls of our economic future, and here former Project Censored director and media monitoring sociologist Peter Phillips unveils for the general reader just who these players are. The book includes such power players as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett. As the number of men with as much wealth as half the world fell from sixty-two to just eight between January 2016 and January 2017, according to Oxfam International, fewer than 200 super-connected asset managers at only 17 asset management firms—each with well over a trillion dollars in assets under management—now represent the financial core of the world's transnational capitalist class. Members of the global power elite are the management—the facilitators—of world capitalism, the firewall protecting the capital investment, growth, and debt collection that keeps the status quo from changing. Each chapter in Giants identifies by name the members of this international club of multi-millionaires, their 17 global financial companies—and including NGOs such as the Group of Thirty and the Trilateral Commission—and their transnational military protectors, so the reader, for the first time anywhere, can identify who constitutes this network of influence, where the wealth is concentrated, how it suppresses social movements, and how it can be redistributed for maximum systemic change.

The Spirit Level

Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

Author: Richard Wilkinson,Kate Pickett

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781608191703

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 5234

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This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies. The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.

The Foetal Condition

A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion

Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745683495

Category: Social Science

Page: 448

View: 1798

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Abortion is a contentious issue in social life but it has rarely been subjected to careful scrutiny in the social sciences. While the legalization of abortion has brought it into the public domain, it still remains a sensitive topic in many cultures, often hidden from view and rarely spoken about, consigned to a shadowy existence. Drawing on reports gathered from hospital settings and in-depth interviews with women who have had abortions, Luc Boltanski sets out to explain the ambiguous status of this social practice. Abortion, he argues, has to remain in the shadows, for it reveals a contradiction at the heart of the social contract: the principle of the uniqueness of beings conflicts with the postulate of their replaceable nature, a postulate without which no society would achieve demographic renewal. This leads Boltanski to explore the way human beings are engendered and to analyze the symbolic constraints that preside over their entry into society. What makes a human being is not the foetus as such, ensconced within the body, but rather the process by which it is taken up symbolically in speech - that is, its symbolic adoption. But this symbolic adoption presupposes the possibility of discriminating among embryos that are indistinguishable. For society, and sometimes for individuals, the arbitrary character of this discrimination is hard to tolerate. The contradiction is made bearable, Boltanski shows, by a grammatical categorization: the “project” foetus - adopted by its parents, who use speech to welcome the new being and give it a name - is juxtaposed to the “tumoral” foetus, an accidental embryo that will not be the object of a life-forming project. Bringing together grammar, narrations of life experience and an historical perspective, this highly original book sheds fresh light on a social phenomenon that is widely practised but poorly understood.

The Problem of Harm in World Politics

Theoretical Investigations

Author: Andrew Linklater

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497413

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 7636

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The need to control violent and non-violent harm has been central to human existence since societies first emerged. This book analyses the problem of harm in world politics which stems from the fact that societies require the power to harm in order to defend themselves from internal and external threats, but must also control the capacity to harm so that people cannot kill, injure, humiliate or exploit others as they please. Andrew Linklater analyses writings in moral and legal philosophy that define and classify forms of harm, and discusses the ways in which different theories of international relations suggest the power to harm can be controlled so that societies can co-exist with the minimum of violent and non-violent harm. Linklater argues for new connections between the English School study of international society and Norbert Elias' analysis of civilizing processes in order to advance the study of harm in world politics.