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Sociology: Getting Started

Sociology

Jason Kruse's picture
Jason Kruse
Contact:
2North-Core
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
847-491-2171
jkruse@northwestern.edu
Subjects:Sociology

Key Resources

New Books

Black Nationalism in American History: From the Nineteenth Century to the Million Man March

This analytical introduction assesses contrasting definitions of black nationalism in America, thereby providing an overview of its development and varied manifestations across two centuries. Its aim is to evaluate historiographical debates and synthesize a broad range of scholarship, much ofit published since the beginning of the new millennium. However, unlike some of that work, this book offers a critical perspective that avoids advocacy or condemnation of black nationalism by examining major black nationalist thinkers, leaders and organizations as well as discussing somelesser-known groups and figures, the nature of black nationalism's appeal and the position of women in and their contributions to black nationalism.

Century of Women: How Women Have Transformed the World Since 1900

Maria Bucur is John V. Hill Professor of History and Gender Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Book jacket.

The Cognitive Capitalism: Human Capital and the Wellbeing of Nations

Nations can vary greatly in their wealth, democratic rights and the wellbeing of their citizens. These gaps are often obvious, and by studying the flow of immigration one can easily predict people's wants and needs. But why are there also large differences in the level of education indicating disparities in cognitive ability? How are they related to a country's economic, political and cultural development? Researchers in the paradigms of economics, psychology, sociology, evolution and cultural studies have tried to find answers for these hotly debated issues. In this book, Heiner Rindermann establishes a new model: the emergence of a burgher-civic world, supported by long-term background factors, furthered education and thinking. The burgher-civic world initiated a reciprocal development changing society and culture, resulting in past and present cognitive capital and wealth differences. This is an important text for graduate students and researchers in a wide range of fields, including economics, psychology, sociology and political science, and those working on economic growth, human capital formation and cognitive development.

Constructing Digitial Cultures: Tweets, Trends, Race, and Gender

Announcing presidential decisions, debating social issues, disputing the latest developments in television shows, and sharing funny memes--Twitter has become a space where ordinary citizens and world-leaders alike share their thoughts and ideas. As a result, some argue Twitter has leveled the playing field, while others reject this view as too optimistic. This has led to an ongoing debate about the platform's democratizing potential and whether activity on Twitter engenders change or merely magnifies existing voices. Constructing Digital Cultures explores these issues and more through an in-depth examination of how Twitter users collaborate to create cultural understandings. Looking closely at how user-generated narratives renegotiate dominant ideas about gender and race, it provides insight into the nature of digital culture produced on Twitter and the platform's potential as a virtual public sphere. This volume investigates arenas of discussion often seen on Twitter--from entertainment and popular culture to politics, social justice issues, and advertising--and looks into how members of ethnic minority groups use and relate to the platform. Through an in-depth examination of individual expressions, the different kinds of dialogue that characterize the platform, and various ways in which people connect, Constructing Digital Cultures provides a critical, empirically based consideration of Twitter's potential as an inclusive, egalitarian public sphere for the modern age.

Cuba's Gay Revolution: Normalizing Sexual Diversity Through a Health-based approach

Cuba's Gay Revolution explores the unique health-based approach that was employed in Cuba to dramatically change attitudes and policies regarding sexual diversity (LGBTQ) since 1959. It examines leaders in the process to normalize sexual diversity, such as the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) and the National Center of Sexual Education (CENESEX). This book is written for scholars interested in LGBTQ issues, Cuba, and Latin America.

Ethics of the Urban: The City and the Spaces of the Political

Is democracy spatial? How are the physical aspects of our cities, houses, streets, and public spaces--the borders, the neighborhoods, the monuments--bearers of our values? In a world of intensifying geo-economic integration, extreme financial and geopolitical volatility, deepening environmental crises, and a dramatic new wave of popular protest against both authoritarian government and capitalist speculation, cities have become leading sites for new claims on state power and new formations of political subjectivity. This volume brings together perspectives from history, sociology, art, political theory, planning, law, and design practice to explore the urban spaces of the political. A selection of contemporary photography from around the world offers a visual refl ection of this timely investigation.

Journeys of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture: The Developmental Theory of Embodiment

Journeys of Embodiment at the Intersection of Body and Culture: The Developmental Theory of Embodiment describes an innovative developmental and feminist theory--understanding embodiment--to provide a new perspective on the interactions between the social environment of girls and young women of different social locations and their embodied experience of engagement with the world around them. The book proposes that the multitude of social experiences described by girls and women shape their body experiences via three core pathways: experiences in the physical domain, experiences in the mental domain and experiences related directly to social power. The book is structured around each developmental stage in the body journey of girls and young women, as influenced by their experience of embodiment. The theory builds on the emergent constructs of 'embodiment' and 'body journey,' and the key social experiences which shape embodiment throughout development and adolescence--from agency, functionality and passion during early childhood to restriction, shame and varied expressions of self-harm during and following puberty. By addressing not only adverse experiences at the intersection of gender, social class, ethnocultural grouping, resilience and facilitative social factors, the theory outlines constructive pathways toward transformation. It contends that both protective and risk factors are organized along these three pathways, with the positive and negative aspects conceptualized as Physical Freedom (vs. Corseting), Mental Freedom (vs. Corseting), and Social Power (vs. Disempowerment and Disconnection).

Latinas in American Politics: Changing and Embracing Political Tradition

The challenges that women face as political candidates can be compounded by race. In the case of Latinas, stereotypes as well as national media coverage and labeling of "Latino" issues potentially creates an electoral burden for Latina candidates at the local, state, and national level. The intersection of race and gender is complicated and often creates more questions than it answers. How are Latinas elected? Are they served by this complex identity or hindered by it? Latinas in American Politics: Embracing and Changing Political Tradition begins addressing the issues by examining the stereotypes Latinas face while running for political office. More specifically, the perception of voters on ideological standings of Latinas provides insight as to what party Latinas are identified with and how they can use this to their advantage. In addition to establishing the role stereotypes play in the electability of Latinas, the way they use and diffuse these stereotypes via campaigns is examined. The images that Latinas present and how they interact with voters via social media establishes a new dynamic in campaigning and allows for theory building in the area of race, gender, and campaigns. Aside from campaigning, party identification for a Latina creates a different barrier. How do Latinas bridge this? Case studies of prominent Latina officials are examined to understand within which contexts and under what conditions Latinas as candidates and as elected officials will experience intersectionality as advantage and disadvantage. Finally, the examination of Latina congressional members shows whether and how the intersection of gender and ethnicity in descriptive representation contributes uniquely to patterns of substantive representation. Ultimately, this volume demonstrates how the intersection of race and gender creates unique situations for representation and electability of candidates.

Meritocracy Myth

The Meritocracy Myth challenges the widely held American belief in meritocracy--that people get out of the system what they put into it based on individual merit. The book examines talent, attitude, work ethic, and character as elements of merit and evaluates the effect of nonmerit factors such as family background, social connections, luck, market conditions, unequal educational opportunities, and discrimination. The fourth edition has been revised and streamlined throughout. It features new material on the current economic and political climate; the reasons behind the increasing levels of inequality in the United States and globally; how economic, social, and cultural factors shaped Donald Trump's rise to political prominence, and more. The fourth edition includes a new chapter on marriage and mobility that examines how patterns in marriage tend to increase the concentration of wealth and pass on nonmerit advantages to children, furthering trends toward social inequality. A compelling book on an often-overlooked topic, The Meritocracy Myth is ideal for introducing students to this provocative topic while sparking discussion and reflection.

Poor Participation: Fighting the Wars on Poverty and Impoverished Citizenship

This book argues that active citizenship and poverty are inextricably linked. A common sentiment in discussions of poverty and social policy is that decisions made about those living in poverty or near-poverty are illegitimate, inadvisable, and non-responsive to the needs and interests of the poor if the poor themselves are not involved in the decision-making process. Inside this intuitively appealing idea, however, are a range of potential contradictions and conflicts. These conflicts are at the nexus between active citizenship and technical expertise, between promotion of stability in governance and empowerment of people, between empowerment that is genuine and sustainable and empowerment that is artificial, and between a "war on poverty" that is built on the ideas of collaborative governance and one that is built on an assumption of rule of the elite. The poor have long been consigned to a group of "included-out" citizens. They are legally living in a place, but they are not afforded the same courtesies, entrusted with the same responsibilities, or respected in parallel processes as those citizens of greater means and those who behave in manners that are more consistent with "middle class" values. Poor citizens engaged in the "war on poverty" of the 1960s started to emerge and force their agenda through adversarial action and social protest. This book explores the clear linkages between engaged citizenship and poverty in the United States, revealing a war on poverty and impoverished citizenship that continues to develop in the twenty-first century.

Queering Masculinities in Language and Culture

How do we learn what it means to be a man? And how do we learn to question what it means to be a man? This collection comprises a set of original interdisciplinary chapters on the linguistic and cultural representations of queer masculinities in a range of new and older media: television, film, online forums, news reporting, advertising and fiction. This innovative work examines new and emerging forms of gender hybridisation in relation to complex socialisation and immigration contexts including the role of EU institutions in ascertaining asylum seekers' sexual orientation, and the European laws on gender policy. The book employs numerous analytical approaches including critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, multimodal analysis, literary criticism and anthropological and social research. The authors show how such texts can disrupt, question or complicate traditional notions of what it means to be a man, queering the idea that men possess fixed identities or desires, instead arguing that masculinity is constantly changing and negotiated through the cultural and political overlapping contexts in which it is regularly produced. These nuanced analyses will bring fresh insights for students and scholars of gender, masculinity and queer studies, linguistics, anthropology and semiotics.

Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for--and ultimately justify--racial inequalities. The fifth edition of this provocative book makes clear that color blind racism is as insidious now as ever. It features new material on our current racial climate, including the Black Lives Matter movement; a significantly revised chapter that examines the Obama presidency, the 2016 election, and Trump's presidency; and a new chapter addressing what readers can do to confront racism--both personally and on a larger structural level.

Suspect Citizens: What 20 million Traffic Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race

Suspect Citizens offers the most comprehensive look to date at the most common form of police-citizen interactions, the routine traffic stop. Throughout the war on crime, police agencies have used traffic stops to search drivers suspected of carrying contraband. From the beginning, police agencies made it clear that very large numbers of police stops would have to occur before an officer might interdict a significant drug shipment. Unstated in that calculation was that many Americans would be subjected to police investigations so that a small number of high-level offenders might be found. The key element in this strategy, which kept it hidden from widespread public scrutiny, was that middle-class white Americans were largely exempt from its consequences. Tracking these police practices down to the officer level, Suspect Citizens documents the extreme rarity of drug busts and reveals sustained and troubling disparities in how racial groups are treated.