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Series: Vernon Series in Sociology

A Threatened Rural Idyll? Informal social control, exclusion and the resistance to change in the English countryside

Nathan Aaron Kerrigan, Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science, Coventry University, UK

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-418-4
Availability: In stock
$58 £42 €47

Issues concerning globalisation, protection of identity and resistance to change at the national level (e.g., Brexit) have been the cause of much public and scholarly debate. With this in mind, this book demonstrates how these national, and indeed global narratives, have impacted on and are influenced by ‘going-ons’ in local contexts. By situating these national narratives within a rural context, Kerrigan expertly explores, through ethnographic research, how similar consequences of informal social control and exclusion are maintained in rural England in order to protect rural identity from social and infrastructural change. Drawing on observation, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, ‘A Threatened Rural Idyll’ illustrates how residents from a small but developing rural town in the South of England perceived changes associated with globalisation, such as population growth, inappropriate building developments, and the influx of service industries. For many of the residents, particularly those of middle-class status and long-standing in the town, these changes were seen as a direct threat to the rural character of the town. The investigation highlights how community dynamics and socio-spatial organisation of daily life work to protect the rural traditions inherent in the social and spatial landscape of the town and to maintain the dominance of its largely white, middle-class character. As a result, Kerrigan contends that the resistance to change has the consequence of constructing a social identity that attempts to reinforce the notions of a rural idyll to the exclusion of processes and people seen as representing different values and ideals.

Symbolic Interactionism: The Basics

Charles Quist-Adade, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-374-3
Availability: In stock
$60 £42 €48

This book is a survey of Symbolic Interaction. In thirteen short chapters, it traces the history, the social philosophical roots, the founders, “movers and shakers” and evolution of the theory. Symbolic Interactionism: The Basics takes the reader along the exciting, but tortuous journey of the theory and explores both the meta-theoretical and mini-theoretical roots and branches of the theory. Symbolic interactionism or sociological social psychology traces its roots to the works of United States sociologists George Hebert Mead, Charles Horton Cooley, and Herbert Blumer, and a Canadian sociologist, Erving Goffman; Other influences are Harold Garfinkel’s Ethnomethodology and Austrian-American Alfred Schutz’s study of Phenomenology. Symbolic Interactionism: Basics explores the philosophical sources of symbolic interactionism, including pragmatism, social behaviorism, and neo-Hegelianism. The intellectual origins of symbolic interactions can be attributed to the works of William James, George Simmel, John Dewey, Max Weber, and George Herbert Mead. Mead is believed to be the founder of the theory, although he did not publish any academic work on the paradigm. The book highlights the works of the intellectual heirs of symbolic interactionism— Herbert Blumer, Mead’s former student, who was instrumental in publishing the lectures his former professor posthumously with the title Symbolic Interactionism, Erving Goffman and Robert Park.

A Global Perspective on Friendship and Happiness

Edited by Tim Madigan, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and Bertrand Russell Society and Tim Delaney, State University of New York at Oswego

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-376-7
Availability: In stock
$59 £42 €48

In A Global Perspective on Friendship and Happiness, editors Tim Delaney and Tim Madigan have organized a collection of original articles on the subjects of friendship and happiness. Each of these chapters offers a unique perspective and serves as worthy contributions to the field of friendship and happiness studies. The chapters found in this publication are the result of the "Happiness & Friendship" conference held June 12-14, 2017 at Mount Melleray Abbey, Waterford, Ireland. The contributing authors come from many diverse countries and academic disciplines thus enhancing this outstanding volume.

Making Strangers: Outsiders, Aliens and Foreigners

Edited by Abbes Maazaoui, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-324-8
Availability: In stock
$58 £43 €49

Studies on foreignness have increased substantially over the last two decades in response to what has been dubbed the migration/refugee crisis. Yet, they have focused on specific areas such as regions, periods, ethnic groups, and authors. Predicated on the belief that this so-called “twenty-first century problem” is in fact as old as humanity itself, this book analyzes cases based on both long-term historical perspectives and current occurrences from around the world. Bringing together an international group of scholars from Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America, it examines a variety of examples and strategies, mostly from world literatures, ranging from Spain’s failed experience with consolidation as a nation-state-type entity during the Golden Age of Castile, to Shakespeare’s rhetorical subversion of the language of fear and hate, to Mario Rigoni Stern’s random status at the unpredictable Italian-Austrian borders, to Lawrence Durrell’s ambivalent approach to noticing the physically visible other, to the French government’s ongoing criminalization of hospitality, to Sandra Cisneros’s attempt at straddling two countries and cultures while belonging to neither one, to the illusive legal limbo of the DREAMers in the United States. We are not born foreigners; we are made. The purpose of the book is to assert, as denoted by the title, this fundamental premise, that is, the making of strangers is the result of a deliberate and purposeful act that has social, political, and linguistic implications. The ultimate expression of this phenomenon is the compulsive labeling of people along artificial categories such as race, gender, religion, birthplace, or nationality. A corollary purpose of the book is to help shed light worldwide on one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: the place of “the other” amid fear-mongering and unabashedly contemptuous acts and rhetoric toward immigrants, refugees and all those excluded within because of race, gender, national origin, religion and ethnicity. As illustrated by the examples examined in this book, humans have certainly evolved in many areas; dealing with the “other” might not have been one of those. It is hoped that the book encourages reflection on how the arts, and especially world literatures, can help us navigate and think through the ever-present crisis: the place of the “stranger” among us.

Re-Imagining Old Age: Wellbeing, care and participation

Marian Barnes, University of Brighton et al.

February 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-071-1
Availability: In stock
$59 £42 €48

The understanding that humans are relational beings is central to the development of an ethical perspective that is built around the significance of care in all our lives. Our survival as infants is dependent on the care we receive from others. And for all of us, in particular, in older age, there are times when illness, emotional or physical frailty, mean that we require the care of others to enable us to deal with everyday life. With this in mind, this book presents the findings of a project that seeks to understand what wellbeing means to older people and to influence the practice of those who work with older people. Its starting point was a shared commitment amongst researchers and an NGO collaborator to the value of working with older people in both research and practice, to learn from them and be influenced by them rather than seeing them as the ‘subjects’ of a research project. Theoretically, the authors draw upon a range of studies in critical gerontology that seek to understand how experiences of ageing are shaped by their social, economic, cultural and political contexts. By employing a broad body of work that challenges normative assumptions of ‘successful’ ageing,’ the authors draw attention to how these assumptions have been constructed through neo-liberal policies of ‘active ageing.’ Notably, they also apply insights from feminist ethics of care, which are based on a relational ontology that challenges neo-liberal assumptions of autonomous individualism. Influenced by relational ethics, they are attentive to older people both as co-researchers and research respondents. By successfully applying this perspective to social care practice, they facilitate the need for practitioners to reflect on personal aspects of ageing and care but also to bridge the gap between the personal and the professional.

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