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Your search for 'American Studies' in subject found 234 book(s).
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21. cover
Title: The romance of American psychology: political culture in the age of experts online access is available to everyone
Author: Herman, Ellen
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Social Science | American Studies | Politics | Psychology | United States History
Publisher's Description: Psychological insight is the creed of our time. A quiet academic discipline two generations ago, psychology has become a voice of great cultural authority, informing everything from family structure to government policy. How has this fledgling science become the source of contemporary America's most potent ideology?In this groundbreaking book - the first to fully explore the political and cultural significance of psychology in post-World War II America - Ellen Herman tells the story of Americans' love affair with the behavioral sciences. It began during wartime. The atmosphere of crisis sustained from the 1940s through the Cold War gave psychological "experts" an opportunity to prove their social theories and behavioral techniques. Psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists carved a niche within government and began shaping military, foreign, and domestic policy. Herman examines this marriage of politics and psychology, which continued through the tumultuous 1960s.Psychological professionals' influence also spread among the general public. Drawn by promises of mental health and happiness, people turned to these experts for enlightenment. Their opinions validated postwar social movements from civil rights to feminism and became the basis of a new world view. Fascinating and long overdue, this book illuminates one of the dominant forces in American society.   [brief]
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22. cover
Title: All in sync: how music and art are revitalizing American religion
Author: Wuthnow, Robert
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Religion | American Studies | Art | Music | Sociology
Publisher's Description: Robert Wuthnow shows how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across the nation in this first-ever consideration of the relationship between religion and the arts. All in Sync draws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with church members, clergy, and directors of leading arts organizations and a new national survey to document a strong positive relationship between participation in the arts and interest in spiritual growth. Wuthnow argues that contemporary spirituality is increasingly encouraged by the arts because of its emphasis on transcendent experience and personal reflection. This kind of spirituality, contrary to what many observers have imagined, is compatible with active involvement in churches and serious devotion to Christian practices. The absorbing narrative relates the story of a woman who overcame a severe personal crisis and went on to head a spiritual direction center where participants use the arts to gain clarity about their own spiritual journeys. Readers visit contemporary worship services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and listen to leaders and participants explain how music and art have contributed to the success of these services. All in Sync also illustrates how music and art are integral parts of some Episcopal, African American, and Orthodox worship services, and how people of faith are using their artistic talents to serve others. Besides examining the role of the arts in personal spirituality and in congregational life, Wuthnow discusses how clergy and lay leaders are rethinking the role of the imagination, especially in connection with traditional theological virtues. He also shows how churches and arts organizations sometimes find themselves at odds over controversial moral questions and competing claims about spirituality. Accessible, relevant, and innovative, this book is essential for anyone searching for a better understanding of the dynamic relationships among religion, spirituality, and American culture.   [brief]
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23. cover
Title: The urban wilderness: a history of the American city online access is available to everyone
Author: Warner, Sam Bass 1928-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Urban Studies | American Studies | United States History | Social Problems
Publisher's Description: Sam Bass Warner, Jr., examines the historical roots of the major economic and social problems facing the U.S. in the 1990s. He documents the efforts, both failed and successful, to provide for basic human needs in the urban context, especially for decent housing and health care. For this edition, Wa . . . [more]
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24. cover
Title: Black magic: religion and the African American conjuring tradition
Author: Chireau, Yvonne Patricia 1961-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Religion | African Studies | American Studies | United States History | African American Studies
Publisher's Description: Black Magic looks at the origins, meaning, and uses of Conjure - the African American tradition of healing and harming that evolved from African, European, and American elements - from the slavery period to well into the twentieth century. Illuminating a world that is dimly understood by both scholars and the general public, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and other related traditions, such as Hoodoo and Rootworking, in a beautifully written, richly detailed history that presents the voices and experiences of African Americans and shows how magic has informed their culture. Focusing on the relationship between Conjure and Christianity, Chireau shows how these seemingly contradictory traditions have worked together in a complex and complementary fashion to provide spiritual empowerment for African Americans, both slave and free, living in white America. As she explores the role of Conjure for African Americans and looks at the transformations of Conjure over time, Chireau also rewrites the dichotomy between magic and religion. With its groundbreaking analysis of an often misunderstood tradition, this book adds an important perspective to our understanding of the myriad dimensions of human spirituality.   [brief]
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25. cover
Title: Wising up the marks: the modern William Burroughs online access is available to everyone
Author: Murphy, Timothy S 1964-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Literature | American Studies | Literary Theory and Criticism | Philosophy
Publisher's Description: William S. Burroughs is one of the twentieth century's most visible, controversial, and baffling literary figures. In the first comprehensive study of the writer, Timothy S. Murphy places Burroughs in the company of the most significant intellectual minds of our time. In doing so, he gives us an immensely readable and convincing account of a man whose achievements continue to have a major influence on American art and culture. Murphy draws on the work of such philosophers as Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Theodor Adorno, and Jean-Paul Sartre, and also investigates the historical contexts from which Burroughs's writings arose.From the paranoid isolationism of the Cold War through the countercultural activism of the sixties to the resurgence of corporate and state control in the eighties, Burroughs's novels, films, and music hold a mirror to the American psyche. Murphy coins the term "amodernism" as a way to describe Burroughs's contested relationship to the canon while acknowledging the writer's explicit desire for a destruction of such systems of classification. Despite the popular mythology that surrounds Burroughs, his work has been largely excluded from the academy of American letters. Finally here is a book that presents a solid portrait of a major artistic innovator, a writer who combines aesthetics and politics and who can perform as anthropologist, social goad, or media icon, all with consummate skill.   [brief]
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26. cover
Title: The vanishing vision: the inside story of public television online access is available to everyone
Author: Day, James 1918-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Media Studies | American Studies | Sociology | Television and Radio | History
Publisher's Description: This spirited, first-ever history of public television offers an insider's account of its topsy-turvy, forty-year odyssey. James Day, a founder of San Francisco's KQED and a past president of New York's WNET, chronicles public television's fascinating evolution from its inauspicious roots in the 1950s to its strong, fiercely debated presence in contemporary culture. The Vanishing Vision provides a vivid and often amusing behind-the-screens history. Day tells how a program producer, desperate to locate a family willing to live with television cameras for seven months, borrowed a dime - and a suggestion - from a blind date and telephoned the Louds of Santa Barbara. The result was the mesmerizing twelve-hour documentary, An American Family . Day relates how Big Bird and his friends were created to spice up Sesame Street when test runs showed a flagging interest in the program's "live-action" segments. And he describes how Frieda Hennock, the first woman appointed to the FCC, overpowered the resistance of her male colleagues to lay the foundation for public television.Along the way, Day identifies the particular forces that have shaped public television. The result, in his view, is a Byzantine bureaucracy kept on a leash by an untrusting Congress, with a fragmented leadership that lacks a clearly defined mission in today's multimedia environment. Public television's "democratic" structure of over 300 stations stifles boldness and innovation while absorbing money needed for national programming.Day calls for a bold rethinking of public television's mission, advocating a system that is adequately funded and independent of government, one capable of countering commercial television's "lowest-common-denominator" approach with a full range of substantive programs, comedy as well as culture, entertainment as well as information.   [brief]
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27. cover
Title: For the hell of it: the life and times of Abbie Hoffman
Author: Raskin, Jonah 1942-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: American Studies | United States History | Politics | Autobiographies and Biographies
Publisher's Description: As cultural revolutionary, media celebrity, Yippie, lost soul, and tragic suicide, Abbie Hoffman embodied the contradictions of his era. In this riveting new biography, Jonah Raskin draws on his own twenty-year relationship with Hoffman; hundreds of interviews with friends, family members, and former comrades; and careful scrutiny of FBI files, court records, and public documents. For the Hell of It is a must-read not only for those interested in this ultimate iconoclast, but also for all who seek a fuller understanding of Abbie Hoffman's America.   [brief]
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28. cover
Title: Seeds of the sixties
Author: Jamison, Andrew
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | United States History | American Studies | Social Theory
Publisher's Description: "The Sixties." The powerful images conveyed by those two words have become an enduring part of American cultural and political history. But where did Sixties radicalism come from? Who planted the intellectual seeds that brought it into being? These questions are answered with striking clarity in Andrew Jamison and Ron Eyerman's book. The result is a combination of history and biography that vividly portrays an entire culture in transition.The authors focus on specific individuals, each of whom in his or her distinctive way carried the ideas of the 1930s into the decades after World War II, and each of whom shared in inventing a new kind of intellectual partisanship. They begin with C. Wright Mills, Hannah Arendt, and Erich Fromm and show how their work linked the "old left" of the Thirties to the "new left" of the Sixties. Lewis Mumford, Rachel Carson, and Fairfield Osborn laid the groundwork for environmental activism; Herbert Marcuse, Margaret Mead, and Leo Szilard articulated opposition to the postwar "scientific-technological state." Alternatives to mass culture were proposed by Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, and Mary McCarthy; and Saul Alinsky, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr., made politics personal.This is an unusual book, written with an intimacy that brings to life both intellect and emotion. The portraits featured here clearly demonstrate that the transforming radicalism of the Sixties grew from the legacy of an earlier generation of thinkers. With a deep awareness of the historical trends in American culture, the authors show us the continuing relevance these partisan intellectuals have for our own age. "In a time colored by 'political correctness' and the ascendancy of market liberalism, it is well to remember the partisan intellectuals of the 1950s. They took sides and dissented without becoming dogmatic. May we be able to say the same about ourselves." - from Chapter 7   [brief]
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29. cover
Title: Days of gold: the California Gold Rush and the American nation
Author: Rohrbough, Malcolm J
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | California and the West | Californian and Western History | United States History | American Studies | Gender Studies
Publisher's Description: On the morning of January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold in California. The news spread across the continent, launching hundreds of ships and hitching a thousand prairie schooners filled with adventurers in search of heretofore unimagined wealth. Those who joined the procession - soon called 49ers - included the wealthy and the poor from every state and territory, including slaves brought by their owners. In numbers, they represented the greatest mass migration in the history of the Republic.In this first comprehensive history of the Gold Rush, Malcolm J. Rohrbough demonstrates that in its far-reaching repercussions, it was the most significant event in the first half of the nineteenth century. No other series of events between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War produced such a vast movement of people; called into question basic values of marriage, family, work, wealth, and leisure; led to so many varied consequences; and left such vivid memories among its participants.Through extensive research in diaries, letters, and other archival sources, Rohrbough uncovers the personal dilemmas and confusion that the Gold Rush brought. His engaging narrative depicts the complexity of human motivation behind the event and reveals the effects of the Gold Rush as it spread outward in ever-widening circles to touch the lives of families and communities everywhere in the United States. For those who joined the 49ers, the decision to go raised questions about marital obligations and family responsibilities. For those men - and women, whose experiences of being left behind have been largely ignored until now - who remained on the farm or in the shop, the absences of tens of thousands of men over a period of years had a profound impact, reshaping a thousand communities across the breadth of the American nation.   [brief]
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30. cover
Title: Rethinking the American race problem online access is available to everyone
Author: Brooks, Roy L. (Roy Lavon) 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: American Studies | Law | Politics | Ethnic Studies
Publisher's Description: If the conservative view of the American race problem is frightening, the traditional liberal view seems impotent. Analyzing the race problem from neither right nor left, Brooks sheds a new and clarifying light on America's longest running social and moral dilemma.This incisive book provides a bold new examination of the seemingly intractable racial problems confronting Americans at the end of the twentieth century. In a wide-ranging and probing study, Brooks calls into question the prevailing wisdom about racism, civil rights legislation, and the composition of the Black community, going on to offer a dramatic new approach to the race problem. In Brooks' mind, civil rights laws - laws targeted at racial discrimination - have not only failed to engender racial equality, but have in fact had a negative effect on the standard of living of many Blacks. Brooks defines the American race problem so as to carefully separate racial oppression from (economic) class oppression and explains how civil rights legislation since the 1960s has hurt Black Americans of every class. He offers a strategy for resolving the country's racial inequities, unique in its attentiveness to class division in Black society, that combines governmental remedies and an unprecedented program of Black self-help.While Brooks argues that the government has the means to resolve the race dilemma, he suggests that it lacks the spirit to do so. Thus, it may be time for Black Americans to come to grips with an unpleasant reality - namely, that they can count on the government only for minimal alleviation, and must take on the larger portion of responsibility for resolving the American race problem themselves.Certain to arouse controversy, Rethinking the American Race Problem offers new understandings of issues often clouded by misconceptions and backward notions. It is an important book for anyone concerned about the current state of race relations in America.   [brief]
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31. cover
Title: The missing Spanish creoles: recovering the birth of plantation contact languages
Author: McWhorter, John H
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Language and Linguistics | Linguistic Theory | African Studies | American Studies
Publisher's Description: John McWhorter challenges an enduring paradigm among linguists in this provocative exploration of the origins of plantation creoles. Using a wealth of data--linguistic, sociolinguistic, historical--he proposes that the "limited access model" of creole genesis is seriously flawed. That model maintains that plantation creole languages emerged because African slaves greatly outnumbered whites on colonial plantations. Having little access to the slaveholders' European languages, the slaves were forced to build a new language from what fragments they did acquire. Not so, says McWhorter, who posits that plantation creole originated in West African trade settlements, in interactions between white traders and slaves, some of whom were eventually transported overseas. The evidence that most New World creoles were imports traceable to West Africa strongly suggests that the well-established limited access model for plantation creole needs revision. In forcing a reexamination of this basic tenet, McWhorter's book will undoubtedly cause controversy. At the same time, it makes available a vast amount of data that will be a valuable resource for further explorations of genesis theory.   [brief]
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32. cover
Title: The Myth of the Independent voter online access is available to everyone
Author: Keith, Bruce E
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Politics | American Studies
Publisher's Description: Few events in American politics over the past two decades have generated more attention than the increasing number of voters calling themselves Independent. By the early 1970s Independents outnumbered Republicans, according to many eminent experts on voting behavior. Yet the authors of this incisive new commentary on American politics claim that most of this widespread speculation on declining party affiliation is simply wrong. They contend that most so-called Independents lean strongly toward one of the two parties and resemble - in all important respects - either Democrats or Republicans. Contrary to expert opinion, only a small segment of voters are truly "independent" of either major party.Based on the most up-to-date 1990 data, The Myth of the Independent Voter provides a roadmap of the political arena for the general reader and scholar alike. Debunking conventional wisdom about voting patterns and allaying recent concerns about electoral stability and possible third party movements, the authors uncover faulty polling practices that have resulted in a skewed sense of the American voting population.Demonstrating that most of what has been written about Independents for more than thirty years is myth, this challenging book offers a trenchant new understanding of the party system, voting behavior, and public opinion.   [brief]
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33. cover
Title: China and the American dream: a moral inquiry
Author: Madsen, Richard 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Asian Studies | Politics | China | American Studies | Pacific Rim Studies | Sociology
Publisher's Description: From the "Red Menace" to Tiananmen Square, the United States and China have long had an emotionally tumultuous relationship. Richard Madsen's frank and innovative examination of the moral history of U.S.-China relations targets the forces that have shaped this surprisingly strong tie between two strikingly different nations. Combining his expertise as a sinologist with the vision of America developed in Habits of the Heart and The Good Society , Madsen studies the cultural myths that have shaped the perceptions of people of both nations for the past twenty-five years.The dominant American myth about China, born in the 1960s, foresaw Western ideals of economic, intellectual, and political freedom emerging triumphant throughout the world. Nixon's visit to China nurtured this idea, and by the 1980s it was helping to sustain America's hopefulness about its own democratic identity. Meanwhile, Chinese popular culture has focused on the U.S., especially American consumer goods - Coca-Cola was described by the People's Daily as "capitalism concentrated in a bottle."Today we face a new global institutional and cultural environment in which the old myths no longer work for either Americans or Chinese. Madsen provides a framework for us to think about the relationship between democratic ideals and economic/political realities in the post-Cold War world. What he proposes is no less than the foundation for building a public philosophy for the emerging world order.   [brief]
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34. cover
Title: Legislative leviathan: party government in the House
Author: Cox, Gary W
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Politics | American Studies
Publisher's Description: This book provides an incisive new look at the inner workings of the House of Representatives in the post-World War II era. Reevaluating the role of parties and committees, Gary Cox and Mathew McCubbins view parties in the House - especially majority parties - as a species of "legislative cartel." These cartels usurp the power, theoretically resident in the House, to make rules governing the structure and process of legislation. Possession of this rule-making power leads to two main consequences. First, the legislative process in general, and the committee system in particular, is stacked in favor of majority party interests. Second, because the majority party has all the structural advantages, the key players in most legislative deals are members of that party and the majority party's central agreements are facilitated by cartel rules and policed by the cartel's leadership.Debunking prevailing arguments about the weakening of congressional parties, Cox and McCubbins powerfully illuminate the ways in which parties exercise considerable discretion in organizing the House to carry out its work.This work will have an important impact on the study of American politics, and will greatly interest students of Congress, the presidency, and the political party system.   [brief]
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35. cover
Title: A history of wine in America from the beginnings to prohibition online access is available to everyone
Author: Pinney, Thomas
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Food and Cooking | United States History | American Studies | Wine
Publisher's Description: The Vikings called North America "Vinland," the land of wine. Giovanni de Verrazzano, the Italian explorer who first described the grapes of the New World, was sure that "they would yield excellent wines." And when the English settlers found grapes growing so thickly that they covered the ground down to the very seashore, they concluded that "in all the world the like abundance is not to be found." Thus, from the very beginning the promise of America was, in part, the alluring promise of wine. How that promise was repeatedly baffled, how its realization was gradually begun, and how at last it has been triumphantly fulfilled is the story told in this book.It is a story that touches on nearly every section of the United States and includes the whole range of American society from the founders to the latest immigrants. Germans in Pennsylvania, Swiss in Georgia, Minorcans in Florida, Italians in Arkansas, French in Kansas, Chinese in California - all contributed to the domestication of Bacchus in the New World. So too did innumerable individuals, institutions, and organizations. Prominent politicians, obscure farmers, eager amateurs, sober scientists: these and all the other kinds and conditions of American men and women figure in the story. The history of wine in America is, in many ways, the history of American origins and of American enterprise in microcosm.While much of that history has been lost to sight, especially after Prohibition, the recovery of the record has been the goal of many investigators over the years, and the results are here brought together for the first time.   [brief]
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36. cover
Title: Making sweatshops: the globalization of the U.S. apparel industry
Author: Rosen, Ellen Israel
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: American Studies | Sociology | Anthropology | Politics | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: The only comprehensive historical analysis of the globalization of the U.S. apparel industry, this book focuses on the reemergence of sweatshops in the United States and the growth of new ones abroad. Ellen Israel Rosen, who has spent more than a decade investigating the problems of America's domestic apparel workers, now probes the shifts in trade policy and global economics that have spawned momentous changes in the international apparel and textile trade. Making Sweatshops asks whether the process of globalization can be promoted in ways that blend industrialization and economic development in both poor and rich countries with concerns for social and economic justice - especially for the women who toil in the industry's low-wage sites around the world. Rosen looks closely at the role trade policy has played in globalization in this industry. She traces the history of current policies toward the textile and apparel trade to cold war politics and the reconstruction of the Pacific Rim economies after World War II. Her narrative takes us through the rise of protectionism and the subsequent dismantling of trade protection during the Reagan era to the passage of NAFTA and the continued push for trade accords through the WTO. Going beyond purely economic factors, this valuable study elaborates the full historical and political context in which the globalization of textiles and apparel has taken place. Rosen takes a critical look at the promises of prosperity, both in the U.S. and in developing countries, made by advocates for the global expansion of these industries. She offers evidence to suggest that this process may inevitably create new and more extreme forms of poverty.   [brief]
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37. cover
Title: The color bind: California's battle to end affirmative action online access is available to everyone
Author: Chavez, Lydia 1951-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Politics | American Studies | Public Policy | California and the West
Publisher's Description: The Color Bind tells the story of how Glynn Custred and Thomas Wood, two unknown academics, decided to write Proposition 209 in 1992 and thereby set in motion a series of events, far beyond their control, destined to transform the legal, political, and everyday meaning of civil rights for the next generation. Going behind the mass media coverage of the initiative, Lydia Chávez narrates the complex underlying motivations and maneuvering of the people, organizations, and political parties involved in the campaign to end affirmative action in California.For the first time, the role of University of California regent Ward Connerly in the campaign - one largely assigned to public relations - is put into perspective. In the course of the book Chávez also provides a rare behind-the-scenes journalistic account of the complex and fascinating workings of the initiative process. Chávez recreates the post-election climate of 1994, when the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) appeared to be the right-time, right-place vehicle for Governor Pete Wilson and other Republican presidential prospects. President Clinton and the state Democratic Party thought the CCRI would splinter the party and jeopardize the upcoming presidential election. The Republicans, who saw the CCRI as a "wedge issue" to use against the Democrats, found to their surprise that the initiative was much more divisive in their own party.Updating her text to include the most current material, Chávez deftly delineates the interplay of competing interests around the CCRI, and explains why the opposition was unsuccessful in its strategy to fight the initiative. Her analysis probes the momentous - and national - implications of this state initiative in shaping the future of affirmative action in this country.   [brief]
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38. cover
Title: Mobilizing against nuclear energy: a comparison of Germany and the United States
Author: Joppke, Christian
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Politics | Environmental Studies | German Studies | American Studies | Sociology
Publisher's Description: In the past two decades young people, environmentalists, church activists, leftists, and others have mobilized against nuclear energy. Anti-nuclear protest has been especially widespread and vocal in Western Europe and the United States. In this lucid, richly documented book, Christian Joppke compares the rise and fall of these protest movements in Germany and the United States, illuminating the relationship between national political structures and collective action. He analyzes existing approaches to the study of social movements and suggests an insightful new paradigm for research in this area. Joppke proposes a political process perspective that focuses on the interrelationship between the state and social movements, a model that takes into account a variety of forces, including differential state structures, political cultures, movement organizations, and temporal and contextual factors.This is an invaluable work for anyone studying the dynamics of social movements around the world.   [brief]
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39. cover
Title: Residues of justice: literature, law, philosophy online access is available to everyone
Author: Dimock, Wai-chee 1953-
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | American Studies | Law | Philosophy
Publisher's Description: In this arresting book, Wai Chee Dimock takes on the philosophical tradition from Kant to Rawls, challenging its conception of justice as foundational, self-evident, and all-encompassing. The idea of justice is based on the premise that the world can be resolved into commensurate terms: punishment equal to the crime, redress equal to the injury, benefit equal to the desert. Dimock focuses, however, on what remains unexhausted, unrecovered, and noncorresponding in the exercise of justice. To honor these "residues," she turns to literature, which, in its linguistic density, transposes the clean abstractions of law and philosophy into persistent shadows, the abiding presence of the incommensurate. Justice can only be a partial answer to the phenomenon of human conflict.In arguing for justice as an incomplete virtue, Dimock draws upon legal history, political philosophy, linguistics, theology, and feminist theory; she discusses Aristotle and Augustine, Locke and Luther, Marx and Durkheim, Michael Sandel and Carol Gilligan, Noam Chomsky and Mary Ann Glendon. She also examines an unusual configuration of nineteenth-century American authors, pairing figures such as Herman Melville and Rebecca Harding Davis, Walt Whitman and Susan Warner.The result is a book both passionate and scholarly. It invites us to rethink the meanings of literature, law, and philosophy, and to imagine a language of community more supple and more nuanced than the language of justice.   [brief]
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40. cover
Title: Hey, waitress!: the USA from the other side of the tray
Author: Owings, Alison
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: Sociology | Anthropology | United States History | Sociology | Labor Studies | American Studies | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: Most of us have sat across the tray from a waitress, but how many of us know what really is going on from her side? Hey, Waitress! aims to tell us. Containing lively, personal portraits of waitresses from many different walks of life, this book is the first of its kind to show the intimate, illuminating, and often shocking behind-the-scenes stories of waitresses' daily shifts and daily lives. Alison Owings traveled the country - from border to border and coast to coast - to hear firsthand what waitresses think about their lives, their work, and their world. Part journalism and part oral history, Hey, Waitress! introduces an eclectic cast of characters: a ninety-five-year-old Baltimore woman who may have been the oldest living waitress, a Staten Island firebrand laboring at a Pizza Hut, a well-to-do runaway housewife, a Native American proud of her financial independence, a college student loving her diner more than her studies, a Cajun grandmother of twenty-two, and many others. The book also offers vivid slices of American history. The stories describe the famous sit-in at the Woolworth's counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, which helped spark the civil rights movement; early struggles for waitress unions; and battles against sexually discriminatory hiring in restaurants. A superb and accessible means of breaking down stereotypes, this book reveals American waitresses in all their complexity and individuality, and will surely change the way we order, tip, and, most of all, behave in restaurants.   [brief]
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