300 episodes

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books

New Books in Sociology New Books Network

    • Social Sciences

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books

    Jean Halley, "Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Jean Halley, "Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Today Jana Byars talks to Jean Halley, Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York about her new book Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses (University of Georgia Press, 2019).
    Part memoir, part heavy-hitting theoretical exploration, this delightfully readable book explores the relationship between horses and humans, and how girls develop relationships with horses and subvert dominant narratives about gender roles and heteronormativity.
    Professor Halley works on the intersection of affective relationships, identity construction, and power, often as these intersections interact with horses. She is the author of The Parallel Lives of Women and Cows: Meat Markets (Palgrave 2012) and Boundaries of Touch: Parenting and Adult-Child Intimacy (Illinois, 2007) as well as the editor of Seeing Straight, Seeing White, and The Affective Turn.
    As well as her academic and hybrid academic/memoir work, Halley writes creative non-fiction. Killing Deer, a beautifully written and slightly devastating short, was published in Harper’s Magazine.
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    • 51 min
    S. Moskalenko and C. McCauley, "Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    S. Moskalenko and C. McCauley, "Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Terrorism and radicalization came to the forefront of news and politics in the US after the unforgettable attacks of September 11th, 2001. When George W. Bush famously asked "Why do they hate us?," the President echoed the confusion, anger and fear felt by millions of Americans, while also creating a politicized discourse that has come to characterize and obscure discussions of both phenomena in the media.
    Since then the American public has lived through a number of domestic attacks and threats, and watched international terrorist attacks from afar on television sets and computer screens. The anxiety and misinformation surrounding terrorism and radicalization are perhaps best detected in questions that have continued to recur in the last decade: "Are terrorists crazy?"; "Is there a profile of individuals likely to become terrorists?"; "Is it possible to prevent radicalization to terrorism?" Fortunately, in the two decades since 9/11, a significant body of research has emerged that can help provide definitive answers.
    In Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2020), Sophia Moskalenko and Clark McCauley propose twelve mechanisms that can move individuals, groups, and mass publics from political indifference to sympathy and support for terrorist violence. Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know synthesizes original and existing research to answer the questions raised after each new attack, including those committed by radicalized Americans. It offers a rigorously informed overview of the insight that will enable readers to see beyond the relentless news cycle to understand where terrorism comes from and how best to respond to it.
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 58 min
    Jonathan Parry, "Classes of Labor: Work and Life in an Indian Steel Town" (Routledge, 2020)

    Jonathan Parry, "Classes of Labor: Work and Life in an Indian Steel Town" (Routledge, 2020)

    Classes of Labour: Work and Life in a Central Indian Steel Town (Routledge, 2020) is a classic in the social sciences. The rigour and richness of the ethnographic data of this book and its analysis is matched only by its literary style. This magnum opus of 732 pages, an outcome of fieldwork covering twenty-one years, complete with diagrams and photographs, reads like an epic novel, difficult to put down. Professor Jonathan Parry looks at a context in which the manual workforce is divided into distinct social classes, which have a clear sense of themselves as separate and interests that are sometimes opposed. The relationship between them may even be one of exploitation; and they are associated with different lifestyles and outlooks, kinship and marriage practices, and suicide patterns. A central concern is with the intersection between class, caste, gender and regional ethnicity, with how class trumps caste in most contexts and with how classes have become increasingly structured as the ‘structuration’ of castes has declined. The wider theoretical ambition is to specify the general conditions under which the so-called ‘working class’ has any realistic prospect of unity.
    Today I talked with the author, Jonathan Parry, emeritus professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (in collaboration with Ajay TG) and John Harriss, emeritus professor of international studies at Simon Fraser University.
    Sneha Annavarapu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
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    • 1 hr 53 min
    A. P. Carnevale, "The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America" (The New Press, 2020)

    A. P. Carnevale, "The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America" (The New Press, 2020)

    Colleges fiercely defend America’s higher education system, arguing that it rewards bright kids who have worked hard. But it doesn’t actually work this way.
    As the recent bribery scandal demonstrates, social inequalities and colleges’ pursuit of wealth and prestige stack the deck in favor of the children of privilege. For education scholars and critics Anthony P. Carnevale, Peter Schmidt, and Jeff Strohl, it’s clear that colleges are not the places of aspiration and equal opportunity they should (and claim to) be.
    The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America (The New Press) delves deeply into the rampant dysfunction of higher education today and critiques a system that pays lip service to social mobility and meritocracy, while offering little of either.
    Through policies that exacerbate inequality, including generously funding so-called merit-based aid rather than expanding opportunity for those who need it most, U.S. universities—the presumed pathway to a better financial future—are woefully (and in some cases criminally) complicit in reproducing racial and class privilege across generations.
    This timely and incisive book argues for unrigging the game by dramatically reducing the weight of the SAT/ACT; measuring colleges by their outcomes, not their inputs; designing affirmative action plans that honor the relationship between race and class; and making 14 the new 12—guaranteeing every American a public K–14 education.
    The Merit Myth shows the way to higher education becoming the beacon of opportunity it was intended to be.
    Anthony P. Carnevale, a chairman under President Clinton of the National Commission on Employment Policy, is the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. He lives in Washington, DC.
    Peter Schmidt, the author of Color and Money, is an award-winning writer and editor who has worked for Education Week and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Washington, DC.
    Jeff Strohl is the director of research at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. He lives in Washington, DC.
    Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A People’s History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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    • 26 min
    Co-Authored: Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward

    Co-Authored: Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward

    When you ask people about academic collaborations, Piven and Cloward is almost always the first one they mention. In this episode of the Co-Authored podcast, we look at the four-decade collaboration between Professors Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward.
    This collaboration is incredibly timely today, as protest and social movements are at the center of debates about racial justice and social equity. Piven and Cloward studied this together starting in the early 1960s and what they discovered about poverty, race, and social movements in the multiple books and articles reveals a lot about the way forward.
    During this episode, you’ll directly from Piven, who I interviewed at her home in Manhattan. She retired from the City University of New York Graduate Center several years ago, but continues to write. Richard Cloward passed in the early 2000s, but you’ll hear from him in a clip from the 1960s. You’ll also hear from Dara Strolovitch, Phil Rocco, and Mark Schmidt. There’s a little bit of Milton Friedman and Glenn Beck to keep things moving, as well.
    The episode was supported by the American Political Science Association, the New Books Network, and John Jay College, CUNY. It was edited and produced by Sam Anderson.
    I hope you enjoy listening.
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    • 31 min
    Ali Meghji, "Black Middle-Class Britannia: Identities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption" (Manchester UP, 2019)

    Ali Meghji, "Black Middle-Class Britannia: Identities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption" (Manchester UP, 2019)

    Who are the Black middle-class in Britain?
    In Black Middle-Class Britannia: Identities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption (Manchester University Press, 2019) Ali Meghji, a lecturer in social inequalities at the University of Cambridge, considers the identity of Britain’s Black middle-class by understanding culture and cultural consumption.
    Offering examples from across contemporary art and culture, the book provides both a theoretical framework and rich empirical data to demonstrate the importance of understanding race to the study of both class and culture.
    As a result, the book is essential reading across the arts and social sciences, as well as for cultural practitioners and policymakers.
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    • 35 min

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