1,281 episodes

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books
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    • Science

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books
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    Rahul Mukherjee, "Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty" (Duke UP, 2020)

    Rahul Mukherjee, "Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty" (Duke UP, 2020)

    In Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty (Duke UP, 2020), Rahul Mukherjee explores how the media coverage of nuclear power plants and cellular phone antennas in India—what he calls radiant infrastructures—creates environmental publics: groups of activists, scientists, and policy makers who use media to influence public opinion. In documentaries, lifestyle television shows, newspapers, and Bollywood films, and through other forms of media (including radiation-sensing technologies), these publics articulate contesting views about the relationships between modernity, wireless signals, and nuclear power. From testimonies of cancer patients who live close to cell towers to power plant operators working to contain information about radiation leaks and health risks, discussions in the media show how radiant infrastructures are at once harbingers of optimism about India's development and emitters of potentially carcinogenic radiation. In tracing these dynamics, Mukherjee expands understandings of the relationship between media and infrastructure and how people make sense of their everyday encounters with technology and the environment.
    Noopur Raval is a postdoctoral researcher working at the intersection of Information Studies, STS, Media Studies and Anthropology.
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    • 59 min
    Natasha Behl, "Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Natasha Behl, "Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Why do we find pervasive gender-based discrimination, exclusion and violence in India when the Indian constitution builds an inclusive democracy committed to gender equality? This is the puzzle that animates Natasha Behl’s book, Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India (Oxford University Press, 2019), but it is, as we explore in episode eight of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science, in no way merely an intellectual one. To the contrary, Gendered Citizenship is a book that is guided by Behl’s own bodily experiences of gendered politics in India and also in the academy. Through her study of India, Behl offers a persuasive critique of the existing literature on citizenship in political science, particularly in democratisation studies, as well as of her experiences as a graduate student in a hostile discipline. Along the way she develops an account of situated citizenship that not only serves as the methodological basis for her fieldwork, but, as we discuss, is itself a kind of empirical political theory.
    Congratulations to Natasha Behl for being awarded the soon-to-be-officially-announced 2021 Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence of the American Political Science Association! Listeners interested to know more about Lee Ann Fujii’s life and work can listen to the recent interview in this special series with two of her former students, Jessica Soedirgo and Aarie Glas.
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    Nick Cheesman is a Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group.
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    • 56 min
    Margo Shea, "Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland" (U Notre Dame Press, 2020)

    Margo Shea, "Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland" (U Notre Dame Press, 2020)

    The city that sits on the River Foyle on the North side of the Irish isle in many ways has stood as a microcosm of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, even to the contestation over the name of Derry/Londonderry. In Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), Margo Shea examines the popular and cultural identity formations in this emblematic city over the century leading up to the sectarian clash known commonly as as "The Troubles." Throughout the period Shea examines, Irish nationalist communities developed a cultural memory that fostered a social identity and shared heritage as an alternative to the loyalist sanctioned commemorations, festivals, and community histories. Shea's study models a fruitful method of reading cultural history, especially of communities without recourse to political power and the usual means of archival representation. This book will be of interest for those interested in the formation of cultural identity and the development of Northern Ireland.
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 58 min
    Chris A. Barcelos, "Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health" (U California Press, 2020)

    Chris A. Barcelos, "Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health" (U California Press, 2020)

    Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health (U California Press, 2020) is a feminist ethnographic account of how youth sexual health programs in the racially and economically stratified city of “Millerston” reproduce harm in the marginalized communities they are meant to serve.
    Chris Barcelos makes space for the stories of young mothers, who often recognize the narrow ways that public health professionals respond to pregnancies. Barcelos’s findings show that teachers, social workers, and nurses ignore systemic issues of race, class, and gender and instead advocate for individual-level solutions such as distributing condoms and promoting "hope." Through a lens of reproductive justice, Distributing Condoms and Hope imagines a different approach to serving marginalized youth—a support system that neither uses their lives as a basis for disciplinary public policies nor romanticizes their struggles.
    In our interview, Chris Barcelos explains how they use the framework of a “teen pregnancy prevention industrial complex” to illuminate the webs of power that ultimately serve to perpetuate the systemic social inequities leading to teen pregnancy. They describe the concept of “messiness” as it applies to deviations from social normativity, and how such deviations “mess up” society’s ideas of what is right and normal. Distributing Condoms and Hope forthrightly engages with messiness. One hopes it will have a real-world impact – for, as Barcelos observes, “It is easy to critique social structures while nonetheless continuing on with your day-to-day work in ways that do not incorporate those critiques.”
    Rachel Pagones teaches preventive medicine and public health in the doctoral program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Health and Science in San Diego, and she is a licensed acupuncturist. Her book about acupuncture as a tool of medical, social, and political revolution in the United States will be published later this year.
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    • 1 hr
    Jacob Lederman, "Chasing World-Class Urbanism: Global Policy Versus Everyday Survival in Buenos Aires" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

    Jacob Lederman, "Chasing World-Class Urbanism: Global Policy Versus Everyday Survival in Buenos Aires" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

    What makes some cities world class? Increasingly, that designation reflects the use of a toolkit of urban planning practices and policies that circulates around the globe. These strategies—establishing creative districts dedicated to technology and design, “greening” the streets, reinventing historic districts as tourist draws—were deployed to build a globally competitive Buenos Aires after its devastating 2001 economic crisis. In this richly drawn account, Jacob Lederman explores what those efforts teach us about fast-evolving changes in city planning practices and why so many local officials chase a nearly identical vision of world-class urbanism.
    Lederman explores the influence of Northern nongovernmental organizations and multilateral agencies on a prominent city of the global South. Using empirical data, keen observations, and interviews with people ranging from urban planners to street vendors he explores how transnational best practices actually affect the lives of city dwellers. His research also documents the forms of resistance enacted by everyday residents and the tendency of local institutions and social relations to undermine the top-down plans of officials. Most important, Lederman highlights the paradoxes of world-class urbanism: for instance, while the priorities identified by international agencies are expressed through nonmarket values such as sustainability, inclusion, and livability, local officials often use market-centric solutions to pursue them. Further, despite the progressive rhetoric used to describe urban planning goals, in most cases their result has been greater social, economic, and geographic stratification.
    Chasing World-Class Urbanism: Global Policy Versus Everyday Survival in Buenos Aires (U Minnesota Press, 2020) is a much-needed guide to the intersections of culture, ideology, and the realities of twenty-first-century life in a major Latin American city, one that illuminates the tension between technocratic aspirations and lived experience.
    Dr. Lederman is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Michigan-Flint and his research interests span Urban sociology, development and globalization, political economy.
    Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.
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    • 58 min
    Gordon Glenister, "Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Crate Successful Influencer Marketing" (Kogan-Page, 2021)

    Gordon Glenister, "Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Crate Successful Influencer Marketing" (Kogan-Page, 2021)

    Today I talked Gordon Glenister about his new book Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Crate Successful Influencer Marketing (Kogan-Page, 2021)
    Gordon Glenister is the Global Head of Influencer Marketing for the Brand Content Marketing Association. He’s also the host of the Influence podcast, and was formerly the Director General of the British Promotional Merchandise Association for over a decade.
    Why are 77% of influencers female, and are so young (averaging 28 years of age)? Part of the answer may be that women rarely attract venture capitalist funding and yet are the majority of buyers in most categories. So they are close to the action of what’s going on commercially without being invited to partake. Their response has been to become, in effect, not only their own brands but their own media companies. In the process, they challenge and may replace to a degree both advertising agencies and traditional retailers as they help companies reach committed, niche audiences that aren’t necessarily small at all. This episode covers those topics, and more. The degree to which trust has leached from companies and moved over to more authentic influencers is one key. Another is that companies would be wise to consider employees as brand advocates, i.e. internally-based influencers in their own right.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 37 min

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