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Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books
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New Books in Sociology New Books Network

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Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books
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    Florian Köhler, "Space, Place and Identity: Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century" (Berhahn Book, 2020)

    Florian Köhler, "Space, Place and Identity: Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century" (Berhahn Book, 2020)

    Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. Space, Place and Identity: The Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century (Berghahn Books, 2020) by Florian Köhler examines recent transformations in spatial patterns among the Wodaabe, notably in the context of urban migration and in processes of sedentarization in rural proto-villages. “Space, Place and Identity” analyses the consequences that these recent changes entail for social group formation and collective identification, and how these also impact the integration of the Wodaabe into wider society among the structures of the modern nation state.
    Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.
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    • 54 min.
    Sarah Abel, "Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body After the Genome" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Sarah Abel, "Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body After the Genome" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Over the past twenty years, DNA ancestry testing has morphed from a niche market into a booming international industry that encourages members of the public to answer difficult questions about their identity by looking to the genome. At a time of intensified interest in issues of race and racism, the burgeoning influence of corporations like AncestryDNA and 23andMe has sparked debates about the commodification of identity, the antiracist potential of genetic science, and the promises and pitfalls of using DNA as a source of "objective" knowledge about the past. 
    Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body After the Genome (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) engages these debates by looking at the ways genomic ancestry testing has been used in Brazil and the United States to address the histories and legacies of slavery, from personal genealogical projects to collective racial politics. Reckoning with the struggles of science versus capitalism, "race-blind" versus "race-positive" public policies, and identity fluidity versus embodied experiences of racism, Permanent Markers seeks to explain why those of us in societies that have broadly embraced the social construction of race continue to search for, and find, evidence that our bodies are marked permanently by the past.
    Sarah Abel is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge's Centre of Latin American Studies. 
    Reighan Gillam is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of Southern California.
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    • 1 u. 5 min.
    Ryan Thomas Skinner, "Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country" (U Minnesota Press, 2022)

    Ryan Thomas Skinner, "Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country" (U Minnesota Press, 2022)

    Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country (U Minnesota Press, 2022), Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.
    Skinner employs the conceptual themes of "remembering" and "renaissance" to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture. Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.
    The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter.
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    • 1 u. 47 min.
    Eugenia Roussou, "Orthodox Christianity, New Age Spirituality and Vernacular Religion: The 'Evil Eye' in Greece" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Eugenia Roussou, "Orthodox Christianity, New Age Spirituality and Vernacular Religion: The 'Evil Eye' in Greece" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Eugenia Roussou's book Orthodox Christianity, New Age Spirituality and Vernacular Religion: The 'Evil Eye' in Greece (Bloomsbury, 2021) thoroughly illustrates the novel synthesis of Christian religion and New Age spirituality in Greece. It challenges the single-faith approach that traditionally ties southern European countries to Christianity and focuses on how processes of globalization influence and transform vernacular religiosity.
    Based on long-term anthropological fieldwork in Greece, this book demonstrates how the popular belief in the ‘evil eye’ produces a creative affinity between religion and spirituality in everyday practice. It contributes to current key debates in social sciences concerning globalization and secularization, religious pluralism, contemporary spirituality and the New Age movement, gender, power and the body, health, illness, and alternative therapeutic systems, senses, perception and the supernatural, the spiritual marketplace, creativity and the individualization of religion in a multicultural world.
    Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion’ at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India.
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    • 48 min.
    Ipek Demir, "Diaspora As Translation and Decolonisation" (Manchester UP, 2022)

    Ipek Demir, "Diaspora As Translation and Decolonisation" (Manchester UP, 2022)

    This innovative study engages critically with existing conceptualisations of diaspora, arguing that if diaspora is to have analytical purchase, it should illuminate a specific angle of migration or migrancy. To reveal the much-needed transformative potential of the concept, the book looks specifically at how diasporas undertake translation and decolonisation. It offers various conceptual tools for investigating diaspora, with a specific focus on diasporas in the Global North and a detailed empirical study of the Kurdish diaspora in Europe. The book also considers the backlash diasporas of colour have faced in the Global North.
    Prof. Ipek Demir teaches at the University of Leeds in the UK. 
    Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen.
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    • 1 u. 2 min.
    Sally Weintrobe et al., "Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death" (Phoenix Publishing House, 2022)

    Sally Weintrobe et al., "Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death" (Phoenix Publishing House, 2022)

    Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death (Phoenix Publishing House, 2022) offers ways to work with the unthinkable and emotionally unendurable current predicament of humanity. The style and writing interweave passion and reflection, animation and containment, radical hope, and tragedy to reflect the dilemmas of our collective crisis. The authors model a relational approach in their styles of writing and in the book's structure. Four chapters, each with a strikingly original voice and insight, form the core of the book, held either end by two jointly written chapters. In contrast to a psychology that focuses on individual behavior change, the authors use a transdisciplinary mix of approaches (depth psychology and psychotherapy, earth systems, deep ecology, cultural sociology, critical history, group and institutional outreach) to bring into focus the predicament of this period. While the last decade required a focus on climate denial in all its manifestations (which continues in new ways), a turning point has now been reached. Increasingly extreme weather across the world is making it impossible for simple avoidance of the climate threat.
    Wendy Hollway, Paul Hoggett, Chris Robertson, and Sally Weintrobe address how climate psychology illuminates and engages the life and death challenges that face terrestrial life. This book will appeal to three core groups. First, mental health and social care professionals wanting support in containing and potentially transforming the malaise. Second, activists wanting to participate in new stories and practices that nurture their engagement with the present social and cultural crisis. Third, those concerned about the climate emergency, wanting to understand the deeper context for this dangerous blindness.
    Karyne Messina is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and am on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Resurgence of Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy (Routledge, 2022).
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    • 54 min.

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