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Across Africa the narrative of "Africa rising" has taken root in a burgeoning middle class. Ambitious and increasingly affluent, this group symbolizes the values and hopes of the new Africa, and they are regarded as important agents of both economic development and democratic change. This narrative, however, obscures the complex and often ambiguous role that this group actually plays in African societies.
The Rise Of Africa's Middle Class brings together a diverse range of economists, political scientists, and development experts to provide a much needed corrective, overturning the received wisdom within development circles and providing a fresh new perspective on social transformations in contemporary Africa. Featuring a wide array of case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa and covering highly topical issues, including black middle-class support for the ANC in South Africa and anti-government activism in Nigeria, this collection of essays is a timely, on-the-ground look at the realities behind the idea of Africa rising.
Spectacular and terrifyingly true' - Owen Jones
'Thought-provoking and funny' - The Times
Be honest: if your job didn't exist, would anybody miss it? Have you ever wondered why not? Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren't necessary. In other words: they are bullshit jobs. This book shows why, and what we can do about it.
In the early twentieth century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks and driving flying cars. Instead, something curious happened. Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin: jobs that don't seem to contribute anything to society. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing anything, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.
This book is for anyone whose heart has sunk at the sight of a whiteboard, who believes 'workshops' should only be for making things, or who just suspects that there might be a better way to run our world.
Believers is a scientist's answer to attacks on faith by some well-meaning scientists and philosophers- a firm rebuke of the "Four Horsemen": Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, known for writing about religion as something irrational and ultimately harmful. Konner, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew but has lived his adult life without such faith, explores the psychology, development, brain science, evolution, and even genetics of the varied religious impulses we as a species experience. Conceding that faith is not for everyone, he views religious people with a sympathetic eye; his own upbringing, his apprenticeship in the trancedance religion of the African Bushmen, and his friends in Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and other faiths have all shaped his perspective. He concludes that religion does much good as well as undoubted harm, and that for at least a large minority of humanity, the belief in things unseen neither can nor should go away.
This volume brings together Bourdieu's highly original writings on language and on the relations between language, power and politics. Bourdieu develops a forceful critique of traditional approaches to language, including the linguistic theories of Saussure and Chomsky and the theory of speech-acts elaborated by Austin and others. He argues that language should be viewed not only as a means of communication but also as a medium of power through which individuals pursue their interests and display their practical competence.
Drawing on the concepts which are part of his distinctive theoretical approach, Bourdieu maintains that linguistic utterances or expressions can be understood as the product of the relation between a 'linguistic market' and a 'linguistic habitus'. When individuals produce linguistic expressions, they deploy accumulated resources and they implicitly adapt their expressions to the demands of the social field or market. Hence every linguistic interaction, however personal and insignificant they may seem, bears the traces of the social structure that it both expresses and helps to reproduce.
Boudieu's account sheds fresh light on the ways in which linguistic usage varies according to considerations such as class and gender. It also opens up a new approach to the ways in which language is used in the domain of politics. For politics is, among other things, the site "par excellence" in which words are deeds and the symbolic character of power is at stake.
This volume, by one of the leading social thinkers in the world today, represents a major contribution to the study of language and power. It will be of interest to students throughout the social sciences andhumanities, especially in sociology, politics, anthropology, linguistics and literature.
Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.
This compelling narrative explains how Native Americans found themselves time and again betrayed by the ever-expanding white nation of the East, fighting for lands on the edge of the shrinking frontier. Long considered a classic, this edition features an introduction by Dee Brown, author of" Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
"A vivid, swiftly paced account of the dispossession of the Plains Indians during the half century after 1840--"The New York Times Book Review,"
Brief and accessible, this reader features articles and excerpts from works that have proved pivotal in the field of cultural anthropology. Topics include culture, language and communication, ecology and economics, issues of culture change, and many others.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, a fascinating look at the world of Christian women celebrities Since the 1970s, an important new figure has appeared on the center stage of American evangelicalism "the celebrity preacher's wife. Although most evangelical traditions bar women from ordained ministry, many women have carved out unofficial positions of power in their husbands' spiritual empires or their own ministries. The biggest stars "such as Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and Victoria Osteen "write bestselling books, grab high ratings on Christian television, and even preach. In this engaging book, Kate Bowler, an acclaimed historian of religion and the author of the bestselling memoir Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, offers a sympathetic and revealing portrait of megachurch women celebrities, showing how they must balance the demands of celebrity culture and conservative, male-dominated faiths. Whether standing alone or next to their husbands, the leading women of megaministry play many parts: the preacher, the homemaker, the talent, the counselor, and the beauty. Boxed in by the high expectations of modern Christian womanhood, they follow and occasionally subvert the visible and invisible rules that govern the lives of evangelical women, earning handsome rewards or incurring harsh penalties. They must be pretty, but not immodest; exemplary, but not fake; vulnerable to sin, but not deviant. And black celebrity preachers' wives carry a special burden of respectability. But despite their influence and wealth, these women are denied the most important symbol of spiritual power "the pulpit. The story of women who most often started off as somebody's wife and ended up as everyone's almost-pastor, The Preacher's Wife is a compelling account of women's search for spiritual authority in the age of celebrity.
We accomplish extraordinary things when we do ordinary things together. This heartfelt and hopeful conviction led LSU professor Marybeth Lima to begin the LSU Community Playground Project as a way to involve her students in the larger Baton Rouge community. Fifteen years and over seven hundred students later, Building Playgrounds, Engaging Communities tells the remarkable story of the Playground Project s ongoing partnership with area public schools to design and build safe, fun, accessible, kid-designed playgrounds. Lima s experiences with the Playground Project range from outright failures to hard-won victories. Overcoming the challenges of working with scarce resources and persevering despite many setbacks, Lima and her students succeeded with hope, humor, and dedication. Building Playgrounds, Engaging Communities emphasizes the major impact people have when they work together for the common good whether by building playgrounds, establishing neighborhood gardens, or participating in honest, respectful conversations. To this end, Lima provides an appendix with practical advice for local engagement. People wanting to make a difference in their communities can use this book as a road map; those active in long-term endeavors will draw on it for ideas and inspiration.
The discerning open-minded reader, prepared to forego the geocentric paradigm of most human philosophy and science, will be carried away by this text which offers a cosmic perspective of the evolution of life on our planet, of the history and future of mankind, as well as of meaning in the universe.
The possibility of a more advanced civilization than our own provides a cosmic perspective on developments on our earth. The text reproaches earthly scientists, philosophers and religious thinkers for their geocentric approach: they tend to accept this earth as the centre of the universe. But like Galileo we should all be open to the new and unexpected.
This text is challenging and thought-provoking with an unusual perspective.
This fascinating account of the Cape's indigenous people traces the origins and history of the San hunter-gatherers, whose ancestry in southern Africa dates back at least 120,000 years, and the Khoekhoe herders, who arrived in the south-western Cape about 2000 years ago. This is the first in a new series of full-color heritage books aimed at both local and overseas tourists. The author uncovers the rich history of the indigenous people of the Cape: Stone Age people, the San and the Khoikhoi, as well as the Griqua. This is the first time this history has been presented in a comprehensive, accessible way in a single book: The many specially-commissioned photos vividly bring to life the sites and events discussed; Maps and contact details are given for readers wishing to visit the heritage sites.The book has been produced in consultation with the South African Heritage Agency.
J.D. Lewis-Williams, a leading South African archaeologist and ethnographer, examines the complex myths of the San-Bushmen to create a larger theory of how myth is used in cultures worldwide. Exploring ethnographic, archival and archaeological lines of research, he extracts the `nuggets', the far-reaching but often unspoken words and concepts of language and understanding that are opaque to outsiders, to establish a more nuanced theory of the role of these myths in the thought-world and social circumstances of the San. The book draws from the author's own work, the unique 19th-century Bleek & Lloyd archive, more recent ethnographic work, and San rock art and includes well-known San stories such as The broken string, Mantis dreams, and Creation of the eland.
How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to allow their children to be burdened with loans or sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. Indebted takes readers into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life. Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty "providing their children with opportunity "and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the "student finance complex" "the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not. Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, Indebted breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.
The hunter-gatherers of southern Africa known as 'Bushmen' or 'San' are not one single ethnic group, but several. They speak a diverse variety of languages, and have many different settlement patterns, kinship systems and economic practices. The fact that we think of them as a unity is not as strange as it may seem, for they share a common origin: they are an original hunter-gatherer population of southern Africa with a history of many thousands of years on the subcontinent. Drawing on his four decades of field research in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Alan Barnard provides a detailed account of Bushmen or San, covering ethnography, archaeology, folklore, religious studies and rock-art studies as well as several other fields. Its wide coverage includes social development and politics, both historically and in the present day, helping us to reconstruct both human prehistory and a better understanding of ourselves.
Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature-versus-nurture debate in a thoughtful book about the roots of human behavior.
Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. With the decoding of the human genome, we now know that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues, and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.
From the kings of the Indus Valley to Hannibal's Alpine cavalry, humans have been living and working with elephants for millennia. In Giants of the Monsoon Forest, Jacob Shell travels to communities that still rely on this ancient partnership. After the 2004 tsunami, Indonesian officials deployed trained Sumatran elephants to clear wreckage. Along the mountainous Indian-Burmese border, the logging industry employs several thousand elephants. They share these forests with Kachin rebels, who navigate a secret network of trails atop elephant mounts. Blending history, science and reportage, Giants of the Monsoon Forest offers a new perspective on animal intelligence and reveals an unexpected relationship between evolution in the natural world and political struggles in the human one. By working together, fugitive elephants and humans help preserve the wild spaces they both need to survive.
Rosemary Levy Zumwalt tells the remarkable story of Franz Boas, one of the leading scholars and public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first book in a two-part biography, Franz Boas begins with the anthropologist's birth in Minden, Germany, in 1858 and ends with his resignation from the American Museum of Natural History in 1906 while also examining his role in training professional anthropologists from his berth at Columbia University in New York City. Zumwalt follows the stepping-stones that led Boas to his vision of anthropology as a four-field discipline, a journey demonstrating especially his tenacity to succeed, the passions that animated his life, and the toll that the professional struggle took on him. Zumwalt guides the reader through Boas's childhood and university education, describes his joy at finding the great love of his life, Marie Krackowizer, traces his 1883 trip to Baffin Land, and recounts his efforts to find employment in the United States. A central interest in the book is Boas's widely influential publications on cultural relativism and issues of race, particularly his book The Mind of Primitive Man (1911), which reshaped anthropology, the social sciences, and public debates about the problem of racism in American society. Franz Boas presents the remarkable life story of an American intellectual giant as told in his own words through his unpublished letters, diaries, and field notes. Zumwalt weaves together the strands of the personal and the professional to reveal Boas's love for his family and for the discipline of anthropology as he shaped it.
'A mesmerizingly fascinating tale, one astonishing adventure after another. I could not stop reading this beautifully written book.' Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods 'A unique history of a culturally and scientifically important netherworld most people barely know exists.' Booklist 'An unusual and intriguing travel book ... A vivid illumination of the dark and an effective evocation of its profound mystery.'Kirkus (starred review) When Will Hunt was sixteen years old, he discovered an abandoned tunnel that ran beneath his house in Providence, Rhode Island. His first tunnel trips inspired a lifelong fascination with exploring underground worlds, from the derelict subway stations and sewers of New York City to sacred caves, catacombs, tombs, bunkers and ancient underground cities in more than twenty countries around the world. Underground is both a personal exploration of Hunt's obsession and a panoramic study of how we are all connected to the underground, how caves and other dark hollows have frightened and enchanted us through the ages. In a narrative spanning continents and epochs, Hunt follows a cast of subterraneaphiles who have dedicated themselves to investigating underground worlds. He tracks the origins of life with a team of NASA microbiologists a mile beneath the Black Hills, camps out for three days with urban explorers in the catacombs and sewers of Paris, descends with an Aboriginal family into a 35,000-year-old mine in the Australian outback, and glimpses a sacred sculpture moulded by Paleolithic artists in the depths of a cave in the Pyrenees. Each adventure is woven with findings in mythology and anthropology, natural history and neuroscience, literature and philosophy - this is a graceful meditation on the allure of darkness, the power of mystery, and our eternal desire to connect with what we cannot see.
This book addresses the relationship between the body and society in a fast-food society. Agger focuses on issues of food, exercise, work, dieting and eating disorders, fashion, bariatric and cosmetic surgery, and health. He addresses the dilemma that we have ample access to abundant calories but lead lifestyles and have jobs that for the most part do not enable us to expend those calories. He proposes solutions, both individual and structural, that involve re-orienting ourselves to exercise as play. The book can be used in introductory sociology, social problems, work, sociology of sport, gender, health and illness. The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today's social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on http://routledge.customgateway.com/routledge-social-issues.html For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.
In The Protestant Ethic, Max Weber opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and relates the rise of the capitalist economy to the Calvinist belief in the moral value of hard work and the fulfillment of one's worldly duties. Based on the original 1905 edition, this volume includes, along with Weber's treatise, an illuminating introduction, a wealth of explanatory notes, and exemplary responses and remarks-both from Weber and his critics-sparked by publication of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
American popular culture is everywhere. All over the world, kids
wear Levis, radios blare rap songs, television stations broadcast
American programs, and Hollywood movies draw huge audiences. Does
this massive "Americanization" of the globe represent some sinister
form of cultural imperialism? Alternatively, do audiences and
consumers in the importing countries accept American movies, music,
and television programs because they match local trends and
desires? Do receiving communities transform these products to fit
their own needs, to the point where they are no longer "American"
but in fact have become indigenous? And who is in charge of all of
this, anyway? Is it Wall Street, Madison Avenue, the Pentagon, the
CIA, or Hollywood? Is it, at least partly, local economic and
political elites in the receiving countries? Or is it simply "the
people," nationalities be damned? These are the questions at the
heart of the essays collected in "Here, There and Everywhere."
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