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The publishing phenomenon of summer reading, often focused on novels set in vacation destinations, started in the nineteenth century, as both print culture and tourist culture expanded in the United States. As an emerging middle class increasingly embraced summer leisure as a marker of social status, book publishers sought new market opportunities, authors discovered a growing readership, and more readers indulged in lighter fare. Drawing on publishing records, book reviews, readers' diaries, and popular novels of the period, Donna Harrington-Lueker explores the beginning of summer reading and the backlash against it. Countering fears about the dangers of leisurely reading - especially for young women - publishers framed summer reading not as a disreputable habit but as a respectable pastime and welcome respite. Books for Idle Hours sheds new light on an ongoing seasonal publishing tradition.
Lyn Madden worked as a prostitute for 20 years. This is her story of life 'on the game' in Dublin.
Contemporary Singapore is simultaneously a small postcolonial multicultural nation state and a cosmopolitan global city. To manage fundamental contradictions, the state takes the lead in authoring the national narrative. This is partly an internal process of nation building, but it is also achieved through more commercially motivated and outward facing efforts at nation and city branding. Both sets of processes contribute to Singapore's capacity to influence foreign affairs, if only for national self-preservation. For a small state with resource limitations, this is mainly through the exercise of smart power, or the ability to strategically combine soft and hard power resources.
Gay pornography, online and onscreen, is a controversial and significantly under-researched area of cultural production. In the first book of its kind, Gay Pornography: Representations of Sexuality and Masculinity explores the iconography, themes and ideals that the genre presents. Indeed, John Mercer argues that gay pornography cannot be regarded as one-dimensional, but that it offers its audience a vision of plural masculinities that are more nuanced and ambiguous than they might seem. Mercer examines how the internet has generated an exponential growth in the sheer volume and variety of this material, and facilitated far greater access to it. He uses both professional and amateur examples to explore how gay pornography has become part of a wider cultural context in which modern masculinities have become 'saturated' by their constantly evolving status and function in popular culture.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, a companion decision, the Court found that a state may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right with regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating the decision to have an abortion. Rather than settle the issue, the Court's rulings since Roe and Doe have continued to generate debate and have precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, state, and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or limit their effect. These governmental regulations have, in turn, spawned further litigation in which resulting judicial refinements in the law have been no more successful in dampening the controversy. Although the primary focus of this book is legislative action with respect to abortion, discussion of the various legislative proposals necessarily involves an examination of the leading Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman's right to choose. This book also summarizes laws on abortion in selected European countries which shows diverse approaches to the regulation of abortion in Europe. A majority of the surveyed countries allow abortion upon the woman's request in the early weeks of pregnancy, and allow abortion under specified circumstances in later periods.
We all age differently, but we can learn from shared experiences and insights. The conversations, or paired essays, in Aging Thoughtfully combine a philosopher's approach with a lawyer-economist's. Here are ideas about when to retire, how to refashion social security to help the elderly poor, how to learn from King Lear - who did not retire successfully - and whether to enjoy or criticize anti-aging cosmetic procedures. Some of the concerns are practical: philanthropic decisions, relations with one's children and grandchildren, the purchase of annuities, and how to provide for care in old age. Other topics are cultural, ranging from the treatment of aging women in a Strauss opera and various popular films, to a consideration of Donald Trump's (and other men's) marriages to much younger women. These engaging, thoughtful, and often humorous exchanges show how stimulating discussions about our inevitable aging can be, and offer valuable insight into how we all might age more thoughtfully, and with zest and friendship.
In Becoming Friends of Time, John Swinton crafts a theology of time that draws us toward a perspective wherein time is a gift and a calling. Time is not a commodity nor is time to be mastered. Time is a gift of God to humans, but is also a gift given back to God by humans. Swinton wrestles with critical questions that emerge from theological reflection on time and disability: rethinking doctrine for those who can never grasp Jesus with their intellects; reimagining discipleship and vocation for those who have forgotten who Jesus is; reconsidering salvation for those who, due to neurological damage, can be one person at one time and then be someone else in an instant. In the end, Swinton invites the reader to spend time with the experiences of people with profound neurological disability, people who can change our perceptions of time, enable us to grasp the fruitful rhythms of God's time, and help us learn to live in ways that are unimaginable within the boundaries of the time of the clock.
In the United States, egg donation for reproduction and egg donation for research involve the same procedures, the same risks, and the same population of donors--disadvantaged women at the intersections of race and class. Yet cultural attitudes and state-level policies regarding egg donation are dramatically different depending on whether the donation is for reproduction or for research. Erin Heidt-Forsythe explores the ways that framing egg donation itself creates diverse politics in the United States, which, unlike other Western democracies, has no centralized method of regulating donations, relying instead on market forces and state legislatures to regulate egg donation and reproductive technologies. Beginning with a history of scientific research around the human egg, the book connects historical debates about the "natural" (reproduction) and "unnatural" (research) uses of women's eggs to contemporary political regulation of egg donation. Examining egg donation in California, New York, Arizona, and Louisiana and coupled with original data on how egg donation has been regulated over the last twenty years, this book is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the politics of egg donation across the United States.
One of the world's top historians of the body, Georges Vigarello maps the evolution of Western ideas about fat and fat people from the Middle Ages to today, paying particular attention to the role of science, fashion, fitness crazes, and public health campaigns in shaping these views. While hefty bodies were once a sign of power, today those who struggle to lose weight are considered poor in character and weak in mind. Vigarello traces the eventual equation of fatness with infirmity and the way we have come to define ourselves and others in terms of body type. Vigarello begins with the medieval artists and intellectuals who treated heavy bodies as symbols of force and prosperity. He then follows the shift during the Renaissance and early modern period to courtly, medical, and religious codes that increasingly favored moderation and discouraged excess. Scientific advances in the eighteenth century also brought greater knowledge of food and the body's processes, recasting fatness as the relaxed antithesis of health.The body-as-mechanism metaphor intensified in the early-nineteenth century, with the chemistry revolution and heightened attention to food-as-fuel, which turned the body into a kind of furnace or engine. During this period, social attitudes toward fat became conflicted, with the bourgeois male belly operating as a sign of prestige but also as a symbol of greed and exploitation, while the overweight female was admired only if she was working class. Vigarello concludes with the fitness and body conscious movements of the twentieth century and the proliferation of personal confessions about obesity, which cemented the social implications of personal behavior and tied fat more closely to notions of personality, politics, taste, and class.
Zygmunt Bauman's powerful and persuasive study of the postmodern perspective on ethics is particularly welcome. For Bauman the great issues of ethics have lost none of their topicality: they simply need to be seen, and dealt with, in a wholly new way. Our era, he suggests, may actually represent a dawning, rather than a twilight, for ethics.
Few today recognize the name Martin Niemöller, though many know his famous confession. In Then They Came For Me, Matthew Hockenos traces Niemöller's evolution from a Nazi supporter to a determined opponent of Hitler, revealing him to be a more complicated figure than previously understood.
Born into a traditionalist Prussian family, Niemöller welcomed Hitler's rise to power as an opportunity for national rebirth. Yet when the regime attempted to seize control of the Protestant Church, he helped lead the opposition and was soon arrested. After spending the war in concentration camps, Niemöller emerged a controversial figure: to his supporters he was a modern Luther, while his critics, including President Harry Truman, saw him as an unrepentant nationalist.
A nuanced portrait of courage in the face of evil, Then They Came For Me puts the question to us today: What would I have done?
This thought-provoking book sets out the ethical arguments for a woman's right to choose. Drawing on the traditions of sociological thinking and moral philosophy, it maintains that there is a strong moral case for recognizing autonomy in personal decision-making about reproductive intentions. More than this, it argues that to prevent a woman from making her own choice to continue or end her pregnancy is to undermine the essence of her humanity. The author, a provider of abortion services in the UK, asserts that true respect for human life and true regard for individual conscience demand that we respect a woman's right to decide, and that support for a woman's right to a termination has moral foundations and ethical integrity. This fresh perspective on abortion will interest both pro- and anti-choice individuals and organizations, along with academics in the fields of gender studies, philosophy, ethics and religion. Listen to Ann Furedi and three distinguished panellists discuss her book here.
In his latest collection of essays, author, physician and humanist philosopher Raymond Tallis meditates on the complexity of human consciousness, free will, mathematics, God and eternity. The philosophical reflections are interrupted by the fiercely polemical essay 'Lord Howe's Wicked Dream', in which Tallis exposes the 'institutionally corrupt' deception intended to destroy the NHS, and the values that have created and sustained it.
The Internet was supposed to be an antidote to authoritarianism. It can enable citizens to express themselves freely and organize outside state control. Yet while online activity has helped challenge authoritarian rule in some cases, other regimes have endured: no movement comparable to the Arab Spring has arisen in China. In Contesting Cyberspace in China, Rongbin Han offers a powerful counterintuitive explanation for the survival of the world's largest authoritarian regime in the digital age. Han reveals the complex internal dynamics of online expression in China, showing how the state, service providers, and netizens negotiate the limits of discourse. He finds that state censorship has conditioned online expression, yet has failed to bring it under control. However, Han also finds that freer expression may work to the advantage of the regime because its critics are not the only ones empowered: the Internet has proved less threatening than expected due to the multiplicity of beliefs, identities, and values online. State-sponsored and spontaneous pro-government commenters have turned out to be a major presence on the Chinese internet, denigrating dissenters and barraging oppositional voices. Han explores the recruitment, training, and behavior of hired commenters, the "fifty-cent army," as well as group identity formation among nationalistic Internet posters who see themselves as patriots defending China against online saboteurs. Drawing on a rich set of data collected through interviews, participant observation, and long-term online ethnography, as well as official reports and state directives, Contesting Cyberspace in China interrogates our assumptions about authoritarian resilience and the democratizing power of the Internet.
Ethics for Robots describes and defends a method for designing and evaluating ethics algorithms for autonomous machines, such as self-driving cars and search and rescue drones. Derek Leben argues that such algorithms should be evaluated by how effectively they accomplish the problem of cooperation among self-interested organisms, and therefore, rather than simulating the psychological systems that have evolved to solve this problem, engineers should be tackling the problem itself, taking relevant lessons from our moral psychology. Leben draws on the moral theory of John Rawls, arguing that normative moral theories are attempts to develop optimal solutions to the problem of cooperation. He claims that Rawlsian Contractarianism leads to the `Maximin' principle - the action that maximizes the minimum value - and that the Maximin principle is the most effective solution to the problem of cooperation. He contrasts the Maximin principle with other principles and shows how they can often produce non-cooperative results. Using real-world examples - such as an autonomous vehicle facing a situation where every action results in harm, home care machines, and autonomous weapons systems - Leben contrasts Rawlsian algorithms with alternatives derived from utilitarianism and natural rights libertarianism. Including chapter summaries and a glossary of technical terms, Ethics for Robots is essential reading for philosophers, engineers, computer scientists, and cognitive scientists working on the problem of ethics for autonomous systems.
This book considers a burgeoning social phenomenon, compensated dating in Hong Kong, that facilitates direct commercial sex exchange between consenting females from their mid-teens through the late 20s and males from their early 20s to mid-adulthood. Informed by the transformation of intimacy, the breakdown of institutional constraints, the emergence of a new female sexual autonomy and the advancement of information technology, this book moves beyond stereotypes of sex work to look at the complexities of compensated dating. The phenomenon of compensated dating is distinctive from most other sex trades in that it involves intense emotional interactions and often extends beyond the commercial boundary. Given the dynamic, flexible and ambiguous nature of compensated dating, it has become more of a space for sexual explorations and less of a rigid model of commercial sex, at least in the eye of the participants. This book walks through how men become involved in compensated dating and also sheds lights on how gender relations are negotiated, with important implications on what it means to be a man and a woman in contemporary Hong Kong society. It also speaks to the broader transformations of some of the key social structures and elements, particularly gender and sexualities, in the era of late modernity.
Popular representations of third-world sex workers as sex slaves and vectors of HIV have spawned abolitionist legal reforms that are harmful and ineffective, and public health initiatives that provide only marginal protection of sex workers' rights. In this book, Prabha Kotiswaran asks how we might understand sex workers' demands that they be treated as workers. She contemplates questions of redistribution through law within the sex industry by examining the political economies and legal ethnographies of two archetypical urban sex markets in India.
Kotiswaran conducted in-depth fieldwork among sex workers in Sonagachi, Kolkata's largest red-light area, and Tirupati, a temple town in southern India. Providing new insights into the lives of these women--many of whom are demanding the respect and legal protection that other workers get--Kotiswaran builds a persuasive theoretical case for recognizing these women's sexual labor. Moving beyond standard feminist discourse on prostitution, she draws on a critical genealogy of materialist feminism for its sophisticated vocabulary of female reproductive and sexual labor, and uses a legal realist approach to show why criminalization cannot succeed amid the informal social networks and economic structures of sex markets. Based on this, Kotiswaran assesses the law's redistributive potential by analyzing the possible economic consequences of partial decriminalization, complete decriminalization, and legalization. She concludes with a theory of sex work from a postcolonial materialist feminist perspective.
Design objects, bachelor pads, and multimedia rotating beds as expressions of the relationships among architecture, gender, and sexuality. Published for the first time in 1953, Playboy became not only the first pornographic popular magazine in America, but also came to embody an entirely new lifestyle that took place in a series of utopian multimedia spaces, from the fictional Playboy's Penthouse of 1956 to the Playboy Mansion of 1959 and the Playboy Clubs of the 1960s. At the same time, the invention of the contraceptive pill offered access to a biochemical technique able to separate (hetero)sexuality and reproduction, troubling the traditional relationships between gender, sexuality, power, and space. In Pornotopia, Beatriz Preciado examines popular culture and pornographic spaces as sites of architectural production. Combining historical perspectives with insights from critical theory, gender studies, queer theory, porn studies, and the history of technology, and drawing from a range of primary transdisciplinary sourcestreatises on sexuality, medical and pharmaceutical handbooks, architecture journals, erotic magazines, building manuals, and novels-Preciado traces the strategic relationships among architecture, gender, and sexuality through popular sites related to the production and consumption of pornography: design objects, bachelor pads, and multimedia rotating beds. Largely relegated to the margins of traditional histories of architecture, these sites are not mere spaces but a series of overlapping systems of representation. They are understood here not as inherently or naturally sexual, nor as perverted or queer, but rather as biopolitical techniques for governing sexual reproduction and the production of gender in modernity.
Civility in national and international politics is under siege. In this volume, twelve distinguished sociologists and historians from North America, Europe, and China reflect on the nature and preservation of civility in and between nation states and empires in a set of geographically and historically wide-ranging chapters. Civility protects individual self-determination and expression, promotes productive economic activity and wealth, and is central to political stability and peace within and across political communities. Yet power, always concentrated and endemic in nation states and imperial settings, poses great risks to civility. Guided by the perspective of John A. Hall, who has done more to identify and investigate the intricate relationships between states, nations, the power they hold, and civility than any other contemporary social scientist, States and Nations, Power and Civility offers a set of crisp, in-depth investigations regarding the specific mechanisms of civility and how it may be protected.
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