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New Books in Sociology

Author: Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books
686 Episodes
William Elison's The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai(University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai. Interestingly, not all of Elison's interview subjects identify as Hindu, which bolsters has argument that sacred space in Mumbai is created by visual and somatic practices performed across religious boundaries. Join as as we discuss Elison's rich fieldwork in the streets, slums, and movie studios of Mumbai.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see more about your ad choices. Visit
Shortly after the conclusion of the Women's World Cup earlier this summer, a friend suggested to me that it signaled the long-awaited arrival of soccer as a mainstream sport in the U.S. I thought a second, remembering the commercials around the game and the way the television cameras shot the crowd. Then I responded that I thought it wasn't really the long-awaited arrival of soccer, but the emergence of women's sports into the mainstream of American culture.This is something of an exaggeration. But the summer of the World Cup is perhaps a perfect time to think through the position of women's sports in global society. Nancy Lough and Andrea N. Geurin do just that in their new edited Routledge Handbook of the Business of Women's Sport (Routledge, 2019). Lough and Guerin bring together forty different authors to survey the status of women's sports in 2019. The essays range from discussions of the history of women's sports to analyses of media representation of women in sports to the economics and management of women's sports. Collectively, it is a remarkable accomplishment. Lough and Guerin offer a comprehensive survey of the field while pointing to future questions and topics of research. The coverage is scholarly, but with an eye to the political and sports culture in which women's sports exists. Anyone interested in understanding the business of women's sports should start here.Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press, and (with Abigail Perkiss) Changing the Game: Title IX, Gender and Athletics in American Universities, to be published by W. W. Norton in November 2019.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)--Asst. Prof. of Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo--interviews Dr. Belinda Stillion Southard (she/hers)--Assoc. Prof. of Communication at the University of Georgia--on the illuminating new book, How to Belong: Women’s Agency in a Transnational World from Penn State University Press (2018). In How to Belong, Dr. Stillion Southard examines the discourse of international women leaders seeking agency for women, the traditional subjects of violence across the global south. From the Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI) to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Michelle Bachelet, Stillion Southard argues that the rhetorical choices of these actors embodied their particular transnational context, pushing back against the violent entails of nationalism and citizenship, traditionally conceived. As part of a broader conversation centered on exposing the violence of national citizenship and proposing ways of rejecting that violence, this book seeks to provide answers through the powerful rhetorical practices of resilient and inspiring women who have successfully negotiated what it means to belong, to be included, and to enact change beyond the boundaries of citizenship.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This episode is the first in a new series, New Books in Interpretive Social Science, which will feature works on interpretive research design and practice alongside recently published exemplary interpretive social scientific studies. To get the ball rolling, the editors of the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods, and co-authors of the first book published in that series, Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes (Routledge, 2012), discuss what interpretive methods are, why they matter, and how they became authors and editors of works on interpretive social science. They are Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, professor of political science at the University of Utah, and Dvora Yanow, professor of social science at Wageningen University. Renowned interpretive scholars of politics and public policy respectively, Peri and Dvora bring their wealth of experience as researchers, educators and writers to the microphone for a lively exchange about the what, how and wherefore of interpretive research. Wherever you stand on interpretive modes of inquiry, this is an episode not to be missed: it sets the agenda for interpretive social science and the tone for the series of interviews to follow.Nick Cheesman is a fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and currently a visiting research scholar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. He co-hosts the New Books in Southeast Asian Studies channel.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
How can this happen? If there's any question that people interested in genocide ask, it's this one. How can people do this to each other? How can this be possible? What is wrong with this world that this can happen?Maureen Hiebert's book Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence: Society, Crisis, Identity (Routledge, 2017) offers an answer to this question. Hiebert is a political scientist and approaches the subject through that lens. She reminds us that societies engage in genocide because it offers the most plausible answer to their dilemma, but that many others in the same situation have opted for different solutions. The question, then, is to understand why some governments opt for genocide. Hiebert lays out a framework in which elites reimagine an already existing minority as both fundamentally alien and existentially threatening. It is this sense of existential danger, where the minority group threatens the state by the very fact of its existence, that leads elites to choose genocide.Hiebert is refreshingly honest in the interview about questions her theory can't answer. And she has important insights about how genocide scholars might help policy makers understand how academic theories apply to them. As such, she is participating in a long discussion amongst scholars and citizens about how to understand genocide.Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In Non-Humans in Amerindian South America: Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals, and Songs (Berghahn, 2018), eleven researchers bring new ethnographies to bear on anthropological debates on ontology and the anthropocene. In this episode of New Books in Anthropology, the book’s editor Juan Javier Rivera Andía talks with host Jacob Doherty about the importance of ethnography for refreshing theoretical conversations, historicizing indigenous cosmologies in the centuries long waves of extractivism that have remade Amerindian worlds, and the persistence of more than human relationships in the face of violence and ecological crisis.Juan Javier Rivera Andía is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology of the Americas, the University of Bonn; his research examines rituals and oral tradition among indigenous groups of the Andes of South America, particularly Quechua-speaking people of central and Northern Peruvian highlands.Jacob Doherty is a research associate in urban mobility at the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, and, most recently, the co-editor of Labor Laid Waste, a special issue of International Labor and Working Class History.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The authors of Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped (Oxford University Press, 2017) make points that professionals already know and that end-investors ought to know: that there are a lot of cooks in the investment kitchen, and that the investment process is materially shaped by the chain of individuals and institutions that go into manufacturing investment products. Advisors, consultants, compliance, sales, portfolio managers, analysts, traders, distributors, custodians---these job titles are just part of that machinery. And they all interact with one another in a variety of ways. Most people operating in a complex industry understand that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that affects the ultimate outcome of the manufacturing process or service generation. Investment management is the same. Chains of Finance is part of a growing literature in the social studies of finance that highlights that investment is an interactive social process, not a cut and dried application of some algorithm, even when it is promoted as a computer-driven, machine only exercise. Please listen to my interview with one of the authors, Philip Grant, here....Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @Back2BizBook or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
In Changing Saudi Arabia, Art, Culture and Society in the Kingdom (Lynne Rienner, 2019), Sean Foley offers eye-opening insights into a changing society that is under the international magnifying glass. Using the prism of an exploding arts scene populated by artists, comedians, actors, directors and masters of new media from diverse backgrounds, Foley paints a granular picture of a country that figures prominently in global geopolitics. Breaking with the traditional geopolitical, political and economic paradigm that dominates scholarship and analysis of a kingdom widely viewed as increasingly autocratic and brutal under de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Foley illustrates the margins within which the arts scene seeks to stimulate conversations on often taboo subjects and express criticism by couching it in constructive rather than explicitly critical terms. It involves a balancing act in which artists are forced to be critical and supportive of the regime at the same time. In describing the evolution of the arts scene, Foley also paints a much more layered picture of Prince Mohammed whose reputation as a reformer has been sullied by his crackdown on dissent and the killing in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. The evolution of a non-traditional arts scene is as much organic as it is a reflection of the generational transition in the kingdom’s absolute monarchical rule and an instinctive understanding that survival in the 21st century rests on a more complex set of factors than it did in the last century. With his well-written and erudite analysis, Foley has made a significant contribution to the literature and understanding of the dynamics that are changing the kingdom for better or for worse.James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A recent UNDP report makes the astonishing claim that India has halved its poverty between 2006 and 2016. Moving us past the rosy picture, Alpa Shah and her co-author's  multi-authored, masterful Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st-Century India (Pluto Press, 2017) focuses on those left behind by, and indeed ground down by, India’s much touted growth. Based on intensive fieldwork in multiple locations across India, the book finds that in particular it is India’s ‘untouchables’ (Dalits) and ‘tribals’ (Adivasis) who toil at the bottom of the pyramid in thankless conditions and for little reward. Instead of eradicating inequalities of caste and tribe, the intensification of capitalism has in fact further entrenched them, transforming them into new mechanisms of oppression and accumulation. Analytical rigor paired with lucid prose makes this co-researched and co-authored book indispensable for scholars and citizens concerned with the Global South, inequality, capitalism, economic growth, and social difference.Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University with interests in agrarian capitalism in rural Rajasthan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Federal housing finance policy and mortgage-backed securities have gained widespread attention in recent years because of the 2008 financial crisis, but government credit has been part of American life since the nation’s founding. Sarah L. Quinn’s new book dissects the political and social development of these policies in American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation (Princeton University Press, 2019). Quinn is associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington.From the 1780s, when national land credit policy was established, to the postwar foundations of our current housing finance system, Quinn examines the evolution of securitization and federal credit programs. American Bonds shows that since the Westward expansion, the U.S. government has used financial markets to manage America’s complex social divides, and politicians and officials across the political spectrum have turned to land sales, home ownership, and credit to provide economic opportunity without the appearance of market intervention or direct wealth redistribution.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (1)

maxie Xie

hi, I really liked the contents, it's a shame the hardware part, the recording damages a great deal on the quality, the speaking sounded far away and kind of breaking... hard to describe

Aug 4th
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