Current Review Titles
Interesting new publications
If you are interested in reviewing one or more of the following books, or another recent publication, please contact Review Editor Heidi Härkönen: heidi.harkonen[a]helsinki.fi.
Suggestions for titles appearing on this list are welcome at anthro-review(a)helsinki.fi
• Current review titles, 2011/3 (pdf)
• Review titles, 2011/2 (pdf)
• Review titles, 2011/1 (pdf)
• Review titles, 2010/4 (pdf)
• Review titles, 2010/3 (pdf)
• Review titles, 2010/2 (pdf)
Ayral, Sylvie 2011. La fabrique des garçons. Sanctions et genre au college. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
La grande majorité (80 %) des élèves punis au collège sont des garçons. Comment expliquer ce chiffre en contradiction avec le discours égalitaire officiel ? Pourquoi n’attire-t-il pas l’attention des équipes éducatives ? Ce livre propose d’interroger la sanction à la lumière du genre. Il montre l’effet pervers des punitions qui consacrent les garçons dans une identité masculine stéréotypée et renforcent les comportements qu’elles prétendent corriger : le défi, la transgression, les conduites sexistes, homophobes et violentes. L’ouvrage, fruit d’une recherche exigeante, explore toutes les facettes de cette hypothèse en interrogeant les règlements intérieurs, les registres de sanctions et en donnant la parole aux élèves et aux adultes. Il nous présente, de façon drôle ou émouvante, les dessous de ces rapports de sexe qui forment la trame sensible ou violente de la vie quotidienne au collège. Aux antipodes de la tolérance zéro et du tout répressif, l’auteur plaide pour une éducation non sexiste, une mixité non ségrégative et la formation des enseignants au genre. Ces propositions apparaissent comme une urgence si l’on veut enrayer la violence scolaire.
Chafiq, Chahla 2011. Islam politique, sexe et genre. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Sujet politique par excellence, l’islamisme ne cesse d’interroger notre monde, de renouveler les débats à tous les niveaux de la société et de poser des questions qui dépassent largement le cadre des sociétés et des communautés dites musulmanes. Répond-il aux vœux profonds des peuples musulmans ou correspond-il à une réaction passéiste ? Soutient-il une guerre contre l’« Occident » ou s’inscrit-il dans la continuité des luttes anticoloniales et anti-impérialistes ?Toutes ces questions se cristallisent dans les débats passionnés sur le sens du voile, qui interrogent à leur tour les rapports entre l’islam, le politique, le sexe et le genre. Ils rejoignent aussi les vives interrogations de notre époque sur le retour du religieux dans la politique. Cet essai s’empare de ces questions à partir de l’expérience de l’Iran où l’islamisme révolutionnaire a conquis le pouvoir et y développe son projet sociopolitique depuis plus de 30 ans. Il met en lumière la nature totalitaire de l’islamisme en tant que phénomène moderne qui s’élève contre la modernité.
Dyrness, Andrea 2011. Mothers United: An Immigrant Struggle for Socially Just Education. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
In urban American school systems, the children of recent immigrants and low-income parents of color disproportionately suffer from overcrowded classrooms, lack of access to educational resources, and underqualified teachers. The challenges posed by these problems demand creative solutions that must often begin with parental intervention. But how can parents without college educations, American citizenship, English literacy skills, or economic stability organize to initiate change on behalf of their children and their community? In Mothers United, Andrea Dyrness chronicles the experiences of five Latina immigrant mothers in Oakland, California—one of the most troubled urban school districts in the country—as they become informed and engaged advocates for their children’s education. These women, who called themselves “Madres Unidas” (“Mothers United”), joined a neighborhood group of teachers and parents to plan a new, small, and autonomous neighborhood-based school to replace the overcrowded Whitman School. Collaborating with the author, among others, to conduct interviews and focus groups with teachers, parents, and students, these mothers moved from isolation and marginality to take on unfamiliar roles as researchers and community activists while facing resistance from within the local school district. Mothers United illuminates the mothers’ journey to create their own space—centered around the kitchen table—that enhanced their capacity to improve their children’s lives. At the same time, Dyrness critiques how community organizers, teachers, and educational policy makers, despite their democratic rhetoric, repeatedly asserted their right as “experts,” reproducing the injustice they hoped to overcome. A powerful, inspiring story about self-learning, consciousness-raising, and empowerment, Mothers United offers important lessons for school reform movements everywhere.
Elisha, Omri 2011. Moral Ambition: Mobilization and Social Outreach in Evangelical Megachurches. Berkeley: University of California Press.
In this evocative ethnography, Omri Elisha examines the hopes, frustrations, and activist strategies of American evangelical Christians as they engage socially with local communities. Focusing on two Tennessee megachurches, Moral Ambition reaches beyond political controversies over issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and public prayer to highlight the ways that evangelicals at the grassroots of the Christian Right promote faith-based causes intended to improve the state of social welfare. The book shows how these ministries both help churchgoers embody religious virtues and create provocative new opportunities for evangelism on a public scale. Elisha challenges conventional views of U.S. evangelicalism as narrowly individualistic, elucidating instead the inherent contradictions that activists face in their efforts to reconcile religious conservatism with a renewed interest in compassion, poverty, racial justice, and urban revivalism.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (ed. by Michael R. Hill) 2011. Families, Marriages and Children. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a pioneering sociologist, feminist pragmatist, author, and lecturer. A skilled and perceptive writer, she explained sociological concepts and principles clearly and concisely to popular audiences. This volume presents a focused and provocative set of Gilman’s penetrating analyses of marriage, motherhood, and family relationships. Generally unavailable, except in archives and special libraries, the lion’s share of the analyses are drawn directly from Gilman’s quintessentially unique self-published journal, The Forerunner. Transcending her era, Gilman speaks with wit, insight, and candor to twenty-first century readers about many controversial aspects of family and family life. She believes deeply that women’s values—regeneration, cooperation, and compassion—make for better societies. Men’s values, she concludes, are destructive, competitive, and often violent. Families produce double standards and inequalities between husbands and wives, resulting in inferior mothers and, as a direct consequence, in substandard children. To improve society, Gilman argues, we need healthy, happy children. This requires well-trained, competent mothers, widespread social parenting, and enlightened, non-patriarchal marriages. Largely self-taught, Gilman supported herself through writing and lecturing. She was at one time a settlement house leader and an active member of the American Sociological Society. Her wide sociological circle included lasting friendships with Jane Addams, Edward A. Ross, and Lester F. Ward.
Hastings, Donnan & Magowan, Fiona 2010. The Anthropology of Sex. Oxford: Berg Publishers.
Sex scholarship has a long history in anthropology, from the studies of voyeuristic Victorian gentlemen ethnographers, to more recent analyses of gay sex, transsexualism, and the newly visible forms of contemporary sexuality in the West. The Anthropology of Sex draws on the comparative field research of anthropologists to examine the relationship between sex as identity, practice and experience. Sexual cultures vary enormously and, while often the topic of tabloid titillation, they are more rarely subjected to strict cultural analysis. The Anthropology of Sex is the first work to critically synthesise over a century of comparative expertise, knowledge and understanding of diverse sexual forms.
Klassen, Pamela E. 2011. Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Spirits of Protestantism reveals how liberal Protestants went from being early-twentieth-century medical missionaries seeking to convert others through science and scripture, to becoming vocal critics of missionary arrogance who experimented with non-western healing modes such as Yoga and Reiki. Drawing on archival and ethnographic sources, Pamela Klassen shows how and why the very notion of healing within North America has been infused with a Protestant “supernatural liberalism.” In the course of coming to their changing vision of healing, liberal Protestants became pioneers three times over: in the struggle against the cultural and medical pathologizing of homosexuality; in the critique of Christian missionary triumphalism; and in the diffusion of an ever-more ubiquitous anthropology of “body, mind, and spirit.” At a time when the political and anthropological significance of Christianity is being hotly debated, Spirits of Protestantism forcefully argues for a reconsideration of the historical legacies and cultural effects of liberal Protestantism, even for the anthropology of religion itself.
Lazreg, Marnia 2011 (paperback) Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Across much of the world today, Muslim women of all ages are increasingly choosing to wear the veil. Is this trend a sign of rising piety or a way of asserting Muslim pride? And does the veil really provide women freedom from sexual harassment? Written in the form of letters addressing all those interested in this issue, Questioning the Veil examines the inconsistent and inadequate reasons given for the veil, and points to the dangers and limitations of this highly questionable cultural practice. Marnia Lazreg, a preeminent authority in Middle East women’s studies, combines her own experiences growing up in a Muslim family in Algeria with interviews and the real-life stories of other Muslim women to produce this nuanced argument for doing away with the veil. An incisive mix of the personal and political, supported by meticulous research, Questioning the Veil will compel all readers to reconsider their views of this controversial and sensitive topic. Lazreg stresses that the veil is not included in the five pillars of Islam, asks whether piety sufficiently justifies veiling, explores the adverse psychological effects of the practice on the wearer and those around her, and pays special attention to the negative impact of veiling for young girls. Lazreg’s provocative findings indicate that far from being spontaneous, the trend toward wearing the veil has been driven by an organized and growing campaign that includes literature, DVDs, YouTube videos, and courses designed by some Muslim men to teach women about their presumed rights under the veil.
Jones, Jackie, Grear, Anna, Fenton, Rachel Anne & Stevenson, Kim (eds.) 2011. Gender, Sexualities and Law. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bringing together an international range of academics, Gender, Sexualities and Law provides a comprehensive interrogation of the range of contemporary issues – both topical and controversial – raised by the gendered character of law, legal discourse and institutions. The gendering of law, persons and the legal profession, along with the gender bias of legal outcomes, has been a fractious, but fertile, focus of reflection. It has, moreover, been an important site of political struggle. This collection of essays offers an unrivalled examination of its various contemporary dimensions, focusing on: issues of theory and representation; violence, both national and international; reproduction and parenting; and partnership, sexuality, marriage and the family. Gender, Sexualities and Law will be invaluable for all those engaged in research and study of the law (and related fields) as a form of gendered power.
Robinson, Victoria and Hockey, Jenny 2011. Masculinities in Transition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
This book makes a unique contribution to contemporary feminist work on masculinities by considering individual men’s contextual experiences of masculine identity. By drawing on new data which compares performances of masculinity as men move across and between public and domestic spaces, the volume explores the implications of this for the nature of masculinity itself. This is achieved through an exploration of the differently gendered occupations of hairdressing, estate agency and firefighting. The book uses an original format consisting of three theory chapters on masculinity in transition, the body and embodiment and intimacy and the emotions.These are used to contextualise data chapters on home and work, the life course, sexuality, men’s friendships and intimacy, a spatio-temporal approach to embodiment and the research process itself, amongst others. It therefore contributes new theorising and empirical evidence on masculinities which will be of interest to readers from a wide variety of disciplines.
Sarat, Austin (ed.) 2010. Speech and Silence in American Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rather than abstract philosophical discussion or yet another analysis of legal doctrine, Speech and Silence in American Law seeks to situate speech and silence, locating them in particular circumstances and contexts and asking how context matters in facilitating speech or demanding silence. To understand speech and silence we have to inquire into their social life and examine the occasions and practices that call them forth and that give them meaning. Among the questions addressed in this book are: who is authorized to speak? And what are the conditions that should be attached to the speaking subject? Are there occasions that call for speech and others that demand silence? What is the relationship between the speech act and the speaker? Taking these questions into account helps readers understand what compels speakers and what problems accompany speech without a known speaker, allowing us to assess how silence speaks and how speech renders the silent more knowable.
Seurujärvi-Kari, Irja, Pulkkinen, Risto & Halinen, Petri (eds.) 2011. Saamentutkimus tänään. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.
Teos esittelee saamentutkimuksen keskeisten alojen uusimmat tulokset ja näkemykset ja päivittää saamelaisia ja saamelaiskulttuuria koskevat tiedot alkaen genetiikasta ja esihistoriasta, kielitieteen ja historian kautta päätyen saamelaisten nykykulttuuriin. Kirjassa perehdytään myös saamelaisten aineelliseen ja henkiseen perinnekulttuuriin: käsityöhön, poronhoitoon, folkloreen, taiteisiin sekä muinais- ja kansanuskoon. Erityisen painon teoksessa saavat ajankohtaiset ihmisoikeus- ja alkuperäiskansakysymykset. Kaikki kirjoittajat ovat alojensa aktiivitutkijoita.Kirja on 1994 Tietolipas-sarjassa julkaistun Johdatus saamentutkimukseen -teoksen kokonaan uudistettu ja huomattavasti laajennettu laitos.
Taylor, Yvette, Hines, Sally and Casey, Mark E. (eds.) 2010. Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality re-examines political, conceptual and methodological concerns of ‘intersectionality’, bringing these into conversation with sexuality studies. While a concern with sexuality is apparent within scholarly work on ‘intersectionality’ as a spoke on the ‘intersectional wheel’ these intersections are often minimally gestured towards rather than empirically substantiated. In the context of these debates, this collection asks what futures exist for intersectionality? Across different international contexts, disciplinary approaches and theoretical perspectives, the authors in this collection speak to the current absences and even problems of intersectional analyses in re-considering this as a useful paradigm in sexualities studies, avoiding simple insertion and repetition. As a whole, the collection seeks to weave a more complex, shifting and contested map of sexual identifications, politics and inequalities as these (dis)connect across time and place, re-constituted in relation to class, disability, ethnicity, gender and age. Empirical, methodological and theoretical concerns are brought together, serving to demonstrate contemporary intersections as imagined by researchers in desiring and questioning intersectional frames.
Werbner, Richard 2011. Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy: Apostolic Reformation in Botswana. Berkeley: University of California Press.
This book examines the charismatic Christian reformation presently underway in Botswana’s time of AIDS and the moral crisis that divides the church between the elders and the young, apostolic faith healers. Richard Werbner focuses on Eloyi, an Apostolic faith-healing church in Botswana’s capital. Werbner shows how charismatic “prophets”—holy hustlers—diagnose, hustle, and shock patients during violent and destructive exorcisms. He also shows how these healers enter into prayer and meditation and take on their patients’ pain and how their ecstatic devotions create an aesthetic in which beauty beckons God. Werbner challenges theoretical assumptions about mimesis and empathy, the power of the word, and personhood. With its accompanying DVD, Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy integrates textual and filmed ethnography and provides a fresh perspective on ritual performance and the cinematic.