A surprising and enlightening investigation of how modern society is making nature sacred once again For more than two centuries, Western cultures, as they became ever more industrialized, increasingly regarded the natural world as little more than a collection of useful raw resources. The folklore of powerful forest spirits and mountain demons was displaced by the practicalities of logging and strip-mining; the traditional rituals of hunting ceremonies gave way to the indiscriminate butchering of animals for meat markets. In the famous lament of Max Weber, our surroundings became "disenchanted," with nature's magic swept away by secularization and rationalization. But now, as acclaimed sociologist James William Gibson reveals in this insightful study, the culture of enchantment is making an astonishing comeback. From Greenpeace eco-warriors to evangelical Christians preaching "creation care" and geneticists who speak of human-animal kinship, Gibson finds a remarkably broad yearning for a spiritual reconnection to nature. As we grapple with increasingly dire environmental disasters, he points to this cultural shift as the last utopian dream—the final hope for protecting the world that all of us must live in.
Why do so many Americans fail to participate in their communities' affairs? What role should the citizenry play in our political system? In addressing these concerns, this revised and updated text evaluates the dilemma of participation, civility, and stability at a time when civic indifference is a national problem. In addition to outlining the sources of this indifference, The New Citizenship suggests ways in which Americans can conquer their apathy toward government.In this fourth edition, author and Dilemmas in American Politics series editor Craig A. Rimmerman provides new material on ACORN, the 2008 presidential election, the Obama presidency, and the impact of these recent events for college students and their conceptions of participation and citizenship.
Putting forward a comprehensive view of knowledge with a specific perspective on place and space, this book provides a new perspective on the globalisation of knowledge. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, the principal agenda of this volume is to open up a perspective ’beyond knowledge’ - i.e. beyond the interpretation of knowledge as scientific-technical knowledge. Author Martina Fuchs introduces further kinds of knowledge and interpretation which influence managements’ perception of globalisation and therefore the knowledge which is going global. She refers to knowledge in the sense of experiences, competencies in the production and labour process, as well as mutually shared mental constructs which are embedded in a context of understanding and interpretation. Exploring beyond the meaning of worldwide knowledge as general open access knowledge, this book also discusses barriers to knowledge, problems of transfer, and the influence of governance and control.
Trans-Civilizational Dialogues and Planetary Conversations
Author: Ananta Kumar Giri
Category: Social Science
This book explores the contours of a transformational sociology which seeks to reconsider the horizons of sociological imagination. It questions accepted modernist assumptions such as the equation of society and nation-state, the dualism of individual and society and that of ontology and epistemology. Arguing that contemporary sociology suffers from what Ulrich Beck calls the Nato-like fire power of western sociology, it argues that sociology has to open itself to transcivilizational dialogues and planetary conversations about self, culture and society. The book also challenges scholars to go beyond a privileging of the post-traditional telos of modernist sociology and puts forward a foundational interrogation of modernist sociology. It underscores the limitations of established conventions of sociology and considering an alternative sociology based upon Confucian vision and practice of self-transformation. This collection offers a way to go beyond dominant structures of modern sociology and contemporary dominant ways of thinking about and doing sociology helping us cultivate a transdisciplinary sociology.
Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption
Author: George Ritzer
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
Category: Business & Economics
The only book to connect the everyday world of the 20-something undergraduate consumer with sound sociological analysis of the world of consumption Enchanting a Disenchanted World, Third Edition examines Disney, malls, cruise lines, Las Vegas, the world wide web, Planet Hollywood, credit cards, and all the other ways we now consume. Thoroughly updated to reflect the recent economic recession and the impact of the internet, bestselling author George Ritzer continues to explore this book’s central thesis: that our society has undergone fundamental change because of the way and the level at which we consume. This Third Edition demonstrates how we have created new "cathedrals" of consumption (places that enchant us so as to entice us to stay longer and consume more) while continuing to take capitalism to a new level. These places of consumption, whether in our homes, the mall, or cyberspace, are in a constant state of "enchanting the disenchanted," luring us through new spectacles because their rational qualities are both necessary and deadening at the same time. New and Hallmark Features Offers a unique analysis of the world of consumption, especially the settings in which consumption takes place Discusses the recent global economic recession throughout Offers rich details on consuming in such places as Las Vegas, Disney World, on cruise ships, in Wal-Mart, at McDonald’s, and, new to this edition, on the Web Includes a wide range of theoretical perspectives—Marxian, Weberian, critical theory, postmodern theory—as well as a number of concepts such as hyperconsumption, implosion, simulation, and time and space to show students how sociological theory can be applied to everyday phenomena
What does music have to say about modernity? How can this apparently unworldly art tell us anything about modern life? In Out of Time, author Julian Johnson begins from the idea that it can, arguing that music renders an account of modernity from the inside, a history not of events but of sensibility, an archaeology of experience. If music is better understood from this broad perspective, our idea of modernity itself is also enriched by the specific insights of music. The result is a rehearing of modernity and a rethinking of music - an account that challenges ideas of linear progress and reconsiders the common concerns of music, old and new. If all music since 1600 is modern music, the similarities between Monteverdi and Schoenberg, Bach and Stravinsky, or Beethoven and Boulez, become far more significant than their obvious differences. Johnson elaborates this idea in relation to three related areas of experience - temporality, history and memory; space, place and technology; language, the body, and sound. Criss-crossing four centuries of Western culture, he moves between close readings of diverse musical examples (from the madrigal to electronic music) and drawing on the history of science and technology, literature, art, philosophy, and geography. Against the grain of chronology and the usual divisions of music history, Johnson proposes profound connections between musical works from quite different times and places. The multiple lines of the resulting map, similar to those of the London Underground, produce a bewildering network of plural connections, joining Stockhausen to Galileo, music printing to sound recording, the industrial revolution to motivic development, steam trains to waltzes. A significant and groundbreaking work, Out of Time is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of music and modernity.
"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.
The relation between religion and things has long been conceived in antagonistic terms, privileging spirit above matter, belief above ritual and objects, meaning above form and 'inward' contemplation above 'outward' action. This book addresses these issues.
Urban ethnography is the firsthand study of city life by investigators who immerse themselves in the worlds of the people about whom they write. Since its inception in the early twentieth century, this great tradition has helped define how we think about cities and city dwellers. The past few decades have seen an extraordinary revival in the field, as scholars and the public at large grapple with the increasingly complex and pressing issues that affect the ever-changing American city-from poverty to the immigrant experience, the changing nature of social bonds to mass incarceration, hyper-segregation to gentrification. As both a method of research and a form of literature, urban ethnography has seen a notable and important resurgence. This renewed interest demands a clear and comprehensive understanding of the history and development of the field to which this volume contributes by presenting a selection of past and present contributions to American urban ethnographic writing. Beginning with an original introduction highlighting the origins, practices, and significance of the field, editors Mitchell Duneier, Philip Kasinitz, and Alexandra Murphy guide the reader through the major and fascinating topics on which it has focused -- from the community, public spaces, family, education, work, and recreation, to social policy, and the relationship between ethnographers and their subjects. An indispensable guide, The Urban Ethnography Reader provides an overview of how the discipline has grown and developed while offering students and scholars a selection of some of the finest social scientific writing on the life of the modern city.
The underlying idea and motive for the book is that the notion of complexity may humanize the social sciences, may conceive the complex human being as more human, and turn reality as assumed in our doing social science into a more complex, that is a richer reality for all. The main focus of this book is on new thinking in complexity, with complexity to be taken as derived from the Latin word complexus: ‘that which is interwoven.’ The trans-disciplinary approach advocated here will be trans-disciplinary in two ways: firstly, by going beyond the separate disciplines within the fields of both natural sciences and social sciences, and, secondly, by going beyond the separate cultures of the natural sciences and of the social sciences and humanities.