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Edited by Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Andrea Kathryn Talentino

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Räul Tormos

In The Rhythm of Modernization, Raül Tormos analyses the pace at which belief systems change across the developed world during the modernization process. It is often assumed that value change follows the slow rhythm of generational replacement. This book, however, reports trends that contradict this assumption in the field of values. Challenging Inglehart’s modernization theory, the transition from traditional to modern values happens much quicker than predicted. Baby-boomers who were churchgoers, materialists, and morally conservative when they were young, become unchurched, postmaterialists, and morally tolerant when they transitioned to older stages. By using surveys from multiple countries and time points, and by applying cutting-edge statistical techniques, this book shows how citizens quickly adapt their belief systems to new circumstances throughout their life.

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Elleni Zeleke

Between the years 1964 and 1974, Ethiopian post-secondary students studying at home, in Europe, and in North America produced a number of journals. In these they explored the relationship between social theory and social change within the project of building a socialist Ethiopia. Ethiopia in Theory examines the literature of this student movement, together with the movement’s afterlife in Ethiopian politics and society, in order to ask: what does it mean to write today about the appropriation and indigenisation of Marxist and mainstream social science ideas in an Ethiopian and African context; and, importantly, what does the archive of revolutionary thought in Africa teach us about the practice of critical theory more generally?

Regional Integration and Migration in Africa

Lessons from Southern and West Africa

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Vusi Gumede, Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba and Serges Djoyou Kamga

This comparative book debates migration and regional integration in the two regional economic blocs, namely the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The book takes a historical and nuanced citizenship approach to integration by analysing regional integration from the perspective of non-state actors and how they negotiate various structures and institutions in their pursuit for life and livelihood in a contemporary context marked by mobility and economic fragmentation.

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John Asimakopoulos

In The Political Economy of the Spectacle and Postmodern Caste, John Asimakopoulos analyzes the political economy of the society of the spectacle, a philosophical concept developed by Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard. Using the analytical tools of social science, while historicizing, Asimakopoulos reveals that all societies in every epoch have been and continue to be caste systems legitimized by various ideologies. He concludes there is no such thing as capitalism (or socialism)—only a caste system hidden behind capitalist ideology. Key features of the book include its broad interdisciplinary-nonsectarian approach with quantitative and qualitative data. The Political Economy of the Spectacle and Postmodern Caste is well written and clear, making it accessible to the informed reader.

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Edited by Rallie Murray and Stefanie Schnitzer

Our world has become inundated with images of a reality in which ‘evil’ thrives, and ‘good’ seems to be a naïve, utopian fantasy. ‘Good’ is reserved for superheroes and children’s stories, while the ‘real world’ is driven by greed, violence, and hatred. If we are so consumed with evil, then is there any point to writing about it? Perhaps the more important question is ‘why should we ever stop writing about it?’. Towards that end, this volume is intended to act as a catalyst to an ongoing destabilization of mental (philosophical) and social (political, historical) regimes of ‘evil’ in thought and practice. It is compiled with the intention of saying something new about a very old topic, as a reminder that this is an unfinished conversation which stretches back millennia and has a deeply tangible impact on the worlds within which we live today. Contributors are Peter Brian Barry, Lima Bhuiyan, Diedra L. Clay, Zachary J. Goldberg, Sophia Kanaouti, Stefanie Schnitzer Mills, Rallie Murray, Asli Tekinay and Claudio Vescia Zanini.

Virginie Silhouette-Dercourt, Ousseynou Saidou Sy and Dominique Desjeux

This paper focuses on the beauty and sartorial choices of young French Muslim women in the Paris area. Through biographies on their morning rituals, this article questions the notion of cosmopolitanism when it comes to their veiling practices. Research suggests that these young women, through their double presence in the world – as French citizens and as global citizens – are powerful agents of change of the dominant material culture and consumption. Their varied beauty and sartorial choices help them construct a coherent inner and outer self and manage social and gendered interactions, facilitating circulation. It is argued that wearing the hijab can be conceptualized as a new form of cosmopolitanism, neither ‘from below’ nor ‘from above’: it reframes a Eurocentric view of conflicts between religious and secular discourses in postcolonial times, as well as French fashion.

Victor Roudometof

Globalization brings forth a geographical and thematic expansion of the scope of youth studies beyond the traditional topics of delinquency, studies of generations, and subculture. Youth has emerged as a topic for cosmopolitanism studies with a widespread tendency to use cosmopolitanism as a master narrative that leaves no conceptual room for considering ‘non-cosmopolitan’ on an equal footing. The article questions whether social research should be concerned with identifying the cosmopolitanism of youth or whether it should be concerned with examinations of the glocalization of world’s youth (sub-)cultures. In the article’s last section, I outline a research agenda that focuses upon the relationship between the world’s youth (sub-)cultures, on the one hand, and glocalization and trans-localization, on the other. Use of these concepts offers important insights into the youth's cultural practices and is an alternative to the master narrative of cosmopolitanization.

Do ‘Global Generations’ Exist?

From Mannheim to Beck and Beyond

Christopher Thorpe and David Inglis

There is today persistent debate in journalism and politics about social generations. Social scientists point out that young(er) people across the planet today seem to be in increasingly similar socio-economic, political and cultural situations. These involve shared forms of experience, as well as means of dealing with often highly challenging circumstances. A major debate at the intersection of social theory, globalization studies and youth studies is whether it makes sense to say that ‘younger’ people across the world today constitute one single ‘global generation’. Such ideas have been promoted by leading social theorists like Bryan S. Turner and Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim. The analysis of social generations stretches back to Karl Mannheim’s pioneering statements in the 1920s. It has been argued that the Mannhemian tradition is in many ways outdated, and needs to be subjected to profound refurbishment, so that it may better understand cross-border, trans-national, ‘cosmopolitan’ phenomena, involving global generations and the forces and mechanisms which create them. This paper argues that claims about ‘global generations’ made by the theorists are muddled, especially in terms of conflating generations and age cohorts, and are often deterministic. The problems derive partly from imperfect readings and usages of Mannheim’s original ideas. It is shown that these are much more ‘cosmopolitan’ and attuned to cultural phenomena than critics allege. While the paper is sceptical as to the potential of the global generations concept in general, nonetheless the ongoing relevance of Mannheim for future endeavours to improve uses of it are underlined.