Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change

"People engage with each other through the rules of their respective societies and around shared understandings. The essential bargain is that people are willing to give up some freedoms and adhere to taxation because they receive some public goods and protections from legal systems. Social tensions arise when the rewards of sociality accrue systematically in imbalanced ways to some and not others, when there are built-in social inequalities, prejudices, and short-shrifting. In an age of change into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), what are some ways to re-jigger social agreements to better meet the needs of all citizens, in an Enlightenment approach? How can universal human dignity be achieved, with social and economic justice for all? These are the issues that Brij Mohan and Guy Bäckman (with contributions by Stan Weeber and Eleni Makri) engage in Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change (2020), a collection which is simultaneously naively idealistic and practical, informed by 20th century history and a mish-mash of ideologies, and ultimately informed by the practice of general social critique...Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change (2020) evokes the idea that all people have an ideology, a sense of the universe and their place in it, based on their unique experiences and personalities. This work suggests the state of the world is not a given; it is non-static and can be changed. The contributors highlight the importance of vision and motivation to make lasting constructive societal changes. In the same way that ideas have consequences, in-world realities can also affect ideas—for those who are attentive...READ MORE"
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2020)
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

Experiencing Hospitality

“This edited book has a great line up of international contributors renowned for their work in hospitality studies. The book provides a useful cross-disciplinary resource for students, academics and practitioners interested in understanding and theorising hospitality within a commercial context...READ MORE"
Professor Alison McIntosh
School of Hospitality and Tourism
Auckland University of Technology
New Zealand

“Bill Rowson and Conrad Lashley are two authoritative voices who do not need a further presentation in the fields of hospitality. In this occasion, they present an edited book, which entitles experiencing hospitality. This editorial project, recently released by the leading publisher Nova Science, gathers 12 chapters oriented to build a bridge between theory and practice. Of course, the term hospitality not only denotes different significations – such as the dichotomy between commercial or non-commercial typologies – but also the figure of the hotel embodies ancient anthropological rites where hospitality occupies a central position, while it represents a unit for profits (for the hotel-owner). Hence, the book is a useful tool kit for social scientists and practitioners in the hospitality industry…READ MORE
Maximiliano E. Korstanje
University of Palermo
Argentina

Preeminence of Myth and the Decline of Instrumental Reason

"No reader will be bored by this text. Myth is made worldly and relevant, as the authors address everyday concerns, particularly the fragmentation that is now experienced practically everywhere. The chapters are united by the work of Jean Gebser and particularly the emerging “integral” reality. Most important, like Gebser, the authors go beyond current calls for holism to reveal a more dynamic, inclusionary moment—a place, as some Latin American scholars say, where everyone fits with dignity."
John W. Murphy
Professor of Sociology
University of Miami
Florida
USA

"Pandemic and political chaos are the dramatic image that Culture sees when it looks in the mirror today. Jean Gebser explicates that mirror for us as the enduring contest (agon) between Myth and Reason in the forgetfulness (mermera) of the human mind. The mind’s “inner voice” (mythos) envelopes the embodied “outer voice” (lógos) as the search for the awareness of, for the compassionate fairness of, reasonableness (eulógos). These collected essays are the “must have” insightful guidebook for using Gebser’s mirror of Culture."
Richard L. Lanigan
Director and Laureate Fellow
International Communicology Institute
Washington, D.C.
Fellow, Polish Academy of Science

"This collection of essays, each rigorously attuned to the work of Jean Gebser, attend to a fractured and fragmented world in crisis. Gebser’s philosophical thought offers hope for a future that invites inclusion, empathy, and social justice—where communities enjoin human worth. Gebser reveals regions of human awareness that naturally disclose the co-presence of mythos in all experiences. Each chapter opens the mythic in instructive ways. An integral consciousness counters instrumental reason and opens opportunities for the integral to illuminate and guide human action."
Annette M. Holba
Professor of Rhetoric
Plymouth State University
New Hampshire
USA

Differences in the City: Postmetropolitan Heterotopias as Liberal Utopian Dreams

An essential book in order to understand the return of a concept (“heterotopia”) that never left."
Luis Arenas
Former President of the Academic Society of Philosophy (Sociedad Académica de Filosofía)
Spain

This indispensable book carefully assesses the emancipatory potential of the polysemic Foucaldian term of “heterotopia” when used to analyse and evaluate various geopolitical and ideological urban contexts, besides and beyond Western-centered “topoi”. Timely and deeply original, the book will prove fundamental both for architects and urban planners on one hand, and social scientists on the other hand - anyone interested in understanding metropolitan processes of social resistance and minority empowerment."
Magali Bessone
Institute of Legal and Philosophical Sciences (Institut des Sciences Juridique et Philosophique)
University of Paris 1- Panthéon-Sorbonne
France

“Aggressive, militant, controversial, incorrect... An appealing book that does not walk around the beaten tracks. An excellent collective work that wakes you up from neoliberal urban dreams."
Ignacio Borrego
Institute of Architecture (Institut für Architektur)
University of Technology
Berlin, Germany

Anger: From Primordial Rage to the Politics of Hatred and Resentment

This work explores and analyzes anger. We examine anger as a single emotion and as it occurs in combination with other emotions in complex social relationships that typically involve power dynamics. We utilize Robert Plutchik’s primary-emotions classification to hierarchically categorize anger and other basic and complex emotions, and we compare constructivist and basic-emotion theories of emotion. We conceptualize the primary emotions––including anger––as prototypical adaptive reactions to key existential problems: temporality, social identity, exchange, and hierarchy. Anger is uniquely reactive to positive and negative experiences of social power, elicited by a perceived threat to the self or to the self's project to preserve or attain valued status, resources, or goals. Anger triggers activate a three-stage sociocognitive appraisal process in which the self: (i) perceives its social position or valued resource is at stake; (ii) endeavors to modify another actor's social intentions concerning norms of social sharing and social cohesion; and (iii) develops an intentional act. We identify two complex emotions––hatred and resentment––-as essential political emotions. Both share anger as a key component, and also include contempt. Hatred can be harnessed for pernicious ends, becoming an expression or instrument of power; resentment is more typically an emotion of the powerless, arising as a reaction to unjustified suffering. We examine the place of anger, hatred, resentment, and other emotions of power and powerlessness in contemporary United States politics, particularly to competing political ideologies of globalism–neoliberalism, democratic socialism, and nationalism–populism.

Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change
Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges
Adolescent Dating Violence: Outcomes, Challenges and Digital Tools

"The book Adolescent Dating Violence, with recourse to current scientific contributions, invites us to reflect on the new challenges of the 21st century, which have perpetuated a violence without temporal or geographical limits among adolescents. Dating violence, as an important predictor of domestic violence, requires urgent preventive measures, which are developed in this important editorial initiative..."READ MORE...- Mauro Paulino, Coordinator of Mind – Institute of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal

For more information about this book, please click here.

What Mum Taught Us: Valuable Lessons and Outstanding Hospitality, Including Precious Mesopotamian Recipes

"A human being is a creature who needs another person. From their earliest years, people learn collaboration with others and the life in community. Every person is born and develops in a family - an institution present in epochs and cultures, a basic social unit consisting of a group of people interrelated by the bonds of marriage and kinship." READ MORE... - Ewa Ogrodzka-Mazur, Professor. Ph.D. hab., University of Silesia in Katowice Institute of Education, Faculty of Ethnology and Educational Science, Poland

"This book, wrapped in gastronomy, reflects a family's love for their mother, Bathqyomo Marine Khoury-Issa. Her five children with love pay their mom respect and homage in this book and make sure that her work and pilgrimage through this world remains for posterity."READ MORE... - Laura Alonso (Professor, PhD, University of Extremadura, Department of Education, Teacher Training College, Cacerea, Spain), and Eduardo Alonso (Civil Engineer, Texas, USA)

For more information about this book, please click here.

Transformative Words: Writing Otherness and Identities

"Dr. Juhani Ihanus has done a remarkable job in examining the interface of the theoretical, philosophical, and interdisciplinary foundations of bibliotherapy, poetry therapy, and transformative writing. Beautifully written, Ihanus writes with passion, taking into account the critical importance of language and creative expression in a social and cultural context. This book, appropriate for professional and general audiences, has the potential to contribute to the well-being and growth of individual, groups, and communities." - Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D., Dean and Professor Emeritus at the College of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA, editor of Journal of Poetry Therapy, author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, and editor of a 4 volume series, Expressive Therapies

“'Welcome to the space of writing,' Juhani Ihanus says, bringing wisdom as well as deep knowledge and practice of biblio/poetry therapy. These are powerful processes, benefiting from his explanation and explication. Be bold! Use your own pen or pencil as you go along, allow this text to help you develop your own story-making. Take the journey towards insight and inspiration through writing, with Juhani." - Dr. Gillie Bolton, author of The Writer’s Key: Introducing Creative Solutions for Life

"The author’s knowledge of psychology and literature as well as his deep scholarship give a convincing basis for his views on the transformative resources of words and narratives." READ FULL REVIEW IN The Journal of Poetry Therapy - Paavo Manninen, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

For more information about this book, please click here.