Book Reviews

Book Reviews

From Pap Smear to HPV Vaccine: The Cervical Cancer Prevention Industry

"Dr. Sin Hang Lee, former associate professor at Yale University and ex-resident at Cornell University’s Cornell Medical Center, is one of the most excellent virologists in the contemporary global medical community. I recommend his book, titled “From Pap Smear to HPV Vaccine -- the Cervical Cancer Prevention Industry,” wholeheartedly. This book should be studied by all university medical professors and students across the world as a sort of the most authoritative “Bible” in the HPV vaccine-associated adverse reaction field because its author, backed by his deep knowledge of molecular biology and vital functions of codons and consequences of its translation and transcription, elucidates reasons and causes of ultra-wide-ranging types of adverse reactions that also show up at recipients of HPV vaccines. READ MORE... -Dr. Harumi Kuno-Sakai, M.D., Former Pediatrics Professor at Tokai University’s School of Medicine

Exemplars of Conducting Archival Data Analyses: A Collection of K-12 and Higher Education Studies

"Exemplars of Conducting Archival Data Analyses: A Collection of K-12 and Higher Education Studies, edited by Dr. John R. Slate, models how to acquire archived educational data (on K12 education within Texas and the U.S.) and to apply solid statistical analyses to understand the trends and then to apply logic to understand the implications and to suggest methods for improvement. In a sense, each chapter is its own case, but in another, the collection is itself a case…of how to conduct archival data analyses (using classic descriptive and inferential statistical approaches). In an age of big data, machine learning, trace data, and social media, this approach reads a little old school but relevant. The work of extracting meaning from archived data is not easy, even as the researchers here make it seem so. After all, those who acquire the data may or may not include sufficient documentation of their research. Often, there are gaps in data, which introduces ambiguity. Those who make assertions from data also risk litigation based on their work and interpretive lenses.  Exemplars of Conducting Archival Data Analyses: A Collection of K-12 and Higher Education Studies introduces some basic (even templated?) statistical approaches to data analysis. For some, it may leave them wanting more sophisticated techniques, perhaps some cross-referencing to other validated datasets, perhaps some machine learning to find data patterns, perhaps some alternate explanations. Regardless, this collection lays the groundwork for others to request public data and to collaboratively extract statistical patterns and find additional meaning, to improve the world, based on empirical understandings. Apparently, the work is done without a priori hypotheses that are spelled out, but more with post hoc hypothesizing once the data has been explored through well-tested statistical means. Per the title, these “exemplars” may be more typical examples than “excellent models."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

Ukraine: A Political Landscape

The book reflects the acute confrontation that has been going on in Ukraine for almost thirty years between regional elites. The author has shown that their different ideas about the future development of the country are determined by the history of formation of the Ukrainian state. This factor is the key reason for political clashes. This book is the first one that thoroughly and objectively shows the struggle for power in Ukraine. The works written by Ukrainian authors, which Dr. Zhiltsov used for this monograph, allow the book to avoid political engagement in covering the most acute periods of Ukrainian political life and, at the same time, to show frankly the changes in the ‘political landscape’ and the role of individual political forces."
Yuliy A. Nisnevich
Doctor of Political Science
Professor of the National Research University
Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Moscow
Russia

“The author reveals the peculiarities of the internal political development of Ukraine. The stages of establishment of the political elite of Ukraine are shown. The factors that determine its approaches to the implementation of domestic and foreign policy of the country are studied. Of interest is the analysis of constant transitions of Ukraine from the presidential form of government to the parliamentary-presidential one and back. It becomes obvious that the political development of Ukraine can still bring a lot of surprises."
Nikolay P. Medvedev
Doctor of Political Science
Professor of Peoples’ Friendship
University of Russia
Moscow
Russia

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."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges

"For a democracy to thrive in a pluralistic society, the pathways to opportunities should be open to all equally, with level playing fields and mitigations against stereotyping and exclusion. This should especially be so in institutions of higher education, which can be the differences not only for individual lives but for societies as a whole. There are benefits to including creative and divergent thinkers and doers. One step in this direction is to better understand social relationships in society, including problem areas that may need attention. Thomas Moeller’s Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges (2020) is comprised of three works surround the issue of “intersectionality,” as a way of understanding people’s complex identities and embodied experiences and their social statuses (or its lack) in contemporary societies.  As a term, “intersectionality” is a highly contested one. Intersectionality, as a framework, refers to “how aspects of one’s social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.) might combine to create unique modes of discrimination” (“Intersectionality,” Feb. 15, 2020); the insights from this approach are used to help address combined discriminatory injustices, given the real-world complexities of human interrelationships...David M. Sparks, Kathryn Pole, and Jason Denhartog’s “’I’m Representing All Black People’: A Case Study of the Intersectional Experiences of STEM Students Transferring from an HBCU to a Diverse Urban University” (Ch. 1) depicts a world with macro and micro cultures and stresses as students move between each in critical transitions for their learning, careers, personal identities, and ultimate wellbeing. Dumayi Maria Gutierrez’s “I’m Not Going to Choose a Side Hermana: Adding Voices of Bisexual Latinx Women to an Intersectional Minority Stress Model” (Ch. 2) suggests something of the complexities of being bisexual and racially minority in a conservative culture. This work makes the case for the need for understanding and empathy. Matias S. Ballesteros and Mercedes Krause’s “Adding Interactions in Order to Model Intersectionality: An Empirical Study on Self-Perceived Health Status in Argentina” (Ch. 3) offers a fresh approach to research and analytics based on quant-based intersectionality; this work also suggest potentially different ways of approaching health interventions to improve health outcomes for a thin-sliced population and closer on-ground understandings of peoples and their lived experiences through intersectionality... Humans are complex beings, and triply so with the overlays of socialization and cultural dimensions. Social identities are constantly evolving along with societies, and engaging these with empirical knowledge can be powerful in building more equitable and just and inclusive societies, for the benefit of all."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

New Frontiers in Creativity

"Shulamith Kreitler’s New Frontiers in Creativity has collected the work of international experts from “Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and USA,” and they bring fresh methods to the study of creativity, including neurophysiology, statistics, and mathematics (Kreitler, 2020, p. x); they also identify greater ranges of populations who create “ranging from the dyslexic to the elderly” (p. x), and they address a range of domains in which creativity is newly applied. This book is comprised of three parts: Creativity from Specific Perspectives (Part 1), Creativity in Specific Populations (Part 2), and Creativity in Specific Domains (Part 3). New Frontiers in Creativity is an ambitious collection of insightful works that wrangle with complex issues of human creativity in general and in specific domains. While many of the 13 chapters are based on informed deep literature reviews, some works share primary (qualitative) research. These chapters offer fresh insights to creativity theorizing, research, and applied practice.

Dr. Shulamith Kreitler, editor of New Frontiers in Creativity (2020), is Professor Emeritus at the School of Psychological Sciences in Tel-Aviv University in Israel and head of psychooncology research center at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Her “major interests and publications are in cognition, creativity, personality , and health psychology.” During her career, she has published over 20 scientific books and 200 articles (2020, pp. 419 – 420). This book is part of the Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology series, with Nova Science Publishers."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Kansas State University

Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education

"The chapters form a unified whole, making the monograph of interest to both experts in the field of music education; students; as well as experts from many other areas (visual art, poetry, movement, language, dance, sciences and history). The most prominent feature of the monograph is interdisciplinarity and a link between science and art, which is particularly welcome to everyone who wants to go beyond the established deliminations of individual scientific disciplines or artistic (musical) fields."
Dr. Marija Javornik Krečič
Associate Professor of Didactics at UM

"Based on specified various approaches and ideas of the contemporary field of interdisciplinarity in the context of music education, scientific publication the Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education represents an important contribution to the existing knowledge in this field. The authors have approached this issue through original research ideas and considered this phenomenon from different points-of-view. Accordingly, collecting various perspective attitudes, beliefs and new and authentic research methods, the obtained results revealed special scientific value of this work, that will be of interest to the target scientific audience in the artistic and other fields as well."
Blaženka Bačljija Sušić
University of Zagreb

"The book, scientific monograph, Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education points to diversity and fusion in integrating different subjects with music in music education. It is of interest to the wider population (teachers, music teachers, students who touch music in their faculty programmes)."
Ivana Paula Gortan-Carlin
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Faculty of Educational Sciences
Croatia

Ethics in Higher Education

"Professions have rules and guidelines that define the standards of practice. It is the responsibility of programs in higher education that prepare persons for the professions to imbue the profession’s standards and to assure that those standards have been learned and practiced. While most books on ethics in the Academy are of a general nature, Ethics in Higher Education focuses on professional preparation in the fields of education and Speech-Language Pathology. The book's editors and chapter authors provide literature reviews and practices that offer a general discussion of ethics in teacher preparation programs and for clinical practitioners in the Speech-Language Pathology professions. Taken as a whole, the book’s content gives a good overview of ethics standards detailed by professional associations and accrediting bodies in general and in the areas of teacher education and Speech-Language Pathology preparation. In addition, comprehensive documentation of research related to standards and practices in preparing practitioners in these areas is provided. Suggestions for additional or improved preparation practices supported by research (e.g., best practices) are offered. The topic of ethics and ethical practice is particularly relevant in today’s political context. We are trying to address a history of racism and other ethical issues, including those related to the management of a pandemic. These circumstances make it all the more important for professionals to practice in an ethical manner that recognizes the needs of all individuals. The comprehensive literature reviews in each chapter in the book can inform our understanding of today’s ethical challenges in the preparation of professionals and strategies for addressing them. Three chapters in particular speak more directly to the need to educate the next generation of practitioners in sound ethical practices. These chapters focus on academic honesty (chapter 2), cultural competence in teaching diverse students (chapter 4), and strategies for addressing students’ diverse learning needs (chapter 5). All chapters provide recommendations for strategies to use in teaching ethical practices. There are several audiences for this book. These include Education and Speech-Language Pathology doctoral students preparing to teach in higher education settings, current faculty in higher education, and administrators in higher education who are responsible for overseeing preparation programs. The book makes a compelling case for improving both the programs that prepare professionals and the development of faculty responsible for the preparation."
David S. Hill, Ed.D.
Faculty Emeritus
SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Vitis: Biology and Species

"This book is a fascinating journey into the viticultural world and biodiversity, jealously guarded by man starting from the Mediterranean, in the oceans, islands and continents. The authors narrate the symbiosis of man and Vitis, the most generous genus, in which rural and scientific knowledge are admirably reflected and fruitful technological innovations ripen. The reading invites, with a look at the past, to appreciate the inestimable values preserved in the wine-growing landscapes and, at the same time, look with confidence to the future, inspired by the search for harmony between man and nature."
Prof. Adamo Domenico Rombolà
Professor of Viticulture
University of Bologna
Italy

Experiencing Hospitality

"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. In the introductory chapter, precisely, Conrad Lashley interrogates furtherly on the needs of narrowing the discrepancies  and differences between the hospitality management tradition and the social sciences. While the former signals to develop the infrastructure to provide commercial services, the latter refers to the study of hospitality as a social institution. Though these traditions are not mutually exclusive they share contrasting conceptions of what hospitality means. In this respect, Lashley suggests that hospitality should be approached from three perspectives: the cultural social domain, commercial-industrial domain and private-domestic domain. The convergence of the three domains results in what Lashley calls “the hospitality experience”. In the cultural domain, hospitality cultivates the host-guest relations and the human reciprocity ignited by hospitableness. The domestic domain marks the access of guests as entrants to private and domestic space. As he puts it, “the tension between private and public space is at its most intense when a domestic dwelling is also a commercial space sold to strangers” (p. 7). Finally, the commercial domain is based on the provision with food, accommodation and lodge which is exchanged to a rate. Commercial hospitality is offered to those who can pay for it. These represent the services we find in hotels or restaurants. These spaces are characterized by higher levels of efficiency, calculability and control than other forms of hospitalities. Hospitality should not be limited to the rites of giving -while- receiving ethnographers have documented in a non-western culture. Commercial hospitality seems to be standardized elements of hospitableness in a capitalist society. Having said this, the tourism industry would gain much whether the anthropological theories about hospitality are incorporated. The second chapter, which is authored by Roy C. Wood, explores the dichotomies of consumption in the fields of hospitality from a Marxist viewpoint. Echoing George Ritzer’s notion of McDonaldization, Wood toys with the belief that the radical hospitality which postulated the needs of giving shelter to anyone who calls for it, sets the pace to a new capitalist version where money occupies a central position in the human relations. This suggests that the purity of tribal hospitality is finally corrupted by the rise of industrialization (such a theory was conceived as the hospitality turn). Wood eloquently argues that Marxists believe that history denotes an inevitable class struggle, which determines the evolution of economic history. In the capitalist society, there is a gap between exploiters(capital owners) and exploited (the proletariat). The third chapter – in the hands of Tom Selwyn – discusses the intersection of hostility in the rites of hospitality confronting the seminal book “In Search of Hospitality” (Lashley and Morrison, 2000). The chapter analyses three relating study-cases to understand the social nature of hospitality. These events are doubtless the fire that shocked London on June 2017 (Grenfell tower), followed by the deportation of Caribbean affiliation (known as Windrush Scandal and the well-famous Brexit. For some reason, as Selwyn infers, the UK faces by a climate of hospitality against the foreigner as never before. George Ritzer, in the fourth chapter, introduces the idea of McDonaldization to denote the triumph of efficiency, as a mainstream cultural value, over other more genuine forms of hospitality. In fact, as Ritzer observes, the urgency to impose standardised system centred on efficiency and control is destroying the real hospitality which connotes a more fluid host-guest interaction. This invariably led towards a much deeper alienation where the customer experiences “inhospitable hospitality”. Of course, emotions play a leading role in the rite of hospitality. In the fifth and sixth chapters, Prokopis Christou and Aspasia Smillidou and Christou will provide a robust conceptual framework to understand why emotions should be understood as predictors of human behaviour. However, far from being easily predicted, emotions display a net of complex situations and nets which are very hard to decode – for the fieldworkers. In fact, the chapter orients to discuss to what extent behaviour can be adapted to positive emotions in contexts of hospitality. As the previous argument is given, Bill Browson – in the seventh chapter – acknowledges that the conditions of liberality and freedom the industry of hospitality offers, sometimes open the doors to the climate of extreme instability. A climate of psychological distress, certainly punctuated by the so-called gig economy, employers often go through insecure conditions of recruitment and work. The problem of alcohol consumption and abuse is treated in the eighth chapter by Jill Poulston. The chapter describes how the quest of pleasure is experienced by the server and the served in view of the fact it is the touchstone of hospitality. Poulston starts from the premise that hospitality does not apply beyond pleasure. She bases her analysis in the study of alcohol consumption in colonial New Zealand. The subordinated role of hosts in the commercial hospitality, as well as the conflict between staff-members, is a common theme in the 9th (Tjeerd Zandberg), 10th (Verena Hopf,  Laura Velten and Bill Rowson) and 11th chapters (Klaes Eringa).  While Zandberg fleshes out an interesting model that explains the decline of upper management in hotel organizations oriented to achieve a more personal relationship with the customer, Hopf, Velten and Rowson emphasize on the needs of adopting artificial intelligence and robots in the hospitality industry. Even if the future of AI and robots remains uncertain no less true is that its use facilitates the processes of self-checking or check out located in hotel terminals. Klaes Eringa thinks on the possibilities tore-frame hotels as hospitable working spaces for the staff. Last but not least, Radu Mihailescu explores the challenges and opportunities of wine tourism in the years to come. The segment of wine tourism was exponentially experienced a notable growth over the recent years. It not only contributed to the local economies but also boosted the domestic development – above all in the rural regions. Such an expansion has created unseen asymmetries which need to be closely studied.
After further discussion, the present book – at least for this reviewer – exhibits a titanic effort to decode the complexity of hospitality while laying the foundations towards an all encompassing definition of the term. To a closer look, editors and invited authors do not agree with the classic distinction between commercial and non-commercial hospitality, situating this book as a fresh and innovative piece of hot debate highly recommended by ethnographers, anthropologists, social scientists and policymakers. Hence Rowson and Lashley offer a high-quality editorial product which surely will stand the test of time."
Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje
Department of Economics
University of Palermo
Palermo
Italy