McCargo describes how Bangkok tried to establish legitimacy by co-opting local religious and political elites. This successful strategy was upset when Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister in 2001 and set out to reorganize power in the region. Before Thaksin was overthrown in a 2006 military coup, his repressive policies had exposed the precariousness of the Bangkok government's influence. A rejuvenated militant movement had emerged, invoking Islamic rhetoric to challenge the authority of local leaders obedient to Bangkok.
For readers interested in contemporary Southeast Asia, insurgency and counterinsurgency, Islam, politics, and questions of political violence, Tearing Apart the Land is a powerful account of the changing nature of Islam on the Malay peninsula, the legitimacy of the central Thai government and the failures of its security policy, the composition of the militant movement, and the conflict's disastrous impact on daily life in the deep South. Carefully distinguishing the uprising in southern Thailand from other Muslim rebellions, McCargo suggests that the conflict can be ended only if a more participatory mode of governance is adopted in the region.
The author's starting-point is that the study of Japan is 'contested territory' where even such apparently simple questions such as 'Who is in charge?' spark considerable disagreement and controversy among experts. To understand contemporary Japan, Duncan McCargo argues, it is necessary to get to grips with a range of different perspectives on Japanese political and social structures. Integrating contrasting perspectives throughout, the core chapters of the book focus on the changing economy, government and politics, society and culture, and Japan's place in the wider world.
The new third edition of this popular text has been fully revised and updated throughout to cover key developments such as the historic end of LDP rule in 2009. This accessible and lively book will be essential reading both for students and general readers who want to know more about this important country.
An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?
Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
Giddings notes that unlike other organizations with racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was created to change and benefit individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was formed to bring women together as sisters, but at the some time to address the divisive, often class-related issues confronting black women in our society. There is, in Giddings's eyes, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of the struggles of black women and their organizations.
DST members have included Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, and, on the cultural side, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Judith Jamison, and Roberta Flack. In Search of Sisterhood is full of compelling, fascinating anecdotes told by the Deltas themselves, and illustrated with rare early photographs of the Delta women.
When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.
Along the way he reveals the secrets of software billionaires like Bill Gates, why you've never heard of the smartest man in the world, why almost no star hockey players are born in the fall, why Asians are good at math, what made the Beatles the greatest rock band and, why, when it comes to plane crashes, where the pilots are from matters as much as how well they are trained.
The lives of outliers follow a peculiar and unexpected logic, and in uncovering that logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating blueprint for making the most of human potential--one that transforms the way we understand success.
"They put him to death by hanging him on a tree." Acts 10:39
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and "black death," the cross symbolizes divine power and "black life" God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era.
In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Well, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.
The history of Jews in the United States is one of racial change that provides useful insights on race in America. Prevailing classifications have sometimes assigned Jews to the white race and at other times have created an off-white racial designation for them. Those changes in racial assignment have shaped the ways American Jews of different eras have constructed their ethnoracial identities. Brodkin illustrates these changes through an analysis of her own family's multi-generational experience. She shows how Jews experience a kind of double vision that comes from racial middleness: on the one hand, marginality with regard to whiteness; on the other, whiteness and belonging with regard to blackness.
Class and gender are key elements of race-making in American history. Brodkin suggests that this country's racial assignment of individuals and groupsconstitutes an institutionalized system of occupational and residential segregation, is a key element in misguided public policy, and serves as a pernicious foundational principle in the construction of nationhood. Alternatives available to non-white and alien "others" have been either to whiten or to be consigned to an inferior underclass unworthy of full citizenship. The American ethnoracial map-who is assigned to each of these poles-is continually changing, although the binary of black and white is not. As a result, the structure within which Americans form their ethnoracial, gender, and class identities is distressingly stable. Brodkin questions the means by which Americans construct their political identities and what is required to weaken the hold of this governing myth.
Featuring new and engaging essays by noted anthropologists and illustrated with full color photos, RACE: Are We So Different? is an accessible and fascinating look at the idea of race, demonstrating how current scientific understanding is often inconsistent with popular notions of race. Taken from the popular national public education project and museum exhibition, it explores the contemporary experience of race and racism in the United States and the often-invisible ways race and racism have influenced laws, customs, and social institutions.
During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope—another four-letter word—is still plunged into endless culture wars.
How do Americans see race now? How has that changed—and not changed—over the half-century? After eras framed by words like "multicultural" and "post-racial," do we see each other any more clearly? Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress. In this follow-up to the award-winning classic Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Jeff Chang brings fresh energy, style, and sweep to the essential American story.
Puar combines transnational feminist and queer theory, Foucauldian biopolitics, Deleuzian philosophy, and technoscience criticism, and draws from an extraordinary range of sources, including governmental texts, legal decisions, films, television, ethnographic data, queer media, and activist organizing materials and manifestos. Looking at various cultural events and phenomena, she highlights troublesome links between terrorism and sexuality: in feminist and queer responses to the Abu Ghraib photographs, in the triumphal responses to the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision repealing anti-sodomy laws, in the measures Sikh Americans and South Asian diasporic queers take to avoid being profiled as terrorists, and in what Puar argues is a growing Islamophobia within global queer organizing.
In this new edition, Feagin has included much new interview material and other data from recent research studies on framing issues related to white, black, Latino, and Asian Americans, and on society generally. The book also includes a new discussion of the impact of the white frame on popular culture, including on movies, video games, and television programs as well as a discussion of the white racial frame’s significant impacts on public policymaking, immigration, the environment, health care, and crime and imprisonment issues.
What caused the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation of New York City to make this remarkable transformation? And why has it not happened to other gangs elsewhere? David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios were given unprecedented access to new and never-before-published material by and about the Latin Kings and Queens, including the group’s handbook, letters written by members, poems, rap songs, and prayers. In addition, they interviewed more than one hundred gang members, including such leaders as King Tone and King Hector. Featuring numerous photographs by award-winning photojournalist Steve Hart, the book explains the symbolic significance for the gang of hand gestures, attire, rituals, and rites of passage. Based on their inside information, the authors craft a unique portrait of the lives of the gang members and a ground-breaking study of their evolution.
In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true lost civilization, the Peoples of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the earth really is alive, while in Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from forty-five years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And finally we settle in Borneo, where the last rainforest nomads struggle to survive.
Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy -- a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.
Contributors. Rina Cáceres Gómez, Lowell Gudmundson, Ronald Harpelle, Juliet Hooker, Catherine Komisaruk, Russell Lohse, Paul Lokken, Mauricio Meléndez Obando, Karl H. Offen, Lara Putnam, Justin Wolfe
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Mary Kay Linge recounts the extraordinary story of Robinson's life-from his early childhood in the South, to his college years at UCLA, to becoming a Hall of Famer and a major figure in the NAACP. In analyzing the surrounding social and cultural contexts of Robinson's time, this biography examines the legacy of a man who forever changed baseball. A timeline, statistical appendix, bibliography of print and electronic sources for further reading, and photographs enhance this biography.
Fujita was a member of the 2d Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, Texas National Guard. The 2d Battalion was sent to Java, Netherland East Indies, where it was captured intact by the Japanese when the Allied command surrendered there in March, 1942. Fewer than nine hundred Americans were taken prisoner on Java. The bulk of American POWs in Japanese hands surrendered in the Philippines, and most of the published POW memoirs reflect their experience. Fujita's account of the defense of Java and of the fate of the "Lost Battalion" of Texas artillerymen serves to distinguish his memoir from all the others.
In No Undocumented Child Left Behind, Michael A. Olivas tells a fascinating history of the landmark case, examining how, 30 years later, Plyler v. Doe continues to suffer from implementation issues and requires additional litigation and vigilance to enforce the ruling. He takes a comprehensive look at the legal regime it established regarding the education of undocumented school children, moves up through its implementation, including direct and indirect attacks on it, and closes with the ongoing, highly charged debates over the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors (DREAM) Act, which aims to give conditional citizenship to undocumented college students who graduated from US high schools and have been in the country for at least five years. Listen to Michael Olivas on WYPF 88.1 FM, as he takes a look back 30 years to the Supreme Court case that made it possible for undocumented children to enroll in public schools and the highly-charged political and legal battles that have ensued.
Americans of Arab heritage have made major contributions to U.S. society, and this is a timely and unique overview of their immigration patterns, settlement, adaptation, and assimilation for a general audience. The first wave of Arab immigrants, mostly Christian men from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, arrived in the United States between 1880 and 1925. This book discusses their history plus looks at the successive waves of immigrants, including the post-1965 immigrants, who have brought more diversity to the Arab American community. The latest immigrants have included more Muslims and many are from Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. The continuing interest in the Middle East, Islam, and Muslim way of life make this a must-have source to help understand current events and our multicultural society.
The book begins by giving a broad political and social history of the Arab world since the advent of Islam in 632 CE. Kayyali also takes care to be inclusive of the different groups who can be classified as Arab, and the discussion of who these people are, with their different religions and beliefs, is an enlightening base to understand their experiences as Arab Americans. Early immigrants typically became peddlers or worked in the new factories and mills. As they gave up thoughts of returning to their home countries, they fought to be classified as white to gain citizenship, and the impact of the Census on their struggle is discussed in detail. Their assimilation and adaptations are discussed, and readers will learn about family issues, women's issues, food, media, and religious practices in the Arab American communities. Within the larger Arab American community, the main issues of pan-Arab identification, Christian and Muslim identities, and generational differences are covered, along with their social networks and celebrations. A final chapter focuses on the impact of Arab Americans on U.S. society, from the arts to politics, with insight into intergroup relations and the impact of 9/11. A sampling of noted Arab Americans, such as Ralph Nader, a glossary, statistical tables, and photos are included as well.
In Teaching Community bell hooks seeks to theorize from the place of the positive, looking at what works. Writing about struggles to end racism and white supremacy, she makes the useful point that "No one is born a racist. Everyone makes a choice." Teaching Community tells us how we can choose to end racism and create a beloved community. hooks looks at many issues-among them, spirituality in the classroom, white people looking to end racism, and erotic relationships between professors and students. Spirit, struggle, service, love, the ideals of shared knowledge and shared learning - these values motivate progressive social change.
Teachers of vision know that democratic education can never be confined to a classroom. Teaching - so often undervalued in our society -- can be a joyous and inclusive activity. bell hooks shows the way. "When teachers teach with love, combining care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust, we are often able to enter the classroom and go straight to the heart of the matter, which is knowing what to do on any given day to create the best climate for learning."
Everyone edits what they say. It’s a part of growing up. But what if we applied tell-it-like-it-is honesty to grown-up issues? In Impolite Conversations, two respected thinkers and writers openly discuss five “third-rail” topics—from multi-racial identities to celebrity worship to hyper-masculinity among black boys—and open the stage for honest discussions about important and timely concerns.
Organized around five subjects—Race, Politics, Sex, Money, Religion—the dialogue between Cora Daniels and John L. Jackson Jr. may surprise, provoke, affirm, or challenge you. In alternating essays, the writers use reporting, interviews, facts, and figures to back up their arguments, always staying firmly rooted in the real world. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t, but they always reach their conclusions with respect for the different backgrounds they come from and the reasons they disagree.
Whether you oppose or sympathize with these two impassioned voices, you’ll end up knowing more than you did before and appreciating the candid, savvy, and often humorous ways in which they each take a stand.
Drawing on a wide range of sources, "Osama bin Laden" finds the political and religious roots of a worldview that combines devout faith with a belief in violence and terrorism. The book pays particular attention to the spread of radical Islam from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and beyond, as well as the development of Al Qaeda and its current scope and capabilities.
Carter builds her intricate argument from detailed readings of an array of popular texts, focusing on how sex education for children and marital advice for adults provided significant venues for the dissemination of the new ideal of normality. She concludes that because its overt concerns were love, marriage, and babies, normality discourse facilitated white evasiveness about racial inequality. The ostensible focus of “normality” on matters of sexuality provided a superficially race-neutral conceptual structure that whites could and did use to evade engagement with the unequal relations of power that continue to shape American life today.
My Sisters' Voices is a passionate and poignant collection of writings from teenage girls of African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and biracial backgrounds. With candor and grace, they speak out on topics that are relevant not only to themselves and their peers but to anyone who is raising, teaching, or nurturing young women of color.
As adolescents, women, and minorities, these young authors represent a demographic that has had no voice of its own, a group often spoken for but rarely given the opportunity to be heard. Now these young women have a chance to stand up and be counted, to present their own unique perspectives in fresh and astonishing ways. Here you'll find a Native American girl writing about the bumps in her relationship with her best friend, who's white; a Korean American girl who wishes she could help her mother understand that it's okay to socialize with boys as well as girls; and a biracial girl who feels she must be the designated spokesperson for blacks when she's around whites, for whites when she's around blacks, and for biracial people around everyone. These personal and inspiring stories about family, friendship, sex, love, poverty, loss, and oppression make My Sisters' Voices essential reading for young women of all backgrounds.
How do you measure someone's race or culture? Half this, quarter that, born here, raised there. What name do you give that? These eighteen essays, joined by a shared sense of duality, address both the difficulties of not fitting into and the benefits of being part of two worlds. Danzy Senna parodies the media's fascination with biracials in a futuristic piece about the mulatto millennium. Garrett Hongo writes about watching his mixed-race children play in a sea of blond hair and white faces, realizing that suburban Oregon might swallow up their unique racial identity. Francisco Goldman shares his frustration with having constantly to explain himself in terms of his Latino and Jewish roots. Malcolm Gladwell understands that being biracial frees him from racial discrimination but also holds him hostage to questions of racial difference. For Indira Ganesan, India and its memory are evoked by the aromas of foods.
Through the lens of personal experience, these essays offer a broader spectrum of meaning for race and culture. And in the process, they map a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chinggis Khan was not only a military genius, but also a great statesman and diplomat. Through a combination of armed force and diplomacy, he managed to merge the complex system of alliances which existed between diverse tribes into a powerful confederacy that swept across most of Eurasia, starting in 1219.
Urgunge Onon's fresh translation brings out the excitement of this epic with its wide-ranging commentaries on military and social conditions, religion and philosophy, while remaining faithful to the original text. This fully annotated edition is prefaced by a 36 page introduction setting the work in its cultural and historical context.
This collaboration by a sociologist and a film critic, using the new perspective of critical "white studies," offers a bold and sweeping critique of almost a century's worth of American film, from Birth of Nation (1915) through Black Hawk Down (2001). Screen Saviors studies the way in which the social relations that we call "race" are fictionalized and pictured in the movies. It argues that films are part of broader projects that lead us to ignore or deny the nature of the racial divide in which Americans live. Even as the images of racial and ethnic minorities change across the twentieth century, Hollywood keeps portraying the ideal white American self as good-looking, powerful, brave, cordial, kind, firm, and generous: a natural-born leader worthy of the loyalty of those of another color.
The book invites readers to conduct their own analyses of films by showing how this can be done in over 50 Hollywood movies. Among these are some films about the Civil War—Birth of a Nation , Gone with the Wind, and Glory; some about white messiahs who rescue people of another color—Stargate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mississippi Burning, Three Kings, and The Matrix; the three versions of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, 1962, and 1984) and interracial romance—Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Forty years of Hollywood fantasies of interracial harmony, from The Defiant Ones and In the Heat of the Night through the Lethal Weapon series and Men in Black are examined.
This work in the sociology of knowledge and cultural studies relates the movies of Hollywood to the large political agendas on race relation in the United States. Screen Saviors appeals to the general reader interested in the movies or in race and ethnicity as well as to students of com
A lyrical, intelligent, authentic, and necessary look at the intersection of race and class in Chicago, a Great American City
In this intelligent and highly important narrative, Chicago-native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city's South Side; with a memoirist's eye, she showcases the lives of these communities through the stories of people who reside there. The South Side shows the impact of Chicago's historic segregation - and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.
Coming of Age in the Other America illuminates the profound effects of neighborhoods on impoverished families. The authors conducted in-depth interviews and fieldwork with 150 young adults, and found that those who had been able to move to better neighborhoods—either as part of the Moving to Opportunity program or by other means—achieved much higher rates of high school completion and college enrollment than their parents. About half the youth surveyed reported being motivated by an “identity project”—or a strong passion such as music, art, or a dream job—to finish school and build a career.
Yet the authors also found troubling evidence that some of the most promising young adults often fell short of their goals and remained mired in poverty. Factors such as neighborhood violence and family trauma put these youth on expedited paths to adulthood, forcing them to shorten or end their schooling and find jobs much earlier than their middle-class counterparts. Weak labor markets and subpar postsecondary educational institutions, including exploitative for-profit trade schools and under-funded community colleges, saddle some young adults with debt and trap them in low-wage jobs. A third of the youth surveyed—particularly those who had not developed identity projects—were neither employed nor in school. To address these barriers to success, the authors recommend initiatives that help transform poor neighborhoods and provide institutional support for the identity projects that motivate youth to stay in school. They propose increased regulation of for-profit schools and increased college resources for low-income high school students.
Coming of Age in the Other America presents a sensitive, nuanced account of how a generation of ambitious but underprivileged young Baltimoreans has struggled to succeed. It both challenges long-held myths about inner-city youth and shows how the process of “social reproduction”—where children end up stuck in the same place as their parents—is far from inevitable.
More recently, however, scholars have challenged this national myth, seeking to show that race relations are characterized by exclusion, not inclusion, and that fair-skinned Brazilians continue to be privileged and hold a disproportionate share of wealth and power.
In this sociological and demographic study, Edward Telles seeks to understand the reality of race in Brazil and how well it squares with these traditional and revisionist views of race relations. He shows that both schools have it partly right--that there is far more miscegenation in Brazil than in the United States--but that exclusion remains a serious problem. He blends his demographic analysis with ethnographic fieldwork, history, and political theory to try to "understand" the enigma of Brazilian race relations--how inclusiveness can coexist with exclusiveness.
The book also seeks to understand some of the political pathologies of buying too readily into unexamined ideas about race relations. In the end, Telles contends, the traditional myth that Brazil had harmonious race relations compared with the United States encouraged the government to do almost nothing to address its shortcomings.
This unique study focuses on what author Angela Jones terms black publics, groups of concerned citizens—men and women, alike—who met to shift public opinion. The book explores their pivotal role in initiating the civil rights movement, specifically examining secular organizations, intellectual circles, the secular black press, black honor societies and clubs, and prestigious educational networks. All of these, Jones convincingly demonstrates, were seminal to the development of civil rights protest in the early 20th century.
Hip Hop Underground examines the changing nature of race among young Americans, and examines the issues of ethnic and racial identification, interaction, and understanding. Critiquing the notion that the Bay Area underground music scene is genuinely "colorblind," Harrison focuses on the issue of race to show how various ethnic groups engage hip hop in remarkably divergent ways—as a means to both claim subcultural legitimacy and establish their racial authenticity.
Armenian-Americans have been generally overlooked by census enumerators, survey analysts, and social scientists because of their small numbers and relative dispersion throughout the United States. They remain a little-studied group that has been called a "hidden minority." "Armenian Americans" fills this significant gap. Based on the results of an extensive mail questionnaire survey, in-depth interviews, and participant observation of communal gatherings, this book analyzed the individual and collective struggles of Armenian-Americans to perpetuate their Armenian legacy while actively seeking new pathways to the American Dream.
This volume shows how men and women of Armenian descent become distanced from their ethnic origins with the passing of generations. Yet assimilation and maintenance of ethnic identity go hand-in-hand. The ascribed, unconscious, compulsive Armenianness of the immigrant generation is transformed into a voluntary, rational, situational Armenianness. The generational change is from "being" Armenian to "feeling" Armenian.
The Armenian-American community has grown and prospered in this century. Greater tolerance of ethnic differences in the host society, the remarkable social mobility of many Armenian-Americans and the influx of large numbers of new immigrants from the Middle East and Soviet bloc in recent decades have contributed to this development. The future of this community, however, remains precarious as it strives to adjust to the ever changing social, economic, and political conditions affecting Armenians in the United States; the diaspora; and the new republic of Armenia. "Armenian-Americans" will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, and social historians, and of course to people of Armenian ancestry.
Anny Bakalian is professor of sociology at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore. This is her first book.
As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.
In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.