Famous for coining the much-used (and often misunderstood or misused) phrase "the rule of optimism," this book is updated with an extensive Postscript from 1995 and a new, 2014 Preface that explains the uneven history of the optimism principle, in both the UK and US -- and in both social work practice and sociological scholarship.
The authors are experts in sociology, law, and social work in the field, and they bring their unique perspectives and experiences to this recognized and insightful project.
The book's continuing relevance and utility have been exemplified in how it has influenced, and been cited by, many current writers on how extremist and politically astute groups recruit and infiltrate more benign organizations and make them tools of further expansion of power and action. The book is also considered excellent social science and history, analyzing an important moment in U.S. history when trade organizations, community groups, and the like became affected by Soviet encroachment and Marxist influence. Its insights, from one of the country's most recognized social scientists, have stood the test of time.
The new digital reprint edition from Quid Pro Books features an extensive and substantive 2014 Foreword by Martin Krygier, a senior professor of law and social theory at the law school of the University of New South Wales, in Australia, and adjunct professor at Australian National University.
From the age of 3, Vanessa lived in daily terror of her mother's unpredictable rage. If she was 'naughty', her mother would lash out at her – with beatings, torture, starvation and making Vanessa sleep in their garden's pigsty, tied up like an animal. Her mother said her punishments were God's revenge on her for being the devil's child. Her father lived in denial of her suffering.
When she was 6 years old, Vanessa's grandfather began to sexually abuse her – to her despair, aided and abetted by both her mother and grandmother. At eight years old, she then discovered that the 'mother' who hated her so much had adopted her as a baby and would never love her as her own.
At the most horrific times of Vanessa's abuse, she nearly lost all hope that she would escape her prison, until mysterious things started to happen to her that allowed her to fight back.
This is the story of how Vanessa survived a childhood that nearly destroyed her and how her secret led her out of the horrors of her past.
The new Classics of the Social Sciences edition from Quid Pro Books features a 2015 Foreword from Neil J. Smelser, University Professor Emeritus at Berkeley and former chair of its sociology department. He writes that the book remains "one of the classics in organizational studies, and—in ways I will indicate—it is still directly relevant to current and future problems of organizational life. ... What makes this book a classic? It is a disciplined, intelligent, and elegant model of applied social science. ... The text itself, richly documented empirically, yields an informed and balanced account of the decision-making process as this is shaped by the quality of information available (and unavailable) to and used (and not used) by organizational leaders."
Reviews of the book at the time it was written similarly attest to the originality and breadth of its interdisciplinary analysis. Amitai Etzioni wrote in the American Sociological Review: "This book opens a whole new field — the macrosociology of knowledge. It is as different from the traditional sociology of knowledge as the study of interaction is from that of the structure of total societies." He adds, "The power of Wilensky's contribution is further magnified by his historical perspective. He studies structures and processes, but not in a vacuum." Gordon Craig wrote in The Reporter that the book's examples from organizations "show a similar tendency to believe what they want to believe, to become the victims of their own slogans and propaganda, and to resist or to silence warning voices that challenge their assumptions.... In his fascinating analysis of intelligence failures and their causes ... in the public and private sectors, Wilensky finds that the most disastrous miscalculations are those which have occurred in the field of governmental operations, especially foreign policy and national security." The book explains how such highly institutionalized actors are vulnerable to informational pathologies.
The new digital edition features active Contents, a fully linked Index, linked notes, and proper ebook formatting. It is a modern, quality, and authorized re-presentation of a classic work in social science and organizational studies.
Now in its Second Edition, this expanded version adds two new chapters and new introductory material. It includes a 2015 Foreword by Marc Galanter, who notes that the author “is concerned not only with what makes jokes funny but with what makes some of them profound. His imaginative response to this puzzle makes this little book a distinctive and engaging contribution to the literature on Jewish jokes and on jokes generally.” It will appeal to the general reader, as well as to readers especially interested in Jewish culture, the psychology of humor, religion, ethnography, and folklore.
“Richard Raskin’s book on Jewish humor was the most original and useful I found in years of research on the topic. I’m delighted to see it back in print—and with added chapters!”
— Ruth Wisse
Professor Emerita, Yiddish and Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Author, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (2013)
“A fascinating book that explores the richness of Jewish humor. Raskin offers a thought-provoking analysis of what makes Jewish humor special. Raskin merges an understanding of Jewish culture, fresh psychological insights, and a sophisticated reading of jokes and their evolution to create a gem of a book. However, it is not just an outstanding book on Jewish humor. It is an outstanding book on humor. Period. After reading it, you won’t laugh the same way again.”
— Dov Cohen
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois
Co-editor, Handbook of Cultural Psychology (2007)
A range of methodological and practical issues central to the concerns of qualitative researchers are addressed. These include: the validity and plausibility of qualitative methods; the problems encountered using specific techniques in a range of social settings; and the moral issues raised in qualitative research. These themes are related to practical issues which are illustrated by a breadth of examples and in-depth case studies.
The contributors look at the methods and strategies that they have used to study everyday life, and make suggestions to readers on why and how they might conduct their own studies. They raise issues that go beyond `cookbook' discussions of issues such as how to enter social settings, manage the subjects of one's research and ask `good' questions in the process of formulating research strategies. These issues are addressed within the framework of the larger purposes and uses of qualitative research where specific methodological problems are not used as ends in themselves.