The business of education touches many facets of society, and this study will be of interest to practitioners who wish to become qualitative researchers, for students in qualitative methods courses, and for middle and high school guidance sources including teachers and parents who want to better understand adolescents' concerns. And it is a book for adolescents themselves who, in reading what their peers are saying, can reflect on their own sense of where they are currently and in which direction they want to go.
Although self-help books are dispensing medical, psychological, financial, and spiritual advice to millions every year, little is known about them or their authors. The academic community treats the massive self-help literature as "pop culture," a phenomenon to scorn rather than study. Many express passionate opinions about such books, but few have a basis for informed judgment. Steven Starker makes a convincing case that self-help books have come to occupy an important niche in American culture and may no longer responsibly be ignored by health care practitioners or social scientists.
"Oracle at the Supermarket "examines the self-help book from historical, cultural, and psychological perspectives. It traces the character of self-help works from colonial America to the present day, with an emphasis upon developments in the twentieth century. Topics include the discovery of "mind-cure," the impact of scientific psychology and psychoanalysis upon the self-help literature of the 1920s, and the role of self-help books in the sexual revolution of the twentieth century. The wave of self interested literature in the 1960s and 1970s, and recent outpouring of diet/exercise/success books are examined. Starker explores problems in evaluating published self-help programs, and the ethics of their creation. He includes survey date from lay readers and selected groups of health care practititoners regarding their experiences with self-help books. The book is distinguished by its care in evaluating the relative merits and dangers of self-help literature.
The editor of this new edition, John McGormick, reminds us that "The Sense of Beauty is "the first work in aesthetics written in the United States. Santayana was versed in the history of his subject, from Plato and Aristotle to Schopenhauer and Taine in the nineteenth century. Santayana took as his task a complete rethinking of the idea that beauty is embedded in objects. Rather beauty is an emotion, a value, and a sense of the good. In this, aesthetics was unlike ethics: not a correction of evil or pursuit of the virtuous. Rather it is a pleasure that resides in the sense of self. The work is divided into chapters on the materials of beauty, form and expression. A good many of Santayana's later works are presaged by this early effort. And this volume also anticipates the development of art as a movement as well as a value apart from other aspects of life.
The work is written without posturing, without hectoring. Santayana is nonetheless able to give expression to strong views. His preferences are made perfectly plain. Perhaps the key is a powerful belief that beauty is an adornment not a material necessity. But that does mean art is trivial. Quite the contrary, the good life is precisely the extent to which such "adornments" as painting, poetry or music come to define the lives of individuals and civilizations alike. This is, in short, a major work that can still inform and move us a century after its first composition.
Chapters on wedding and funeral attire present a cultural history of the life events at which they were worn, and the examination of work, casual, and children's clothing shows us the social fabric of the issei (first-generation Japanese). Changes that occurred in nisei (second-generation) tradition and clothing are also addressed.
The book is illustrated with rare photographs of the period from family collections."