Last Updated January 21, 2014
Four Temple University Press titles reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Contemporary Sociology:
• The review of On Intellectual Activism, by Patricia Hill Collins, read, "On Intellectual Activism is a welcome addition to the conversation about the deeply contradictory relationship between the academy and the street, between scholars and the movement, and what progressive and revolutionary intellectuals must do. Patricia Hill Collins speaks truth to the people and truth to power in the voice of black feminism and a politically engaged intellectual activism in the service of twenty-first century social justice, a project she envisions to confront today's gender, race, sexual, and class oppression, exploitation, and injustice in the United States and global society.... On Intellectual Activism is an accessible and rich toolbox. Collins uses storytelling, translates the language of academic theory into the language of people's lives, and clarifies new forms of racism and oppression. Her voice resonates with multiple publics—students, scholars, and communities. She offers a reality check and a refreshing critique of dominant and mainstream voices and forces in sociology and society. She validates the experience of sociological rebels and intellectual activists who are marginalized within the discipline, the profession, and the university where many of us practice our craft and juggle the contradictions of academic survival and social justice demands."
• The review of Catheters, Slurs, and Pickup Lines, by Lisa Ruchti, read, "[A]n insightful, well-written, and well-organized book that discusses how framing nursing as professional labor has been an important part of a long battle that nurses have fought to be taken seriously in the medical industry. Ruchti suggests that a dichotomy of professionalism and care persists in part because intimacy, as part of bedside care, seems unprofessional. In this book, Ruchti uncovers how professionally intimate care work fits into the larger system of commercialized and commodified intimacies and demonstrates how nurses, administrators, and patients idealize care, which only serves to reinforce the misunderstanding of this labor.... The book should be of significant use to anyone interested in patient and quality healthcare, the nursing profession, the growing diversity in nursing, and implications for the nursing shortage."
• The review of How We Die Now, by Karla Erickson, read, "[A]t the end of the book, in its final chapters as it were, that issues of dying are really addressed.... Erickson values longer life, thinks that the dependency it brings can be a good thing, can teach us all more about interdependency and caring."
• The review of Resisting Work, by Peter Fleming, read, "Fleming argues that our very lives are becoming corporatizationalized and that it is now increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to separate the work self from the private self. This phenomenon comes not from individuals choosing to invest more of their time and energy into their work, but rather from people being forced, most often implicitly, into breaking down the barriers that separate the public and private spheres.... Fleming's prose and use of vignettes, stories, and data help to provide any reader with a solid command of the material by the end of the book. Resisting Work is important for anyone interested in the changing nature of work and what it means for the lives of the workers."
Out in the Union was reviewed on the Labor Notes website January 7. The review read, "The comprehensive new history, Out in the Union, reveals previously uncollected stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer labor activists and activism for LGBTQ equality.... Most histories tend to 'heterowash' any LGBTQ person's truth—if their stories are told at all. This significant book uncovers the truths too often hidden away, adding to the experiences of many LGBTQ leaders to labor's collective history. These stories are essential to a contemporary understanding of union solidarity."
Two Temple University Press titles reviewed in the February 2015 issue of Gender & Society
• The review of Yasemin Besen-Cassino's Consuming Work read, "Consuming Work is a book of uncommon breadth. The book is divided into six substantive chapters and examines a range of considerations relating to the subject of youth work.... Besen-Cassino covers tremendous ground, utilizing a range of materials for analysis including ethnographic, in-depth interview and survey data on youth workers between the ages of 16 and 21.... The take-away is greater breadth of understanding of the complex field of youth employment and a deeper appreciation of the meaning and purpose with which American youth who do work, work.... [W]e are left with a deeper appreciation of the role meaning plays in structuring youth labor, how inequalities in work are reproduced, and the shifting terrain of youths' social worlds."
• Conceiving Masculinity, by Liberty Walther Barnes, was reviewed online first in Gender & Society. The review read, "In Conceiving Masculinity, Barnes deftly analyzes the bind that male infertility doctors encounter: they need to debunk the stereotype that infertility is a woman's issue in order to attract clients and advance their profession, yet they feel compelled to protect the masculinity of their clients in face-to-face interaction.... Conceiving Masculinity is an accessible read that could inform students in gender, health, and sexuality courses. Barnes' attention to the interactions between levels of gender results in an intriguing analysis of how gender is reconstructed even in context where it is professionally beneficial to challenge cultural assumptions about men and reproduction.