Last Updated July 29, 2015
The Asian American Avant-Garde, by Audrey Wu Clark, was reviewed in Publishers Weekly. The review read, "In this admirable...volume, Clark explores the construction of Asian-American identity by Asian-American writers in the context of modernism; her subjects wrote during a period (1882-1945) notable both for fascination with 'the Orient' and intense, often institutionalized, anti-Asian racial prejudice. She studies an eclectic, intriguing group of writers.... Their works are likely to be lesser known or unknown to many readers, and afford Clark the chance to wrestle with issues of race, gender, class, and politics.... [T]he subject is a fascinating one."
The Temp Economy, by Erin Hatton, was featured in a combined review in the July 2015 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "Hatton's study constructs an insightful historical analysis of the tactics used by the temporary help industry to institutionalize its presence in the U.S. labor market."
Two Translated Reviews
• The review of Robert Gehl's Reverse Engineering Social Media, appeared in Culture Machine (2015). This review, which originally appeared in Spanish, read, "Reverse Engineering Social Media is another good example of the maturity of the field of social media studies. In it, Robert Gehl builds a careful argument to consider the cognitive and affective exploitation behind social media. Its main asset is its turn to a Marxian analysis of culture and economics in search of a solid theoretical ground on which alternative proposals can grow.... Gehl's main contribution lies in the introduction of Marxian perspectives in order to help us contextualize the study of social media as part of global capitalism. By integrating technological and sociological analysis, Gehl manages to situate and explain the complex processes of reification that are affecting users of social media."
• The review of Softly, with Feeling, by Ed Berger, was reviewed by Jazzinstitut. The review read, "Berger's biography is full of interesting facets between jazz and American cultural history.... [His] explorations into the world of New York studio bands, Broadway orchestras, television and recording studios, and symphonic music are, next to the main theme (i.e. Wilder himself), valuable extensions of an often much too limited jazz context.... Softly, with Feeling is a dignified portrait of perhaps one of the most dignified musicians of jazz."
Last Updated July 22, 2015
God Talk, by Paul Djupe and Brian Calfano, was reviewed in the Summer 2015 issue of Political Science Quarterly. The review read, "Paul Djupe and Brian Calfano set out to change not only the way that scholars think about religion's influence on public opinion but also the methods that scholars use to investigate those relationships.... Many of the finding are intriguing.... God Talk makes [a] forceful argument that the religion and American politics subfield should embrace experimental methodology.... [and] a compelling case for the usefulness of these treatments.... [T]his book is a timely testament to the potential of survey-embedded experimental tools."
Popular Music and Society featured two Temple University Press book reviews
• The review of Andy Bennett's Music, Style, and Aging, which appeared in Vol. 38, Issue 2, 2015, read, "[A] thought-provoking study of the changing lifestyles of rockers and punks not dead, just aging.... Both the theoretical and the empirical parts of the book are fruitful, but the case studies are more captivating. They unveil stories of toned-down styles—e.g. punks with discreet Mohawks and few piercings but with enough visual signs to be recognized as old punks.... This book fills various gaps in the sociology of music. First of all, it examines a topic still marginal, studying not just popular music fans but some of the most overtly rebellious ones, especially those who have aged as well as those still following a distinctive style and refusing to give up. Second, this study is a crucial step towards the dissociation of two fields that have long been held as going hand-in-hand—popular music studies and youth studies. But perhaps the most intriguing gap this book fills is in the way the research was carried out: guided first and foremost by [Bennett's] personal curiosity."
• The review of Rachel Clare Donaldson's "I Hear America Singing," which appeared online first, read, "Rachel Clare Donaldson's book focuses on folk music as a source of national identity... [She] does an excellent job of explaining how various non-political portions of the revival, especially the National Folk Festival, presented folk music as a living example of pluralism in American life.... [Donaldson's] insights from historical, sociological, or cultural studies perspectives—[are] useful."
Last Updated July 15, 2015
Unbought and Unbossed, by Trimiko Melancon, was reviewed in the July/August 2015 issue of the Women's Review of Books. The review read, "Her engagement with the most difficult scenes in each text is one of the work's strengths.... Melancon's work contributes to an important conversation about black female sexuality as liberatory. Unbought and Unbossed will lead both old and new scholars of black women's writing back to the novels she investigates to understand the characters' deliberate acts of transgression within the context of a social movement that encompasses both the sexual revolution and the Black Power Movement. Teachers of black women's literatures and sexualities, in particular, will find it a valuable place to begin shifting the script."
Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality, edited by Anne Line Dalsgård, Martin Demant Frederiksen, Susanne Højlund, and Lotte Meinart, was reviewed in the (online first) August 2015 issue of Symbolic Interaction. The review read, "This collection of anthropological and sociological works presents itself as providing a unique window into the study of temporality by focusing on the category of youth.... A salient theme in all eight ethnographies is which youth can successfully alter their temporal experiences, a tension between middle-class youth and the experiences of youth from the global south. Indeed, the majority of the studies tell stories of young men and women from poor, politically fraught, and developing nations... What these ethnographies highlight so well is that time work often reflects larger inequalities."
The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences, by Michael Brown, was reviewed by Marx and Philosophy on July 8. The review read, "[A]n ambitious project that essentially attempts to bridge major and disparate discourses within Western thought including sociological, ontological, epistemological, political, and theories of action. The work encourages the reader to carefully consider the nature of inquiry, in those fields, and raises some important questions about their methodological assumptions.... There are several valuable insights that can be gleaned from Brown's work.... [H]is commentary on diverse sources is illuminating... Overall, the book raises a few thought-provoking points about social inquiry."