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Christian FuchsCulture and Economy in the Age of Social Media

Routledge, 2015

by Dave O'Brien on June 28, 2015

Christian Fuchs

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Social media is now a pervasive element of many people's lives. in order to best understand this phenomenon we need a comprehensive theory of the political economy of social media. In Culture and Economy in the Age of Social Media (Routledge, 2015), Christian Fuchs, a professor of social media at the University of Westminster, brings together a range of media, social and economic theorists to explain social media. Using Raymond Williams to draw attention to the material conditions of control, production and use of social media, including case studies from the USA and China. Most notably the book insists on understanding the international division of labour behind the seemingly ephemeral aspects of online interactions. The book is essential reading for all of those active online, as well as those working in the political economy and critical theory traditions. It is available here.

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James W. LaineMeta-Religion: Religion and Power in World History

June 23, 2015

Most world religions textbooks follow a structure and conceptual framework that mirrors the modern discourse of world religions as distinct entities reducible to certain defining characteristics. In his provocative and brilliant new book Meta-Religion: Religion and Power in World History (University of California Press, 2015), James Laine, Professor of Religious Studies at Macalester College challenges […]

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Scott StrausMaking and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership and Genocide in Modern Africa

June 9, 2015

Who, in the field of genocide studies, hasn't at least once used the phrase "The century of genocide?"  Books carry the title, journalists quote it in interviews and undergrads adopt it. There's nothing wrong with the phrase, as far as it goes.  But, as Scott Straus points out, conceptualizing the century in that way masks […]

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Simon A. Wood and David Harrington Watt, ed.sFundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History

June 8, 2015

In the past few decades, radical fundamentalists have become a major force in the global world. Or at least that what we often here in media outlets or from politicians and religious figures. But what exactly does 'fundamentalism' mean? Does this category point to something specific and exclude phenomena that falls outside the intended use […]

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Kevin O’NeillSecure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala

June 2, 2015

Kevin O'Neill's fascinating book Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala (University of California Press, 2015) traces the efforts of multi-million dollar programs aimed at state security through gang prevention in Guatemala.  O'Neill is most interested in the ways that Christianity and ideas about piety, salvation, redemption, and transformation guide and shape a […]

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Michael Gould-WartofskyThe Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement

June 1, 2015

Michael Gould-Wartofsky is the author of The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is a PhD candidate in Sociology at New York University. There has been a lot written about the Occupy Wall Street movement, but little with the sophistication and personal touch of Gould-Wartofsky's new book. What emerged in […]

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Todd MeyersThe Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy

May 22, 2015

Todd Meyers' The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy (University of Washington Press, 2013) is many things, all of them compelling and fully realized. Most directly, the book is an ethnography of drug dependence and treatment among adolescents in Baltimore between 2005-2008. Meyers traces twelve people through their treatment in the […]

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Nick CrossleyNetworks of Sound, Style, and Subversion: The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool, and Sheffield, 1975-80

May 18, 2015

Can sociology explain punk? In a new book, Networks of Sound, Style, and Subversion: The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool, and Sheffield, 1975-80 (Manchester University Press, 2015), Nick Crossley from the University of Manchester offers an important new perspective on the birth of punk and post-punk in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield in […]

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John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. MasurHappiness and the Law

May 12, 2015

In their new book Happiness and the Law (University of Chicago Press 2014), John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur argue through the use of hedonic psychological data that we should consider happiness when determining the best ways to effectuate law. In this podcast Buccafusco, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Empirical Studies of […]

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Fatma Muge GocekDenial of Violence: Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence against the Armenians 1789-2009

May 11, 2015

Adolf Hitler famously (and probably) said in a speech to his military leaders "Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?"  This remark is generally taken to suggest that future generations won't remember current atrocities, so there's no reason not to commit them.  The implication is that memory has something like an […]

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