"We’d now like to open the floor to shorter speeches disguised as questions."
Let the academic conferences season begin! :-)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography podcast: Arabella Churchill, co-founder of Glastonbury Festival.
Granddaughter of the wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, Arabella fled her family background for Worthy Farm, home of the modern-day Glastonbury Festival. For nearly 30 years Bella (as she was known) ran the Festival with Michael Eavis and watched it grow into one the world’s best known music and performance events. Today she’s remembered by Bella’s Field and Bella’s Bridge at the Glastonbury site.
The story of Arabella Churchill is one of over 200 episodes available from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’s podcast archive. New episodes are released every second Wednesday.
I am sorry that we’ve made Christianity all about being blessed and having a better day, and not about becoming more like Him.
The architectural historian Iain Borden says the emergence of hostile architecture has its roots in 1990s urban design and public-space management. The emergence, he said, “suggested we are only republic citizens to the degree that we are either working or consuming goods directly.
"So it’s OK, for example, to sit around as long as you are in a cafe or in a designated place where certain restful activities such as drinking a frappucino should take place but not activities like busking, protesting or skateboarding. It’s what some call the ‘mallification’ of public space, where everything becomes like a shopping mall."
Open-Source Agriculture: The Sprouting Of A New Food Movement?
Walk through the produce aisle today and you can find labels for organic, fair trade, and local items. For shoppers who oppose the practices of seed agri-giants like Monsanto, one day there may be a new option to consider: open-source.
Inspired by the open-source software movement, the Open Source Seed Initiative has quietly spent the last two years developing a cache of seeds that they released to the world at a launch event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May. With names like “Sovereign” (a carrot variety) and “Midnight Lightning” (a zucchini), they packaged together 37 varieties of 14 crops attached to a pledge: Open-source seeds must stay freely available for use by all—no intellectual property rights can be claimed to the seeds or derivatives bred from them.
Full Story: FastCoExist
Open access to the best 20 papers from Journal of European Public Policy from the last 20 years concerning various topics in Economic Sociology and Political Economy. Have an enlightening reading!
Oxford Talks: Unlocking Social Work Knowledge
The more access you have to resources, the more access you have to knowledge. This allows for greater articulation of the issues, and that’s how we’re going to bring about any type of social change.
- Kirk James, GRI Project Director, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice.
Oxford University Press spoke with real social workers to discover what they look for in an online resource and how publishers can meet their needs. (by Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press)). Look out for more posts in March celebrating Social Work Month.
As the great social scientist Karl Polanyi has stultified and debunked the erroneous ideas of market fundamentalism and economic determinism, in this important book Fred Block and Margaret Somers greatly contributed to the intellectual endeavor to manifest the ontological axiom of mutual embeddedness of State-Economy-Society.
What is it about free-market ideas that give them tenacious staying power in the face of such failures as persistent unemployment, widening inequality, and the severe financial crises over the past forty years? In this excellent book Block and Somers extend the work of Karl Polanyi to explain why these ideas have revived from disrepute in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, to become the dominant economic ideology of our time.
In series of researches, first and foremost in the canonical and prophetic “The Great Transformation”, Polanyi contends that the free market championed by market liberals never actually existed. While markets are essential to enable individual choice, they cannot be self-regulating because they require ongoing state action. Furthermore, they cannot by themselves provide such necessities of social existence as education, health care, social and personal security, and the right to earn a livelihood. When these public goods are subjected to market principles, social life is threatened and major crises ensue.
Despite these theoretical flaws, market principles are powerfully seductive because they promise to diminish the role of #politics in social life. Because politics entails coercion and unsatisfying compromises among groups with deep conflicts, the wish to narrow its scope is understandable. But the ideology that free markets can replace government is just as utopian and dangerous.
The book’s introductory chapter is a well-integrated and brisk summary of Polanyi’s ideas. Other chapters provide erudite and engaging discussions of what Polanyi’s social history, as well as astute comparisons of Polanyi with #Keynes and #Marx.
This thorough analysis should be an invaluable resource for social scientists, policy makers, and citizens who are grappling to find better ways of interpreting the economic and social distress in these turbulent times.
What in everyday life is an obvious truth, namely, that in some sense or another, people want money— is basically unthinkable in economic terms. Herein lies the starting point for the main argument of this book. If desire for money in itself is rejected by economic thought, then an idea of money as on object of desire is a point of departure for an elaboration of a comprehensive alternative to contemporary economics. Conceiving the desire for money not as an pathological aberration (“greed”) but as fundamental economic reality necessitates a radial shift not only in concept of money but also in conceptions of what commodity is, what economic behavior is, and what the economy is. So, what would economics look like if it acknowledged desire for money?
Through the works of Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, Max Weber and Karl Marx, a philosopher Noam Yuran in intellectually engaging manner shows how money permeates economic reality, from finance to its spectacular double in our consumer economy of addictive shopping. Rich in colorful and accessible examples, from Charles Dickens (juxtapositing him with Adam Smith) to Reality TV, this outstanding book debunks the mainstream economics perspective and lays out a radically different economic ontology.
Keith Hart: “When I read this book, I am alternately thrilled and enlightened, confused and frustrated… You just might be reading one of the formative tracts of our time.”
Arjun Appadurai: “A brilliant book.”
The UK’s housing crisis and its booming property prices are rarely out of the news, giving academics and economists much to write about. From the impact of welfare cuts and homelessness to rapidly increasing returns on buy-to-lets, housing is a hot topic for students of sociology, economics, and politics. LSE Review of Books managing editor Amy Mollett brings together a reading list covering the history of housing, the future of our cities, and the how architects can be more inclusive in their designs. .
Vanishing Pearls (Jefferson, 2014)
Chronicles the untold story of personal and professional devastation in Pointe a la Hache, a close-knit, African-American fishing village on the Gulf coast.
While forty-nine million barrels of oil settle in the once vibrant coastal waters, a generations-old community of African-American fishermen pledge to fight for justice, accountability and their way of life.
In theaters now.