The Ways Women Age: Using and Refusing Cosmetic Intervention
The story of how and why some women choose to use, while others refuse, cosmetic intervention. What is it like to be a woman growing older in a culture where you cannot go to the doctor, open a magazine, watch television, or surf the internet without encountering products and procedures that are designed to make you look younger? What do women have to say about their decision to embrace cosmetic anti-aging procedures? And, alternatively, how do women come to decide to grow older without them? In the United States today, women are the overwhelming consumers of cosmetic anti-aging surgeries and technologies. And while not all women undergo these procedures, their exposure to them is almost inevitable. Set against the backdrop of commercialized medicine in the United States, Abigail T. Brooks investigates the anti-aging craze from the perspective of women themselves, examining the rapidly changing cultural attitudes, pressures, and expectations of female aging. Drawn from in-depth interviews with women in the United States who choose, and refuse, to have cosmetic anti-aging procedures, The Ways Women Age provides a fresh understanding of how today’s women feel about aging. The women’s stories in this book are personal biographies that explore identity and body image and are reflexively shaped by beauty standards, expectations of femininity, and an increasingly normalized climate of cosmetic anti-aging intervention. The Ways Women Age offers a critical perspective on how women respond to 21st century expectations of youth and beauty.
About the Author
Abigail T. Brooks is Director of the Women’s Studies Program and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Providence College.
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The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won’t Admit It
When it comes to politics, we often perceive our own beliefs as fair and socially beneficial, while seeing opposing views as merely self-serving. But in fact most political views are governed by self-interest, even if we usually don’t realize it. Challenging our fiercely held notions about what motivates us politically, this book explores how self-interest divides the public on a host of hot-button issues, from abortion and the legalization of marijuana to same-sex marriage, immigration, affirmative action, and income redistribution. Expanding the notion of interests beyond simple economics, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban look at how people’s interests clash when it comes to their sex lives, social status, family, and friends. Drawing on a wealth of data, they demonstrate how different groups form distinctive bundles of political positions that often stray far from what we typically think of as liberal or conservative. They show how we engage in unconscious rationalization to justify our political positions, portraying our own views as wise, benevolent, and principled while casting our opponents’ views as thoughtless and greedy. While many books on politics seek to provide partisans with new ways to feel good about their own side, The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind illuminates the hidden drivers of our politics, even if it’s a picture neither side will find flattering.
About the Author
Jason Weeden is a senior researcher with the Pennsylvania Laboratory for Experimental Evolutionary Psychology (PLEEP) and a lawyer in Washington, DC. Robert Kurzban is professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of PLEEP. He is the author of “Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind” (Princeton).
The informal economy in Bangkok, Thailand, offers upward mobility but is fraught with risk. For members of the urban lower class, residence and occupation are closely inter-connected. Shifts in priorities in housing, occupation and education as family circumstances change affect the way they deploy their limited financial resources, while home fires and job lay-offs frequently lead to dislocation. Of necessity, poor communities accommodate frequent changes of residence and variations in production and consumption.
People with limited resources are extremely sensitive to uncertainty. Living with Risk examines how lower class communities in the inner city and the urban fringe of Bangkok view their employment prospects and living conditions, and how they manage risk. As a case study, the author examines the lives of female factory workers who became self-employed after losing their jobs during Thailand’s economic restructuring in the late 1990s. The book makes a substantial contribution to development economics, which is rich in studies of rural populations but lacks comparable material on urban areas and the dynamics of the informal economy.
About the Author
Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Mark Vallianatos is Research Coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Regina M. Freer is Associate Professor of Politics at Occidental College. Peter Dreier is E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.
When we talk about family values, like whether children need two parents, we are also talking about gender values, because a ‘yes’ answer to this question might imply that only women with husbands should have children. In the same way, when we talk about gender issues, such as whether men should be paid higher wages than women, we are also talking about family issues, because a ‘yes’ answer suggests that husbands should be the family breadwinner. In this updated second edition of Gender and Families, Coltrane and Adams continue to demystify the complexities and connections between gender and family in contemporary culture, with discussions of race, ethnicity, and social class.
About the Author
Scott Coltrane is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. Michele Adams is assistant professor of Sociology at Tulane University.