War Magic: Religion, Sorcery, and Performance
This compelling volume explores how war magic and warrior religion unleash the power of the gods, demons, ghosts, and the dead. Documenting war magic and warrior religion as they are performed in diverse cultures and across historical time periods, this volume foregrounds embodiment, practice, and performance in anthropological approaches to magic, sorcery, shamanism, and religion. The authors go beyond what magic ‘represents’ to consider what magic does. From Chinese exorcists, Javanese spirit siblings, and black magic in Sumatra to Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, Chamorro spiritual re-enchantment, tantric Buddhist war magic, and Yanomami dark shamans, religion and magic are re-evaluated not just from the practitioner’s perspective but through the victim’s lived experience. These original investigations reveal a nuanced approach to understanding social action, innovation, and the revitalization of tradition in colonial and post-colonial societies undergoing rapid social transformation.
About the Author
Douglas Farrer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guam. He is the author of Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (Springer), and co-author of Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World (SUNY).
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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 Annual Editions series is designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. Annual Editions volumes have a number of organizational features designed to make them especially valuable for classroom use: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of supporting World Wide Web sites; Learning Outcomes and a brief overview at the beginning of each unit; and a Critical Thinking section at the end of each article. Each volume also offers an online Instructor’s Resource Guide with testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroom is a general guide that provides a number of interesting and functional ideas for using Annual Editions readers in the classroom. Visit www.mhhe.com/annualeditions for more details.
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.
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.