Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016) is Mindy Fried’s moving and colorful account about caring for her ninety-seven-year-old father, Manny – actor, writer, labor organizer, and survivor of political persecution during the McCarthy Era – in the final
year of his life. Caring for Red brings a personal perspective and a “sociological eye” to caregiving, as it grapples with universal issues facing thousands of people today. As an ethnography, Caring for Red also provides important insights into the culture of assisted living, framing day-to-day life for her father and other residents within a larger sociopolitical context. Social historian Stephanie Coontz, author of The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, calls the book, “a deeply moving account of the rewards and challenges that emerge as an adult child becomes the caregiver for a beloved and formerly fiercely independent parent. The practical lessons Fried learned will be especially helpful to the millions of Americans facing this transformation in the future.” And sociologist Meika Loe, author of Aging Our Way: Lessons for Living from 85 and Beyond, comments: “Raw and real. Anyone who has experienced caregiving can appreciate Mindy Fried’s story. I was reminded of Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? Both books help caregivers to feel less alone and to put the life course in perspective, and both Fried and Chast offer helpful advice along the way.”
More info @ www.mindyfried.com.
Women Doing Life (2016): Lora Bex Lempert examines the carceral experiences of women serving life sentences, presenting a typology of the ways that life-sentenced women grow and self-actualize, resist prison definitions, reflect on and “own” their criminal acts, and ultimately create meaningful lives behind prison walls. Looking beyond the explosive headlines that often characterize these women as monsters, Lempert offers rare insight into this vulnerable, little studied population. Her gendered analysis considers the ways that women “do crime” differently than men and how they have qualitatively different experiences of imprisonment than their male counterparts. Through in-depth interviews with 72 women serving life sentences in Michigan, Lempert brings these women back into the public arena, drawing analytical attention to their complicated, contradictory, and yet compelling lives.
Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort (2015): Andrea S. Boyles tells the full story of social injustice, racialized policing, nationally profiled shootings, and the ambiguousness of black life in a suburban context through compelling interviews, participant observation, and field notes from a marginalized black enclave located in a predominately white suburb.
Child’s Play: Sport in Kids’ Worlds (2016): Michael Messner and Michela Musto, eds. present a nuanced examination of the question “Is sport good for kids?”, considering not only the physical impacts of youth athletics, but its psychological and social ramifications as well through eleven original scholarly essays.
“New Maternalisms”: Tales of Motherwork (Dislodging the Unthinkable) (2016): Roksana Badruddoja and Maki Motapanyane’s book explores the perceptions of those who engage in and/or research motherwork or the labour of caregiving – i.e. mothers – and how mothers view themselves in comparison to broader normative understandings of motherwork. The selections are written by individuals from a multitude of vantage points ranging from academia to art to medicine.
Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activism inside the United Nations (2016): Sylvanna M. Falcón’s book redirects the conversation about UN-based feminist activism toward UN forums on racism. Since the 2000s, antiracist feminist activists have expanded the debate about global racism by strategically using intersectionality to enhance the discussion. The book offers an analysis of contemporary antiracist feminist activism from the Americas alongside a critical historical reading of the UN and its agenda against racism.
Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies (2016): Heather Jacobson offer the first book-length examination of gestational surrogacy in the United States in Labor of Love. Based on in-depth interviews with surrogates, their family members, the intended parents who employ surrogates, and the various professionals who facilitate the process, Jacobson dissects the complex set of social attitudes underlying the resistance toward conceiving of pregnancy as a form of employment.
Violence against Queer People (2015): Drawing on interviews with forty-seven victims of violence, Meyer shows that LGBT people encounter significantly different forms of violence—and perceive that violence quite differently—based on their race, class, and gender.
Sociology: The Essentials, 9th ed. (2017): Margaret L. Andersen and Howard F. Taylor’s book uses the theme of debunking myths to look behind the facades of everyday life, challenge common assumptions, and help students develop critical thinking skills as well as better understand how society is constructed and sustained.
Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 4th ed. (2016): Margaret L. Andersen and Elizabeth Higginbotham’s book includes 40 engaging articles–selected for their importance as well as for their readability–that introduces readers to the major topics and themes that frame the study of race in the United States. Organized into seven major thematic parts, the book begins with basic concepts and then moves on to explore social structural and institutional analyses of race and ethnicity.
Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir (July 2016): Mindy Fried’s book is a moving and colorful account of caring for her ninety-seven-year-old father, Manny–an actor, writer, and labor organizer–in the final year of his life. This memoir chronicles the actions of two sisters as they discover concentric circles of support for their father and attempt to provide him with an experience of “engaged aging” in an assisted living facility.
Same Sex Marriage, Context, and Lesbian Identity: Wedded But Not Always a Wife (2015): Patricia Ould and Julie Whitlow’s book is an interdisciplinary study that explores how the use of relationship terms by married lesbians is tied to a variety of factors that influence how their identities are shaped and presented across social contexts.
Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas (2015): Taking Risks offers a creative, interdisciplinary approach to narrating the stories of activist scholarship by women. The contributors come from many disciplinary backgrounds, including theater, history, literature, sociology, feminist studies, and cultural studies. SWSer, Roberta Villalon, is a contributing author.
Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (2015): Georgiann Davis draws on interviews with intersex people, their parents, and medical experts to explore the oft-questioned views on intersex in medical and activist communities, as well as the evolution of thought in regards to intersex visibility and transparency.
Feminist Methodologies for Critical Researchers: Bridging Differences (March 2016): Joey Sprague’s second edition of her book serves as an introduction for students of sociology and related disciplines to feminist methodology that’s useful for both quantitative and qualitative research.
Border Politics: Social Movements, Collective Identities and Globalization (2015): Nancy A. Naples explores important questions through eleven carefully selected case studies situated in geographic contexts around the globe.
Nepali Migrant Women: Resistance and Survival in America (Gender and Globalization): Shobha Hamal Gurung gives voice to the growing number of Nepali women who migrate to the United States to work in the informal economy.
Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen: Patti Giuffre and Deborah A. Harris combine content analysis of food media with interviews of 33 women chefs in Texas to be the first academic work to address how the chef occupation became and remains male-dominated.
The Human Rights Enterprise: Political Sociology, State Power, and Social Movements: William T. Armaline, Davita S. Glasberg & Bandana Purkayastha present a framework for understanding human rights as a terrain of struggle over power between states, private interests, and organized, “bottom-up” social movements.
Human Trafficking Amidst Interlocking Systems of Exploitation: A Focus on Pakistan: Farhan Navid Yousaf & Bandana Purkayastha examine the issue of trafficking at both micro and macro levels to analyse how political economy of trafficking influences micro level experiences of victims of trafficking.
Voices of Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya: A Human Rights Perspective: Roseanne Njiru & Bandana Purkayastha’s research chronicles experiences of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kenya who fled to the IDP Camps from the ethnic violence following the country’s disputed elections in December 2007.
African Immigrant Families in Another France: Loretta Bass uses voices of individuals within Sub-Saharan African immigrant families to describe their integration experience as ‘Another France.’
Straights: Heterosexuality in Post-Closeted Culture (2014): Based on 60 in-depth interviews with a diverse group of straight men and women, James Joseph Dean explores how straight Americans make sense of their sexual and gendered selves in the landscape of a post-closeted culture.