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American Memories

Author: Joachim J. Savelsberg
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447492
Size: 11.71 MB
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In the long history of warfare and cultural and ethnic violence, the twentieth century was exceptional for producing institutions charged with seeking accountability or redress for violent offenses and human rights abuses across the globe, often forcing nations to confront the consequences of past atrocities. The Holocaust ended with trials at Nuremberg, apartheid in South Africa concluded with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Gacaca courts continue to strive for closure in the wake of the Rwandan genocide. Despite this global trend toward accountability, American collective memory appears distinct in that it tends to glorify the nation’s past, celebrating triumphs while eliding darker episodes in its history. In American Memories, sociologists Joachim Savelsberg and Ryan King rigorously examine how the United States remembers its own and others’ atrocities and how institutional responses to such crimes, including trials and tribunals, may help shape memories and perhaps impede future violence. American Memories uses historical and media accounts, court records, and survey research to examine a number of atrocities from the nation’s past, including the massacres of civilians by U.S. military in My Lai, Vietnam, and Haditha, Iraq. The book shows that when states initiate responses to such violence—via criminal trials, tribunals, or reconciliation hearings—they lay important groundwork for how such atrocities are viewed in the future. Trials can serve to delegitimize violence—even by a nation’s military— by creating a public record of grave offenses. But the law is filtered by and must also compete with other institutions, such as the media and historical texts, in shaping American memory. Savelsberg and King show, for example, how the My Lai slayings of women, children, and elderly men by U.S. soldiers have been largely eliminated from or misrepresented in American textbooks, and the army’s reputation survived the episode untarnished. The American media nevertheless evoked the killings at My Lai in response to the murder of twenty-four civilian Iraqis in Haditha, during the war in Iraq. Since only one conviction was obtained for the My Lai massacre, and convictions for the killings in Haditha seem increasingly unlikely, Savelsberg and King argue that Haditha in the near past is now bound inextricably to My Lai in the distant past. With virtually no criminal convictions, and none of higher ranks for either massacre, both events will continue to be misrepresented in American memory. In contrast, the book examines American representations of atrocities committed by foreign powers during the Balkan wars, which entailed the prosecution of ranking military and political leaders. The authors analyze news accounts of the war’s events and show how articles based on diplomatic sources initially cast Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in a less negative light, but court-based accounts increasingly portrayed Milosevic as a criminal, solidifying his image for the public record. American Memories provocatively suggests that a nation’s memories don’t just develop as a rejoinder to events—they are largely shaped by institutions. In the wake of atrocities, how a state responds has an enduring effect and provides a moral framework for whether and how we remember violent transgressions. Savelsberg and King deftly show that such responses can be instructive for how to deal with large-scale violence in the future, and hopefully how to deter it. A Volume in the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology.

Social Movements In The World System

Author: Jackie Smith
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447778
Size: 43.82 MB
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Global crises such as rising economic inequality, volatile financial markets, and devastating climate change illustrate the defects of a global economic order controlled largely by transnational corporations, wealthy states, and other elites. As the impacts of such crises have intensified, they have generated a new wave of protests extending from the countries of the Middle East and North Africa throughout Europe, North America, and elsewhere. This new surge of resistance builds upon a long history of transnational activism as it extends and develops new tactics for pro-democracy movements acting simultaneously around the world. In Social Movements in the World-System, Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest build upon theories of social movements, global institutions, and the political economy of the world-system to uncover how institutions define the opportunities and constraints on social movements, which in turn introduce ideas and models of action that help transform social activism as well as the system itself. Smith and Wiest trace modern social movements to the founding of the United Nations, as well as struggles for decolonization and the rise of national independence movements, showing how these movements have shifted the context in which states and other global actors compete and interact. The book shows how transnational activism since the end of the Cold War, including United Nations global conferences and more recently at World Trade Organization meetings, has shaped the ways groups organize. Global summits and UN conferences have traditionally provided focal points for activists working across borders on a diverse array of issues. By engaging in these international arenas, movements have altered discourses to emphasize norms of human rights and ecological sustainability over territorial sovereignty. Over time, however, activists have developed deeper and more expansive networks and new spaces for activism. This growing pool of transnational activists and organizations democratizes the process of organizing, enables activists to build on previous experiences and share knowledge, and facilitates local actions in support of global change agendas. As the world faces profound financial and ecological crises, and as the United States' dominance in the world political economy is increasingly challenged, it is especially urgent that scholars, policy analysts, and citizens understand how institutions shape social behavior and the distribution of power. Social Movements in the World-System helps illuminate the contentious and complex interactions between social movements and global institutions and contributes to the search for paths toward a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic world. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology

Making Hate A Crime

Author: Valerie Jenness
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610443144
Size: 39.19 MB
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Violence motivated by racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia weaves a tragic pattern throughout American history. Fueled by recent high-profile cases, hate crimes have achieved an unprecedented visibility. Only in the past twenty years, however, has this kind of violence—itself as old as humankind—been specifically categorized and labeled as hate crime. Making Hate a Crime is the first book to trace the emergence and development of hate crime as a concept, illustrating how it has become institutionalized as a social fact and analyzing its policy implications. In Making Hate a Crime Valerie Jenness and Ryken Grattet show how the concept of hate crime emerged and evolved over time, as it traversed the arenas of American politics, legislatures, courts, and law enforcement. In the process, violence against people of color, immigrants, Jews, gays and lesbians, women, and persons with disabilities has come to be understood as hate crime, while violence against other vulnerable victims-octogenarians, union members, the elderly, and police officers, for example-has not. The authors reveal the crucial role social movements played in the early formulation of hate crime policy, as well as the way state and federal politicians defined the content of hate crime statutes, how judges determined the constitutional validity of those statutes, and how law enforcement has begun to distinguish between hate crime and other crime. Hate crime took on different meanings as it moved from social movement concept to law enforcement practice. As a result, it not only acquired a deeper jurisprudential foundation but its scope of application has been restricted in some ways and broadened in others. Making Hate a Crime reveals how our current understanding of hate crime is a mix of political and legal interpretations at work in the American policymaking process. Jenness and Grattet provide an insightful examination of the birth of a new category in criminal justice: hate crime. Their findings have implications for emerging social problems such as school violence, television-induced violence, elder-abuse, as well as older ones like drunk driving, stalking, and sexual harassment. Making Hate a Crime presents a fresh perspective on how social problems and the policies devised in response develop over time. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology

The Shape Of Culture

Author: Judith R. Blau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521437936
Size: 24.57 MB
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This book systematically examines prevailing cultural patterns in contemporary American society. Using information on several thousands of cultural organizations, including opera and chamber music companies as well as cinemas and live rock concerts, Professor Blau examines the geography of culture, the changing demands for culture, the interdependencies among cultural organizations of different kinds, the nature of labor markets for artists, and the effects of arts subsidies on nonprofit cultural establishments over a ten year period.

Counted Out

Author: Brian Powell
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN:
Size: 79.30 MB
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When state voters passed the California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8) in 2008, it restricted the definition of marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. The act’s passage further agitated an already roiling national debate about whether American notions of family could or should expand to include, for example, same-sex marriage, unmarried cohabitation, and gay adoption. But how do Americans really define family? The first study to explore this largely overlooked question, Counted Out examines currents in public opinion to assess their policy implications and predict how Americans’ definitions of family may change in the future. Counted Out broadens the scope of previous studies by moving beyond efforts to understand how Americans view their own families to examine the way Americans characterize the concept of family in general. The book reports on and analyzes the results of the authors’ Constructing the Family Surveys (2003 and 2006), which asked more than 1,500 people to explain their stances on a broad range of issues, including gay marriage and adoption, single parenthood, the influence of biological and social factors in child development, religious ideology, and the legal rights of unmarried partners. Not surprisingly, the authors find that the standard bearer for public conceptions of family continues to be a married, heterosexual couple with children. More than half of Americans also consider same-sex couples with children as family, and from 2003 to 2006 the percentages of those who believe so increased significantly—up 6 percent for lesbian couples and 5 percent for gay couples. The presence of children in any living arrangement meets with a notable degree of public approval. Less than 30 percent of Americans view heterosexual cohabitating couples without children as family, while similar couples with children count as family for nearly 80 percent. Counted Out shows that for most Americans, however, the boundaries around what they define as family are becoming more malleable with time. Counted Out demonstrates that American definitions of family are becoming more expansive. Who counts as family has far-reaching implications for policy, including health insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, estate rights, and child custody. Public opinion matters. As lawmakers consider the future of family policy, they will want to consider the evolution in American opinion represented in this groundbreaking book. A Volume in the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology

Overcoming Apartheid

Author: James L. Gibson
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610442474
Size: 31.84 MB
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Perhaps no country in history has so directly and thoroughly confronted its past in an effort to shape its future as has South Africa. Working from the belief that understanding the past will help build a more peaceful and democratic future, South Africa has made a concerted, institutionalized effort to come to grips with its history of apartheid through its Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Overcoming Apartheid, James L. Gibson provides the first systematic assessment of whether South Africa's truth and reconciliation process has been successful. Has the process allowed South Africa to let go of its painful past and move on? Or has it exacerbated racial tensions by revisiting painful human rights violations and granting amnesty to their perpetrators? Overcoming Apartheid reports on the largest and most comprehensive study of post-apartheid attitudes in South Africa to date, involving a representative sample of all major racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Grounding his analysis of truth in theories of collective memory, Gibson discovers that the process has been most successful in creating a common understanding of the nature of apartheid. His analysis then demonstrates how this common understanding is helping to foster reconciliation, as defined by the acceptance of basic principles of human rights and political tolerance, rejection of racial prejudice, and acceptance of the institutions of a new political order. Gibson identifies key elements in the process—such as acknowledging shared responsibility for atrocities of the past—that are essential if reconciliation is to move forward. He concludes that without the truth and reconciliation process, the prospects for a reconciled, democratic South Africa would diminish considerably. Gibson also speculates about whether the South African experience provides any lessons for other countries around the globe trying to overcome their repressive pasts. A groundbreaking work of social science research, Overcoming Apartheid is also a primer for utilizing innovative conceptual and methodological tools in analyzing truth processes throughout the world. It is sure to be a valuable resource for political scientists, social scientists, group relations theorists, and students of transitional justice and human rights.

Social Laws An Outline Of Sociology

Author: G. Tarde
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
ISBN: 1447498046
Size: 11.56 MB
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This early work, originally published in 1899, contains the leading ideas of one of the most authoritative and distinguished writers in sociology and social psychology at the turn of the last century. Gabriel Tarde here outlines his three principal works on general sociology and the internal bond that unites them. A fascinating read for any sociologist, amateur or professional alike. Contents Include: Editors Preface; Authors Preface; Introduction; The Repetition of Phenomena; The Opposition of Phenomena; The Adaptation of Phenomena; Conclusion. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

A Comparative Sociology Of World Religions

Author: Stephen Sharot
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814798047
Size: 49.24 MB
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The body of the law is an ambiguous phrase. Conventionally, it designates the law as a determinate corpus; legal codes, statutes, and the rulings of common law. But it can also refer to the subjected body that is produced by and is part of the law. This subjected body is necessary for the law's existence. Thinking Through the Body of the Law reconceives the role of the body in the founding, maintaining, and regulation of our legal systems and social order and elaborates on its implications for issues of legal responsibility and justice. Taking into account and sometimes challenging the tenets of critical legal theory, critical race theory, and feminist jurisprudence, these essays examine the body and the law as they relate to surrogacy, the Holocaust, land-rights for Aboriginals, murder, the media and insanity, taxation, genetic engineering, and sexy dressing and sexual harassment.

Law Society

Author: John Sutton
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 9780761987055
Size: 17.96 MB
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Foundations of the Sociology of Law provides a conceptual framework for thinking about the full range of topics within the sociology of law discipline. The book: contrasts normative and sociological perspectives on law; presents a primer on the logic of research and inference as applied to law related issues; examines theories of legal change; and discusses law in action with specific reference to civil rights legislation.

Social Movements And World System Transformation

Author: Jackie Smith
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1315458241
Size: 73.79 MB
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At a particularly urgent world-historical moment, this volume brings together some of the leading researchers of social movements and global social change and other emerging scholars and practitioners to advance new thinking about social movements and global transformation. Social movements around the world today are responding to crisis by defying both political and epistemological borders, offering alternatives to the global capitalist order that are imperceptible through the modernist lens. Informed by a world-historical perspective, contributors explain today’s struggles as building upon the experiences of the past while also coming together globally in ways that are inspiring innovation and consolidating new thinking about what a fundamentally different, more equitable, just, and sustainable world order might look like. This collection offers new insights into contemporary movements for global justice, challenging readers to appreciate how modernist thinking both colors our own observations and complicates the work of activists seeking to resolve inequities and contradictions that are deeply embedded in Western cultural traditions and institutions. Contributors consider today’s movements in the longue durée—that is, they ask how Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and other contemporary struggles for liberation reflect, build upon, or diverge from anti-colonial and other emancipatory struggles of the past. Critical to this volume is its exploration of how divisions over gender equity and diversity of national cultures and class have impacted what are increasingly intersectional global movements. The contributions of feminist and indigenous movements come to the fore in this collective exploration of what the movements of yesterday and today can contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the dynamics of global transformation in order to help advance a more equitable, just, and ecologically sustainable world.