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Gifted Tongues

Author: Gary Alan Fine
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400824199
Size: 16.14 MB
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Learning to argue and persuade in a highly competitive environment is only one aspect of life on a high-school debate team. Teenage debaters also participate in a distinct cultural world--complete with its own jargon and status system--in which they must negotiate complicated relationships with teammates, competitors, coaches, and parents as well as classmates outside the debating circuit. In Gifted Tongues, Gary Alan Fine offers a rich description of this world as a testing ground for both intellectual and emotional development, while seeking to understand adolescents as social actors. Considering the benefits and drawbacks of the debating experience, he also recommends ways of reshaping programs so that more high schools can use them to boost academic performance and foster specific skills in citizenship. Fine analyzes the training of debaters in rapid-fire speech, rules of logical argumentation, and the strategic use of evidence, and how this training instills the core values of such American institutions as law and politics. Debates, however, sometimes veer quickly from fine displays of logic to acts of immaturity--a reflection of the tensions experienced by young people learning to think as adults. Fine contributes to our understanding of teenage years by encouraging us not to view them as a distinct stage of development but rather a time in which young people draw from a toolkit of both childlike and adult behaviors. A well-designed debate program, he concludes, nurtures the intellect while providing a setting in which teens learn to make better behavioral choices, ones that will shape relationships in their personal, professional, and civic lives.

Researching Values With Qualitative Methods

Author: Antje Bednarek-Gilland
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317065476
Size: 58.49 MB
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In several branches of social science, interest in values and moral evaluations has increased in recent years, with group values taking centre-stage, yet a satisfactory, theoretical account of the concept of values and their role in social life remains lacking. Engaging with theories of value formation and the role of values in everyday life found in ethics, classical sociology and contemporary social theory and their implications for empirical work, Researching Values with Qualitative Methods argues for a pragmatist approach both to understanding values and the manner in which they are formed, as well as exploring the ways in which they can be studied empirically, using qualitative research methods. In this way, this book promises to resolve many of the practical problems involved in fieldwork with political groups, including the prominent question of how to account for the researcher's own values. Illustrated with examples from published as well as new research, this book provides the foundation for the theoretical understanding of values and their empirical investigation, thus strengthening the connection between social theory and the development of research methods. As such, it will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists and geographers with interests in values, social theory and research methodology.

Becoming Right

Author: Amy J. Binder
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400844878
Size: 69.82 MB
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Conservative pundits allege that the pervasive liberalism of America's colleges and universities has detrimental effects on undergraduates, most particularly right-leaning ones. Yet not enough attention has actually been paid to young conservatives to test these claims—until now. In Becoming Right, Amy Binder and Kate Wood carefully explore who conservative students are, and how their beliefs and political activism relate to their university experiences. Rich in interviews and insight, Becoming Right illustrates that the diverse conservative movement evolving among today’s college students holds important implications for the direction of American politics.

Cross X

Author: Joe Miller
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780312426972
Size: 29.88 MB
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Follows the Kansas City Central High School's debate squad through its 2002 season, which ended with a top-ten finish at the national championships, in this riveting and poignant story of four debaters and their coach at an inner-city school. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Tiny Publics

Author: Gary Alan Fine
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447743
Size: 35.99 MB
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If all politics is local, then so is almost everything else, argues sociologist Gary Alan Fine. We organize our lives by relying on those closest to us—family members, friends, work colleagues, team mates, and other intimates—to create meaning and order. In this thoughtful and wide-ranging book, Fine argues that the basic building blocks of society itself are forged within the boundaries of such small groups, the "tiny publics" necessary for a robust, functioning social order at all levels. Action, meaning, authority, inequality, organization, and institutions all have their roots in small groups. Yet for the past twenty-five years social scientists have tended to ignore the power of groups in favor of an emphasis on organizations, societies, or individuals. Based on over thirty-five years of Fine's own ethnographic research across an array of small groups, Tiny Publics presents a compelling new theory of the pivotal role of small groups in organizing social life. No social system can thrive without flourishing small groups. They provide havens in an impersonal world, where faceless organizations become humanized. Taking examples from such diverse worlds as Little League baseball teams, restaurant workers, high school debate teams, weather forecasters, and political volunteers, Fine demonstrates how each group has its own unique culture, or idioculture—the system of knowledge, beliefs, behavior, and customs that define and hold a group together. With their dense network of relationships, groups serve as important sources of social and cultural capital for their members. The apparently innocuous jokes, rituals, and nicknames prevalent within Little League baseball teams help establish how teams function internally and how they compete with other teams. Small groups also provide a platform for their members to engage in broader social discourse and a supportive environment to begin effecting change in larger institutions. In his studies of mushroom collectors and high school debate teams, Fine demonstrates the importance of stories that group members tell each other about their successes and frustrations in fostering a strong sense of social cohesion. And Fine shows how the personal commitment political volunteers bring to their efforts is reinforced by the close-knit nature of their work, which in turn has the power to change larger groups and institutions. In this way, the actions and debates begun in small groups can eventually radiate outward to affect every level of society. Fine convincingly demonstrates how small groups provide fertile ground for the seeds of civic engagement. Outcomes often attributed to large-scale social forces originate within such small-scale domains. Employing rich insights from both sociology and social psychology, as well as vivid examples from a revealing array of real-work groups, Tiny Publics provides a compelling examination of the importance of small groups and of the rich vitality they bring to social life. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust

Weaving Self Evidence

Author: Claude Rosental
Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr
ISBN:
Size: 62.16 MB
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The development of theorems in logic is generally thought to be a solitary and purely cerebral activity, and therefore unobservable by sociologists. In Weaving Self-Evidence, French sociologist Claude Rosental challenges this notion by tracing the history of one well-known recent example in the field of artificial intelligence--a theorem on the foundations of fuzzy logic. Rosental's analyses disclose the inherently social nature of the process by which propositions in logic are produced, disseminated, and established as truths. Rosental describes the different phases of the emergence of the theorem on fuzzy logic, from its earliest drafts through its publication and diffusion, discussion and reformulation, and eventual acceptance by the scientific community. Through observations made at major universities and scholarly conferences, and in electronic forums, he looks at the ways students are trained in symbolic manipulations and formal languages and examines how researchers work, interact, and debate emerging new ideas. By carefully analyzing the concrete mechanisms that lead to the collective development and corroboration of proofs, Rosental shows how a logical discovery and its recognition within the scholarly community are by no means the product of any one individual working in isolation, but rather a social process that can be observed and studied.Weaving Self-Evidence will interest students and researchers in sociology and the history and philosophy of science and technology, and anyone curious about how scientists work.

Mothers Of Heroes And Martyrs

Author: Lorraine Bayard de Volo
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801867644
Size: 29.74 MB
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Founded during the Nicaraguan revolution, the Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs of Matagalpa comprises women who supported the revolution but did not carry guns. The author focuses on the group to explore 'maternal identity politics'.