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Faculty Books

On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing

Cover of On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing

Owen Whooley

Psychiatry has always aimed to peer deep into the human mind, daring to cast light on its darkest corners and untangle its thorniest knots, often invoking the latest medical science in doing so. But, as Owen Whooley’s sweeping new book tell us, the history of American psychiatry is really a record of ignorance. On the Heels of Ignorance begins with psychiatry’s formal inception in the 1840s and moves through two centuries of constant struggle simply to define and redefine mental illness, to say nothing of the best way to treat it. Whooley’s book is no antipsychiatric screed, however; instead, he reveals a field that has muddled through periodic reinventions and conflicting agendas of curiosity, compassion, and professional striving. On the Heels of Ignorance draws from intellectual history and the sociology of professions to portray an ongoing human effort to make sense of complex mental phenomena using an imperfect set of tools, with sometimes tragic results.

Available for purchase here.

Catholic Social Activism Progressive Movements in the United States

Cover of Catholic Social Activism Progressive Movements in the United States

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Many Americans assume that the Catholic Church is inherently conservative, based on its stances on abortion, contraception, and divorce. Yet there is a longstanding tradition of progressive Catholic movements in the United States that have addressed a variety of issues from labor, war, immigration, and environmental protection, to human rights, women’s rights, exploitive development practices, and bellicose foreign policies.  These Catholic social movements have helped to shift the Church from an institution that had historically supported incumbent governments and political elites to a Church that has increasingly sided with the vulnerable and oppressed.  

This book provides a concise history of progressively oriented Catholic Social Thought, which conveys the Catholic Church’s position on a variety of social justice concerns. Sharon Erickson Nepstad introduces key papal encyclicals and other church documents, showing how lay Catholics in the United States have put these ideas into practice through a creative and sometimes provocative political engagement.  Nepstad also explores how these progressive movements have pressured the religious hierarchy to respond to pressing social issues, such as women’s ordination, conscription, and the morality of nuclear deterrence policies.

Catholic Social Activism vividly depicts how these progressive movements have helped to shape the religious landscape of the United States, and how they have provoked controversy and debate among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. 

Available for purchase here.

Politica: Nuevomexicanos and American Political Incorporation, 1821-1910

Cover of Politica: Nuevomexicanos and American Political Incorporation, 1821-1910

Phillip B. Gonzales

Política offers a stunning revisionist understanding of the early political incorporation of Mexican-origin peoples into the U.S. body politic in the nineteenth century. Historical sociologist Phillip B. Gonzales reexamines the fundamental issue in New Mexico’s history, namely, the dramatic shift in national identities initiated by Nuevomexicanos when their province became ruled by the United States.

Gonzales provides an insightful, rigorous, and controversial interpretation of how Nuevomexicano political competition was woven into the Democratic and Republican two-party system that emerged in the United States between the 1850s and 1912, when New Mexico became a state. Drawing on newly discovered archival and primary sources, he explores how Nuevomexicanos relied on a long tradition of political engagement and a preexisting republican disposition and practice to elaborate a dual-party political system mirroring the contours of U.S. national politics.

Política is a tour de force of political history in the nineteenth-century U.S.–Mexico borderlands that reinterprets colonization, reconstructs Euro-American and Nuevomexicano relations, and recasts the prevailing historical narrative of territorial expansion and incorporation in North American imperial history. Gonzales provides critical insights into several discrete historical processes, such as U.S. racialization and citizenship, integration and marginalization, accommodation and resistance, internal colonialism, and the long struggle for political inclusion in the borderlands, shedding light on debates taking place today over Latinos and U.S. citizenship.   
 

Available for purchase here.

A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy

Cover of A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy

Dr. Richard L. Wood, Dr. Brad R. Fulton

In November 2015, the University of Chicago Press published  A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy by Richard L. Wood (UNM Department of Sociology) and Brad R. Fulton (Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs). The book analyzes contemporary organizing for racial equity in the United States, particularly within organizations that include white, African-American, Latino, and other diverse participants building shared commitment to racial equality. 

Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research

Cover of Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research

Laura E. Gomez and Nancy Lopez

Researchers commonly ask subjects to self-identify their race from a menu of preestablished options. Yet if race is a multidimensional, multilevel social construction, this has profound methodological implications for the sciences and social sciences. Race must inform how we design large-scale data collection and how scientists utilize race in the context of specific research questions. This landmark collection argues for the recognition of those implications for research and suggests ways in which they may be integrated into future scientific endeavors. It concludes on a prescriptive note, providing an arsenal of multidisciplinary, conceptual, and methodological tools for studying race specifically within the context of health inequalities.

Available for purchase here.

Knowledge in the Time of Cholera: The Struggle over American Medicine in the Nineteenth Century

Cover of Knowledge in the Time of Cholera: The Struggle over American Medicine in the Nineteenth Century

Owen Whooley

Winner of the 2015 Robert K. Merton Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociology Association, Section on Knowledge, Science and Technology
Vomiting. Diarrhea. Dehydration. Death. Confusion. In 1832, the arrival of cholera in the United States created widespread panic throughout the country. For the rest of the century, epidemics swept through American cities and towns like wildfire, killing thousands. Physicians of all stripes offered conflicting answers to the cholera puzzle, ineffectively responding with opiates, bleeding, quarantines, and all manner of remedies, before the identity of the dreaded infection was consolidated under the germ theory of disease some sixty years later.

These cholera outbreaks raised fundamental questions about medical knowledge and its legitimacy, giving fuel to alternative medical sects that used the confusion of the epidemic to challenge both medical orthodoxy and the authority of the still-new American Medical Association. In Knowledge in the Time of Cholera, Owen Whooley tells us the story of those dark days, centering his narrative on rivalries between medical and homeopathic practitioners and bringing to life the battle to control public understanding of disease, professional power, and democratic governance in nineteenth-century America.

Available for purchase here.

Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education

Cover of Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education

Nancy López

By 2007, it is estimated that 9.2 million girls of color will be enrolled in college compared to 6.9 million boys of color. Why the discrepancy? In Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys, Nancy López takes us to the schools, homes and workplaces of Caribbean youth to point out the different expectations that guide behavior. Now the largest immigrant group in New York City, López focuses in particular on these Caribbean teens to explain how and why our schools and cities are failing boys of color. This is a fascinating ethnographic study on a topic of increasing interest to people in the field of education and anyone concerned about the future of young people

Available for purchase here.

The Fibromyalgia Story Medical Authority and Women's Worlds of Pain

Cover of The Fibromyalgia Story  Medical Authority and Women's Worlds of Pain

Kristin Barker

More than six million Americans—most of them women—have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a disorder that produces muscular-skeletal pain and fatigue. In the absence of visible evidence, a well-understood cause, or effective treatment, many have questioned whether FMS is a "real" illness. Amidst the controversy, millions of women live with their very real symptoms.

Rather than taking sides in the heated debate, Kristin Barker explains how FMS represents an awkward union between the practices of modern medicine and the complexity of women's pain. Using interviews with sufferers, Barker focuses on how the idea of FMS gives meaning and order to women beset by troubling symptoms, self-doubt, and public skepticism.

The Fibromyalgia Story offers a fresh look at a controversial diagnosis; Barker avoids overly simplistic explanations and empathizes with sufferers without losing sight of the social construction of disease and its relation to modern medical practice.

Available for purchase here.

Forced Sacrifice as Ethnic Protest The Hispano Cause in New Mexico and the Racial Attitude Confrontation of 1933

Cover of  Forced Sacrifice as Ethnic Protest The Hispano Cause in New Mexico and the Racial Attitude Confrontation of 1933

Phillip B. Gonzales

Forced Sacrifice as Ethnic Protest brings to light important aspects of identity politics by introducing "forced sacrifice" as a type of protest that ethnic minorities in the United States occasionally mount, particularly against liberal regimes in public institutions. Social science concepts and the literature on social sacrifice help define a spontaneous confrontation in which the protest crowd dramatically forces the institution to dismiss – that is, to sacrifice – one of its own agents as a symbolic concession to ethnic inequality and as a way to open up social reform. The Racial Attitude Confrontation of 1933, involving the Hispanos of New Mexico, is analyzed in terms of forced sacrifice. The Hispano cause is clarified as a significant tradition of ethnic mobilization that arose in the Southwest between the 1880s and the 1930s, revealing some key symbolic and instrumental elements of identity as minority groups mobilize for their interests.

Available for purchase here.

Nonviolent Struggle: Theories, Strategies, and Dynamics

Cover of Nonviolent Struggle: Theories, Strategies, and Dynamics

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

From Gandhi's movement to win Indian independence to the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, an expanding number of citizens have used nonviolent action to win political goals. While such events have captured the public imagination, they have also generated a new surge of scholarly interest in the field of nonviolence and civil resistance studies. Although researchers have produced new empirical data, theories, and insights into the phenomenon of nonviolent struggle, the field is still quite unfamiliar to many students and scholars. 

In Nonviolent Struggle: Theories, Strategies, and Dynamics, sociologist Sharon Nepstad provides a succinct introduction to the field of civil resistance studies, detailing its genesis, key concepts and debates, and a summary of empirical findings. Nepstad depicts the strategies and dynamics at play in nonviolent struggles, and analyzes the factors that shape the trajectory and outcome of civil resistance movements. The book draws on a vast array of historical examples, including the U.S. civil rights movement, the Indonesian uprising against President Suharto, the French Huguenot resistance during World War II, and Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers. Nepstad describes both principled and pragmatic nonviolent traditions and explains various categories of nonviolent action, concluding with an assessment of areas for future research. 

Available for purchase here.

Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late Twentieth Century

Cover of Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late Twentieth Century

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Winner of the 2012 Outstanding Book Award for the American Sociological Association, Section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict

In the spring of 1989, Chinese workers and students captured global attention as they occupied Tiananmen Square, demanded political change, and were tragically suppressed by the Chinese army. Months later, East German civilians rose up nonviolently, brought down the Berlin Wall, and dismantled their regime. Although both movements used tactics of civil resistance, their outcomes were different. Why? 

In Nonviolent Revolutions, Sharon Erickson Nepstad examines these and other uprisings in Panama, Chile, Kenya, and the Philippines. Taking a comparative approach that includes both successful and failed cases of nonviolent resistance, Nepstad analyzes the effects of movements' strategies along with the counter-strategies regimes developed to retain power. She shows that a significant influence on revolutionary outcomes is security force defections, and explores the reasons why soldiers defect or remain loyal and the conditions that increase the likelihood of mutiny. She then examines the impact of international sanctions, finding that they can at times harm movements by generating new allies for authoritarian leaders or by shifting the locus of power from local civil resisters to international actors. 

Available for purchase here.

Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement

Cover of Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Winner of the 2009 Outstanding Book Award for the American Sociological Association, Section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict

As the nuclear arms race exploded in the 1980s, a group of U.S. religious pacifists used radical nonviolence to intervene. Armed with hammers, they broke into military facilities to pound on missiles and pour blood on bombers, enacting the prophet Isaiah’s vision: “Nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” Calling themselves the Plowshares movement, these controversial activists received long prison sentences; nonetheless, their movement grew and expanded to Europe and Australia. In this book, Sharon Erickson Nepstad documents the emergence and international diffusion of this unique form of high-risk collective action. Drawing on in-depth interviews, original survey research, and archival data, Nepstad explains why some Plowshares groups have persisted over time while others have struggled or collapsed. Comparing the U.S. movement with less successful Plowshares groups overseas, Nepstad reveals how decisions about leadership, organization, retention, and cultural adaptations influence movements’ long-term trajectories.

Available for purchase here.

Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement

Cover of Convictions of the Soul: Religion, Culture and Agency in the Central America Solidarity Movement

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Many U.S. Christians were profoundly moved by the liberation struggles in Central America in the 1980s. Most learned about the situation from missionaries who had worked in the area and witnessed the repression firsthand. These missionaries, Sharon Erickson Nepstad shows, employed the institutional and cultural resources of Christianity to seize the attention of American congregations and remind them of the moral obligations of their faith. Drawing on archival data and in-depth interviews with activists in ten separate solidarity organizations around the country, Nepstad offers a rich analysis of the experiences of religious leaders and church members in the solidarity movement. She explores the moral meaning of protest and the ways in which clergy used religious rituals, martyr stories, and biblical teachings to establish a link between faith and activism. She looks at the factors that transformed missionaries into skilled leaders who were able to translate the Central American conflicts into Christian themes and a religious language familiar to U.S. congregations. She also offers insights into the unique challenges of organizing on the transnational level and shows how the solidarity movement made U.S. policy towards Central America one of the most hotly contested issues in American politics during the 1980s. Unpacking the implications of her study for the field of collective action, Nepstad stresses the importance of the individual human agents who shape, and are shaped by, the structures and cultures in which they operate. She argues that working in and through the church gave supporters of solidarity moral credibility as well as a rich source of symbolic, human, and material resources that enabled them to reach across national boarders, motivating others to act upon their deeply held moral convictions. Shedding new light on the genesis and evolution of this important activist movement, Convictions of the Soul will be of interest to students and scholars of social movements, religion, and politics.

Available for purchase here.