Category Archives: Sociology

Choice Outstanding Academic Title awards for 2014

Posted by Emily Ferro, Marketing Coordinator

Ashgate is thrilled to announce that Choice has honored three Ashgate books by naming them Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014. The recognized titles are Decolonizing Social Work; Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the secular and religious in Eastern and Western Europe; and The Ashgate Research Companion to the Thirty Years’ War. Books recognized by Choice display ‘excellence in presentation and scholarship’ and provide content of significance in their field of study. Out of the thousands of titles reviewed by Choice in 2014, only 10% were celebrated as Outstanding Academic Titles.

Decolonizing social workDecolonizing Social Work by Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, and Tiani Hetherington features articles written by Indigenous and non-Indigenous social work scholars examining local cultures, beliefs, values, and practices as central to decolonization. Choice notes that the volume is “a sturdy reminder of the vast social justice work still to do in the world.” Through careful amalgamation of the work of the essayists, Gray, Coates, Yellow Bird, and Hetherington interrogate trends, issues, and debates in Indigenous social work theory, practice methods, and education models. Choice compliments the book’s readability and its glossary, and highly recommends it to all academics, libraries, and practitioners.

Ageing ritual and social changeAgeing, Ritual and Social Change by Peter Coleman, Daniela Koleva, and Joanna Bornat explores European changes in religious and secular beliefs and practices related to life passages. “The editors and contributors deserve appreciation for undertaking this challenging comparative project,” writes Choice, calling the collection “A significant multidisciplinary contribution to the literature on aging, religion/ritual, comparative oral history, and social change.” Drawing on fascinating oral histories of older people’s memories in both Eastern and Western Europe, this book presents illuminating views on peoples’ quests for existential meaning in later life. Choice highly recommends Ageing, Ritual and Social Change for upper-division undergraduates and up.

Ashgate research companion to the thirty years warThe final book named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2014 is The Ashgate Research Companion to the Thirty Years’ War by Olaf Asbach and Peter Schröder. A comprehensive and authoritative overview of research on one of the most destructive conflicts in European history, Choice notes that this book “will serve for some time as an essential starting point for research on the origins, conduct, and legacies of the wars and the peace.” By combining the work of key international scholars, this research companion explores the complexities of the conflict using an innovative comparative approach. Choice deems this book “Essential,” recommending it to all upper-division undergraduates and up.

Congratulations to all of the honorees.

For a listing of all of our recent prizewinners, visit  

New series: Sexualities in Society, edited by Helen Hester – call for proposals

Posted by Claire Jarvis, Senior Commissioning Editor

Ashgate Publishing is delighted to announce the launch of a new series: Sexualities in Society. Edited by Helen Hester (Lecturer in Promotional Cultures at Middlesex University, UK and author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014) and co-editor of Fat Sex (Ashgate, 2015), it will offer a dedicated and much-needed space for the very best in interdisciplinary research on sex, sexualities, and twenty-first century society.

Its contemporary focus, methodological inclusivity, and international scope will provide a distinctive vantage point in terms of surveying the social organization of sexuality. It critically addresses numerous aspects of sex and sexuality, from media representations, to embodied sexual practices, to the sometimes controversial issues surrounding consent, sexual fantasy, and identity politics. It represents a critically rigorous, theoretically informed, and genuinely interdisciplinary attempt to interrogate a complex nexus of ideas regarding the ways in which sexualities inform, and are informed by, the broader sociopolitical contexts in which they emerge.

For further information about the series, including details of how to submit a proposal, please email Senior Commissioning Editor for Sociology Claire Jarvis (

Gibson Burrell awarded the Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award 2014

Gibson Burrell, Professor at the School of Management at the University of Leicester, was presented with the Joanne Martin Trailblazer award at the recent AOM meeting in Philadelphia. The award is an accolade for exceptional career achievement, and is given by the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management.

From OMTweb:

“The Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award is presented once every two years. The award recognizes scholars who have taken a leadership role in the field of OMT by opening up new lines of thinking or inquiry. A Trailblazer is a boundary-spanner and a conversation starter, someone who extends and builds the OMT community by shepherding new ideas and new scholarship, often in unconventional ways. Actions that may indicate “trailblazing” behavior include starting up or moving forward a journal or scholarly series, organizing a conference or workshop, and beginning or continuing a conversation about a set of OMT ideas.

The establishment of the award was motivated by the retirement of Joanne Martin. An important part of her legacy is that she has challenged and extended the boundaries of OMT. She was a critical voice in research on culture, and she leveraged her position in an attempt to bring feminism and critical theory into the mainstream of organization theory. Professor Martin encouraged people that wouldn’t have traditionally been considered in the mainstream of organization theory to develop ideas that did not fit into existing theories and has thus broadened the membership of OMT.”

Sociological paradigms and organisational analysisGibson Burrell is Professor of Organisation Theory at Leicester and was Head of the School of Management from 2002-7. He is co-author (with Gareth Morgan) of the classic book Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis.

Queering Fat Embodiment’s social media book tour

Posted by Michael Drapper, Marketing Executive

Queering Fat EmbodimentCongratulations to the editors of Queering Fat EmbodimentCat Pausé, Jackie Wykes, and Samantha Murray – for hosting a successful global book launch using Google Hangouts on Air! If you missed the live launch, you can watch a recording of it here.

Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation, pathologisation, and commodification of fatness, coupled with the moral panic over an alleged ‘obesity epidemic’, this volume brings together the latest scholarship from various critical disciplines to challenge existing ideas of fat and fat embodiment. Queer is a heterogeneous and multidisciplinary practice aimed at ‘bringing forth’ and thus denaturalising the taken for granted, the invisible, the normalized. This book examines the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts.

Queering Fat Embodiment is the first book to focus on the intersection of queer studies and fat studies, and promises to be a classic in its field. What could be more exciting than discussions of fat and queer fashion, desire, performance, cyberspace, and politics, as well as the fluidity of gender identity, bodies, and sexuality? It’s a great read,’ reviewed Dr Esther Rothblum, editor of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight & Society

‘Queering Fat Embodiment is an important contribution to the emerging literature of Fat Studies because it restates the necessity for radical critique and makes space for anti-assimilationist activism. The book offers an exciting balance of better-known contributors and fresh new voices and I highly recommend it to anybody interested in developing a critical understanding of fat and obesity,’ notes Dr Charlotte Cooper of The Obesity Timebomb.

Queering Fat Embodiment sheds light on the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated, and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts. Contributing authors include Katie LeBesco, Robyn Longhurst, Jenny Lee, Margitte Kristjansson, Stefanie Jones, Kimberly Dark, James Burford, Sam Orchard, Scott Beattie and Zoë Meleo-Erwin.

The editors are currently conducting a social media book tour, with stops along the way on blogs, online magazines, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and more! If you’d like to follow along the tour, tour stops are updated here.

Understanding the Tea Party Movement

Understanding the Tea Party MovementUnderstanding the Tea Party Movement is edited by Nella Van Dyke, University of California, Merced, USA, and David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine, USA

‘With the rise and now potential decline of the Tea Party movement, we have been sorely in need of a volume explaining this pivotal early 21st century conservative mobilization. With Van Dyke and Meyer’s edited volume, containing chapters written by scholars foremost in their field, we now have the definitive source on this fascinating and important social movement.’   Holly McCammon, Vanderbilt University, USA

‘When the Tea Party movement erupted, it challenged mainstream politics and scholars: where did the Tea Party’s resources come from? Who were its supporters? What defined their goals and identities? In this volume, some of the most insightful scholars of social movements today provide convincing answers to these questions. Better than any other, this volume shows why the Tea Party emerged and how it has reshaped the political landscape.’   Jack A. Goldstone, George Mason University, USA

Hailing themselves as heirs to the American Revolution, the Tea Party movement staged tax day protests in over 750 US cities in April 2009, quickly establishing a large and volatile social movement. Tea Partiers protested at town hall meetings about health care across the country in August, leading to a large national demonstration in Washington on September 12, 2009.

The movement spurred the formation (or redefinition) of several national organizations and many more local groups, and emerged as a strong force within the Republican Party. Self-described Tea Party candidates won victories in the November 2010 elections.

Even as activists demonstrated their strength and entered government, the future of the movement’s influence, and even its ultimate goals, are very much in doubt. In 2012, Barack Obama, the movement’s prime target, decisively won re-election, Congressional Republicans were unable to govern, and the Republican Party publicly wrestled with how to manage the insurgency within.

Although there is a long history of conservative movements in America, the library of social movement studies leans heavily to the left. The Tea Party movement, its sudden emergence and its uncertain fate, provides a challenge to mainstream American politics. It also challenges scholars of social movements to reconcile this new movement with existing knowledge about social movements in America.

Understanding the Tea Party Movement addresses these challenges by explaining why and how the movement emerged when it did, how it relates to earlier eruptions of conservative populism, and by raising critical questions about the movement’s ultimate fate.

About the Editors:

Nella Van Dyke is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced, USA. She is the editor of Strategic Alliances: Coalition Building and Social Movements.

David S. Meyer is Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of California, Irvine, USA. He is the author of The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America and editor of Routing the Opposition: Social Movements, Public Policy, and Democracy in America and Social Movements: Identity, Culture, and the State.

Contributors: Rory McVeigh; Tina Fetner; Brayden G. King; Paul Almeida, Nella Van Dyke; David S. Meyer, Amanda Pullum, Abby Scher, Chip Berlet; Deana A. Rohlinger, Jesse Klein; Ruth Braunstein.

Recent reviews by the LSE Review of Books

The LSE Review of Books regularly features Ashgate titles. It’s a fantastic site for book reviews in general, and covers a wide range of social science topics, including sociology, politics and IR, architecture, planning, gender studies, to name just a few.

Recent reviews of Ashgate books include:

Dynamics of Political Violence: A Process-Oriented Perspective on Radicalisation and the Escalation of Political Conflict, edited by Lorenzo Bosi, Chares Demetriou and Stefan Malthaner

Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency by Scott Gates and Kaushik Roy

The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design, by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection: Cosmetic Surgery, Weight Loss and Beauty in Popular Culture by Deborah Harris-Moore

The Impact of Racism on African American Families: Literature as Social Science by Paul C. Rosenblatt

The Greening of ArchitectureUnconventional warfare in south asiaThe impact of racism on african american familiesDynamics of political violence

For more reviews visit the LSE Review of Books

Toward a Green Criminological Revolution

Exploring Green CriminologyIn their new book Exploring Green Criminology: Toward a Green Criminological Revolution, Michael J. Lynch and Paul B. Stretesky call for criminologists to take green harms more seriously, and for the discipline of criminology to be revolutionized so that it forms part of the solution to the large environmental problems currently faced across the world.

‘In this book two pioneers of Green Criminology show how the perspective can enrich traditional criminology and make it more relevant to a world in danger. This is an impressive and important work, recommended to anyone with an interest in green issues and the future of criminology or the planet.’   Nigel South, University of Essex, UK

‘Lynch and Stretesky’s call for a revolution in criminology that would redirect the field away from its historic attention to personal crimes and toward the far graver threats posed by blameworthy environmental wrongdoing is a must read for any criminologist who hopes to remain relevant to the future of our planet.’   Raymond J. Michalowski, Northern Arizona University, USA

‘In Exploring Green Criminology, Lynch and Stretesky lay out an ambitious framework and research agenda for the future of green criminology. In this groundbreaking work, they demonstrate how traditional criminology must adapt, if it is to remain relevant in an era of human history that is replete with environmental crime.’   Michael A. Long, Oklahoma State University, USA

Here is an edited extract of Chapter 1 of Exploring Green Criminology:

The earth is being destroyed as we watch, often as we do too little to stop the destruction. Today, for example, the Global Footprint Network estimates that it takes the earth one and one-half years to regenerate the resources that we have extracted from the earth in a year. This means that we are using the earth’s resources at a greater rate than is sustainable.

Unfortunately unsustainable business practices have been occurring since the early 1980s and are accelerating at such a rapid rate that we will consume nearly three times what the earth can regenerate annually by the year 2050 (Global Footprint Network, 2013). To be sure, there are those who take note of these alarming trends and are doing something to work toward sustainability. But, the efforts of a few individuals when compared to the majority of the human race are too little to overcome the devastating and unsustainable forces humans unleash on the planet. Thus we hide our head in the sand. We hope that divine intervention1 or the next generation can prevent the impending ecological calamity. However, there may not be too many more next generations and time is running out to take care of the problem.

It is not our intention to write about the general neglect of environmental problems within society at large. Rather, our topic is much more limited, and is in many ways simply a microcosm of these broader social tendencies to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear toward environmental problems. In the scheme of things, the small area we address in this work appears to have little relevance to the vast problems of ecological destruction that lay before us as humans. Yet, that is, perhaps, precisely the point. All these small situations and contexts sum together to create our unsustainable and devastating behavior that result in massive ecological destruction. Since many people believe that the big ecological problems of the world are too big to tackle, the alternative is to approach these problems at smaller levels of aggregation. The hope is that changing each small situation will lead to large-scale change. Whether or not that is true is hard to determine and it is entirely possible that small change is an inefficient and ineffective strategy to prevent large-scale global harm.

We, as criminologists, are concerned with the general neglect of ecological issues in criminology. We are concerned with teaching people lessons about crime, law and justice within the context of our biosphere. Indeed, a small number of criminologists continually call attention to the fact that criminology neglects widespread and important forms of harm such as green or environmental crimes. And still other criminologists suggest that these green crimes present the most important challenge to criminology as a discipline. As criminologists, we are not simply concerned that our discipline continues to neglect green issues, we are disturbed by the fact that as a discipline, criminology is unable to perceive the wisdom of taking green harms more seriously, and the need to reorient itself in ways that make it part of the solution to the large global environmental problems we now face as the species that produces those problems.

We expect that most criminologists will reject the idea that they ought to be paying greater attention to the problems of green crimes and justice. After all, the history of criminology as a discipline is the history of an academic field devoted to the study of ordinary forms of street offending and efforts to control those offenses. In our view, these offenses and their consequences are quite small in comparison to the forms of environmental destruction taking place in the world around us. Yes, people are hurt by crime—but those are small hurts when one considers them in comparison to the end of humanity.

As criminologists we are dissatisfied to be part of a discipline that has become rather meaningless within the context of the modern world. The meaninglessness of criminology in that context will not change overnight, and this book may have little impact on that situation. Yet, at the same time, we feel that it is our obligation to propose that this situation needs to change, and to outline the ways in which criminologists can actively engage in research of importance in the contemporary world.

While the research of criminologists is unlikely to change the world, any small step forward that addresses green crime and justice is a step in the right direction, and contributes to changing the social attitudes and practices needed to help reform the behaviors that have produced the ecologically damaging situation in which we now find ourselves. While our book is no solution to the ecological problems of our times, it exposes a way of thinking that pushes the discipline of criminology closer to being relevant in the modern context of ecological destruction.

To take this step forward, this book explores the parameters of green criminology, its theory and practice, and why environmental issues ought to become more central to the study of crime, law, and justice, or, more specifically, an integral part of criminological research and the criminological imagination.

We argue that if harm is the primary concern addressed by criminology—that is, if criminology exists as a science designed to understand, address, reduce, or eliminate crime in the hope of reducing or eliminating harms and to promote justice for humans, nonhumans, and the environment—then criminologists need to recreate criminology, redesign its focus, open it to new understandings of harms and crimes, criminals, laws, corrective responses to crime and harms, victims, and justice.

But how do we redesign criminology to consider environmental harm as an important area of study in an era when the destruction of the earth and the world’s ecosystem is the predominant concern of our times? And, if we are correct in stating that this has yet to happen, we must ask why this has not been accomplished given that this situation has been known for quite some time.

The how question comprises a large section of this work, and is illustrated in various chapters that apply an environmental frame of reference that underlies a green approach to issues that can be addressed within criminology.

Taking this environmental frame of reference as the starting point and applying it to criminological issues is the substance of green criminology. Such a perspective helps us to see criminology in a new way that is only apparent once this green environmental frame of reference is adopted.

Read the whole of chapter one on Ashgate’s website

About the Authors:

Michael J. Lynch is a professor in the department of criminology, and associated faculty in the Patel School of Global Sustainability, at the University of South Florida. He has been engaged in research on green criminology since 1990. His other interests include radical criminology, racial bias in criminal justice processes, and corporate crime and its control. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology.

Paul B. Stretesky is a Professor of Criminology in the Department of Languages and Social Science at Northumbria University. In addition to his research on green criminology, he is engaged in research on families of homicide victims and missing persons, and the study of environmental justice. He is co-author of Guns, Violence and Criminal Behavior: Accounts from the Inside as well as Environmental Crime, Law and Justice.

Exploring Green Criminology: Toward a Green Criminological Revolution is published in Ashgate’s Green Criminology series