Tag Archives: Social Sciences

The Book of Joy

Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

51zclmrv8nlBy His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams
Call Number: BL 65 .H36 B78 2016
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Two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

Evicted

Poverty and Profit in the American City

41c15bznmhl-_sx315_bo1204203200_By Matthew Desmond
Call Number: HD7287.96.U6 D47 2016
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The author takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the 20 dollars a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality– and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Try this Ultimate Guide to the World!

Global Road Warrior is a fantastic resource for getting all the information you would want about a country, but in an easily digestible form.  While there is plenty of useful information for those who plan on traveling to a foreign country, there are also a multitude of facts that can help in any paper or project.  Global Road Warrior lists everything from basic facts about a country’s geography, history, and demographics to more detailed sociological aspects such as the structure of their education system, common national recipes, religious beliefs, and how women are treated in business and culture.  For each of the over 150 countries listed, Global Road Warrior provides a snapshot of a foreign culture that helps to better understand life in that country.

Imagine for a moment that you wanted to write a paper that examines the way governments are structured in various Eastern European countries.  Taking Belarus for example, we can see a whole host of information including when the people achieved independence and drafted their constitution, what sort of legal system the government operates under, and what offices comprise the three branches of government, as well as the names of major representatives.

Perhaps you are a culinary student who wants to know what sort of Caribbean recipes you could add to your repertoire.  By looking into the Trinidad and Tobago page, you can get a quick description of which culinary traditions came to influence this country’s cuisine, as well as several recipes for how to prepare them.  You now have everything you need to fix a batch of accra, salted cod fritters seasoned with onion, hot peppers, and chives, or perhaps sancoche, a stew containing yams, tannia, eddoes, taro, cassava, bananas, potatoes, pumpkin, and plantains.

Maybe you find yourself working with a local organization that helps Burmese immigrants that have left Myanmar.  You want to get a better picture of their culture, specifically about how the culture views women.  The Global Road Warrior page for Myanmar gives details about marriage traditions, including the fact that family names are not common and that a married woman will keep her own surname.  You learn that women typically run the household, and they are able to choose who they marry as well as initiate divorce.  It is not uncommon for Burmese women to work, especially in the field of teaching or nursing, but if this is the case, she still maintains the household or the responsibility falls on the maternal grandmother.  You can see how knowing these dynamics could help when learning how to understand the day-to-day concerns of a Burmese family who has immigrated to the United States.

These are just a few examples, but you can see how Global Road Warrior surfaces droves of useful information about nearly anywhere in the world with just a few clicks.  It should also be noted that for anyone who plans on traveling, the sections that detail which immunizations get, general safety concerns, and contact information for embassies and consulates in foreign countries are a must-have for the prepared traveler.  Any time you have a project that involves another culture, country, or even our own demographics here in the U.S., remember that you can access Global Road Warrior through the Ivy Tech Northeast Library. (By Library Clerk, David Winn)

Winning Marriage : The Inside Story Of How Same-Sex Couples Took On The Politicians And Pundits — And Won / by Marc Solomon

Call number: HQ1035.U5 S65 2014

 Ten years ago no state allowed same-sex couples to marry, support for gay marriage nationwide hovered around 30 percent, and politicians everywhere thought of it as the third rail of American politics—draw near at your peril. Today, same-sex couples can marry in seventeen states, polls consistently show majority support, and nearly three-quarters of Americans believe legalization is inevitable.

In Winning Marriage Marc Solomon, a veteran leader in the movement for marriage equality, gives the reader a seat at the strategy-setting and decision-making table in the campaign to win and protect the freedom to marry. With depth and grace he reveals the inner workings of the advocacy movement that has championed and protected advances won in legislative, court, and electoral battles over the decade since the landmark Massachusetts ruling guaranteeing marriage for same-sex couples for the first time.
From the gritty battles in the state legislatures of Massachusetts and New York to the devastating loss at the ballot box in California in 2008 and subsequent ballot wins in 2012 to the joyous victories of securing President Obama’s support and prevailing in the Supreme Court, Marc Solomon has been at the center of one of the great civil and human rights movements of our time. Winning Marriage recounts the struggle with some of the world’s most powerful forces—the Catholic hierarchy, the religious right, and cynical ultraconservative political operatives—and the movement’s eventual triumph. (From B&N)

Kings Park DVD

A groundbreaking new documentary

On June 21, 1967, at the age of 17, Lucy Winer was committed to the female violent ward of Kings Park State Hospital following a series of failed suicide attempts. Over 30 years later, now a veteran documentary filmmaker, Lucy returns to Kings Park for the first time since her discharge. Her journey back sparks a decade-long effort to face her past and learn the story of the now abandoned institution that once held her captive. Her meetings with other former patients, their families, and the hospital staff reveal the painful legacy of our state hospital system and the crisis left by its demise.

100 people who changed 20th-century America / Mary Cross, editor

Call number: CT220 .A16 2013

100 People Who Changed 20th-Century America provides a two-volume encyclopedia of the individuals whose contributions to society made the 20th century what it was. Comprising contributions from 20 academics and experts in their field, the thought-provoking essays examine the men and women who have shaped the modern American cultural experience – change agents who defined their time period as a result of their talent, imagination, and enterprise. Organized chronologically by the subjects’ birthdates, the essays are written to accessible to the general reader yet provide in-depth information for scholars, ensuring that the work will appeal to many audiences.  (From Google Books)