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SOA 350: Readings in Sociological & Anthropological Literature

About this Page

This page includes a list of books approved by Prof. Rodrigues and owned by the Carney Library. You will need to search for the titles in the catalog to get the call number.  If the book you want to read is checked out, you can request it through interlibrary loan.

Remember that you're not limited to the titles listed on this page. Check out the subpage for a list of titles not owned by the Carney Library or simply search the Boston Library Consortium or Library of Congress catalogs. 

Other Approved Titles Available at the Carney Library

Myths of gender : biological theories about women and men. Fausto-Sterling, A.

Pricing beauty: The making of a fashion model. Mears, A. 

"Sociologist Ashley Mears takes us behind the brightly lit runways and glossy advertisements of the fashion industry in this insider’s study of the world of modeling. Mears, who worked as a model in New York and London, draws on observations as well as extensive interviews with male and female models, agents, clients, photographers, stylists, and others, to explore the economics and politics—and the arbitrariness— behind the business of glamour." From the publisher's description.

Promises I can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage. Edin, K. 

"Over a span of five years, sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas talked in-depth with 162 low-income single moms like Millie to learn how they think about marriage and family. Promises I Can Keep offers an intimate look at what marriage and motherhood mean to these women and provides the most extensive on-the-ground study to date of why they put children before marriage despite the daunting challenges they know lie ahead." From the publisher's description.

Shadow mothers: Nannies, au pairs, and the micropolitics of mothering. Macdonald, C.L. 

"Shadow Mothers shines new light on an aspect of contemporary motherhood often hidden from view: the need for paid childcare by women returning to the workforce, and the complex bonds mothers forge with the “shadow mothers” they hire." From the publisher's description.

Virtually virgins: Sexual strategies and cervical cancer in Recife, Brazil. Gregg, J.L. 

"While many accounts of sexuality in Brazil focus on the culturally dominant (male) point of view, this is the first account to capture women’s subjective experiences of their sexuality. It is also one of the first to show how women’s understandings of their sexuality affect their risk of contracting and experiences in dealing with diseases related to sexual behavior." From the publisher's description.

Selected List of Ethnographies Owned by the Carney Library

Professor Rodrigues has approved the following list of gender-related ethnographies owned by the Carney Library. I've included snippets of the publisher's description in order to make choosing a book a little easier. You need to search the catalog to find the call number and check on the availability (i.e., whether someone has the book checked out). 

A crisis of births: Population politics and family making in Italy. Krause, E. 

"This book tells the story of one society's remarkable experience when Italians in the late 1990s attained the lowest birthrate per women of any nation in the world. This case study draws on two years of ethnographic fieldwork over a five year period, to examine the conflicts as well as the possibility that this trend in family-making has created for an otherwise family-centered culture." From the publisher's description.

Challenging gender norms: Five genders among Bugis in Indonesia. Davies, S.J.

"This case study explores the Bugis ethnic group, native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, that recognizes five gender categories rather than the two acknowledged in most societies." From the publisher's description.

Dude, you're a fag. Pascoe, C.J.

"High school and the difficult terrain of sexuality and gender identity are brilliantly explored in this smart, incisive ethnography. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in a racially diverse working-class high school, Dude, You're a Fag sheds new light on masculinity both as a field of meaning and as a set of social practices." From the publisher's description.

Hidden heads of households: Child labor in urban northeast Brazil. Kenny, M.L.

"In the cities of Northeast Brazil where 50 per cent of the population lives in poverty, children play a key role in the local economy?in their households, in formal jobs, and in the thriving informal sector (washing cars, shining shoes, scavenging for recyclables, etc.). Why children migrate to the city, how they negotiate their existence, and why they stay are just some of the questions addressed in this fascinating study." From the publisher's description.

Hidden truth: Young men navigating lives in and out of juvenile prison. Reich, A.

"Hidden Truth takes the reader inside a Rhode Island juvenile prison to explore broader questions of how poor, disenfranchised young men come to terms with masculinity and identity." From the publisher's description

Little Brazil: An ethnography of Brazilian immigrants in New York City. Margolis, M.L.

"Showing that these immigrants belie American stereotypes, Margolis reveals that they are largely from the middle strata of Brazilian society: many, in fact, have university educations. Not driven by dire poverty or political repression, they are fleeing from chaotic economic conditions that prevent them from maintaining amiddle-class standard of living in Brazil. But despite their class origin and education, with little English and no work papers, many are forced to take menial jobs after their arrival in the United States." From the publisher's description.

Mexican New York: Transnational lives of new immigrants. Smith, R.C.

"Drawing on more than fifteen years of research, Mexican New York offers an intimate view of globalization as it is lived by Mexican immigrants and their children in New York and in Mexico. Robert Courtney Smith's groundbreaking study sheds new light on transnationalism, vividly illustrating how immigrants move back and forth between New York and their home village in Puebla with considerable ease, borrowing from and contributing to both communities as they forge new gender roles; new strategies of social mobility, race, and even adolescence; and new brands of politics and egalitarianism." From the publisher's description

Neither man nor woman: The Hijras of India. Nanda, S.

"This ethnography is a cultural study of the Hijras of India, a religious community of men who dress and act like women. It focuses on how Hijras can be used in the study of gender categories and human sexual variation." From the publisher's description. 

Siva and her sisters: Gender, caste, and class in rural South India. Kapadia, K.

 This book examines two subordinated groups—“untouchables” and women—in a village in Tamilnadu, South India. The lives and work of “untouchable” women in this village provide a unique analytical focus that clarifies the ways in which three axes of identity—gender, caste, and class—are constructed in South India." From the publisher's description on Google Books.

Veiled sentiments: Honor and poetry in a Bedouin society. Abu-Lughod, L.

"Lila Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But her analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of a system of social hierarchy." From the publisher's description. 

We have already cried many tears: Portuguese women and migration. Brettell, C. 

White saris and sweet mangoes: Aging, gender, and body in North India. Lamb, S. 

"This rich ethnography explores beliefs and practices surrounding aging in a rural Bengali village. Sarah Lamb focuses on how villagers' visions of aging are tied to the making and unmaking of gendered selves and social relations over a lifetime. Lamb uses a focus on age as a means not only to open up new ways of thinking about South Asian social life, but also to contribute to contemporary theories of gender, the body, and culture, which have been hampered, the book argues, by a static focus on youth." From the publisher's description.

Women of value, men of renown. Weiner, A.