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Legal Intimidation

: Donson, Fiona.

SLAPPS (strategic lawsuits against public participation), well known in the United States of America, are on the increase in the United Kingdom. SLAPPS are court actions taken by powerful or wealthy individuals or organizations against ordinary people who seek to express their views and to take part in the decision-making processes which affect their lives. Their effect is meant to “chill” through legal intimidation – to stop the critics and end the debates. A steady growth of SLAPPS has occurred where government and business see their interests being threatened by those who dare to rock the boat. The court case becomes a weapon in a larger political war, tying people up in court rooms, sapping their energy and money, carrying the fear of severe legal sanction. In this way the law is used not to protect a valid legal claim but rather to frighten and silence those who are bold enough to criticize, question and speak out. Looking at various high-profile cases the author, Fiona Donson, considers both the theory and practice of attacks upon free speech in a modern democracy. In the new era of human rights in the United Kingdom the author poses important questions about what the use of such legal actions tells us about the health of our democracy at the turn of the millennium. Read more…

Anti-racist Science Teaching

: Gill, Dawn, Levidow, Lev.

An important contribution by Dawn Gill and Les Levidow to the topical debate on multi-cultural education. The papers extend from general issues about science, nature and race to practical teaching guides and suggested projects, and offer proposals for an anti-racist curriculum. “This book should be essential reading for all science teachers who are concerned to place their role in a wider social context.” New Scientist “This is an extremely informative book which should be read by everyone involved in science education. It shatters the myth that science is objective knowledge by analysing how racism permeates science and science teaching. Read more…

Sodom and Gomorrah: On the Everyday Reality and Persecution of Homosexuals in the Middle Ages

: Hergemoller, Bernd-Ulrich.

Bernd-Ulrich Hergemoller provides an account of the lives, suffering and everyday reality of homosexual men in Europe between AD 500 and AD 1500. The author begins by tracing the development of criminal law from the Romans to the beginnings of modern Europe, and goes on to explore the differences and similarities in approaches towards homosexuality in past cultures. Legal cases in Germany and Italy are reviewed and the first English language translation of 15th century documents relating to same-sex trials in Cologne provide insight into prevailing attitudes. Read more…

Techno-sexual Landscapes

: Cleminson, Richard; Gordo-Lopez, Angel.

At first sight, to ask how sex has been influenced by technology over time may appear to be a perplexing question. There is no doubt about the current importance of the new technologies of reproduction, sex-change operations, and the passion that electronic chat-rooms incite. However, it might be argued, this is surely a recent phenomenon and the past has little to reveal about “techno-sexual” relations. Richard Cleminson and Angel Gordo-Lopez’s book draws on a number of examples of “productive” relations between technology and sexuality: the technical and sexual organisation of medieval monasteries, the moral and erotic transgression afforded by the early wind and water mill, and the romances forged in the context of the train. The authors focus on three main eras: the medieval period (around the 11th century with its monasteries as sites of technical innovation and heretical religious movements on the borders of Christianity); early modernity (from the time of the European “discoveries” and the creation of “others” including the natives of South America and the witch); and the present and the technologically-mediated future. What might be the connection between mills, navigation techniques and trains and the realm of sexuality? How does the government of sexuality and socio-economic relations in the 16th century across distances find resonance in cyberspace? Once the question of technology and sexuality has been placed in a long-term perspective, the reader is invited to reconsider relations often brushed aside, or devalued for their connection with “low”, popular or quotidian culture, practices and spaces. Acknowledging the uncomfortable social fact of “techno-sexuality” as a quotidian experience allows us to recuperate a range of often discounted or forgotten social actors, movements and landscapes. Read more…

The Body as Mirror of the World

: Chasseguet-Smirgel, J.

Is today’s thinking conditioned by body-mind dualism? A rebellion against the biological order seems to have silently infiltrated our world view. Suicide bombers appear to share the fascination with destruction, of writers such as Mishima, Pasolini and Foucault. A liberation from the body to re-establish a – possibly mystical – union of soul and cosmos and an assertion of the mind’s omnipotence appear to be common features of forms of behaviour that seem to be taken for granted in contemporary thought. Is the new misogyny, which rejects motherhood in the name of feminism, contributing in any way to these trends? This review of our society by a woman psychoanalyst – a non-medic and graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris – presents a sharp and rigorous analysis of the strange and violent mechanisms that are erupting in the world today. Read more…

Playing the Love Market: Dating, Romance and the Real World

: Cameron, Samuel; Collins, Alan

This book directly addresses the question of what is causing people, regardless of their sexuality to use more commercial means of searching for potential partners. The authors, Samuel Cameron and Alan Collins do this in a straightforward, realistic but generally neglected view by psychologists, sociologists, and other personal relationship professionals. They investigate the effectiveness and personal cost of searching for partners by different methods; how people trade off age, physical attractiveness and financial resources against each other; the risks of different dating methods; and the differences in the market for same-sex dating partners. While existing studies and guides to the dating process typically bypass the simple, inescapable and essential features of the way human beings proceed to instigate and assess relationships, the bottom line is that there is a market for potential relationship partners, in which individuals have to function to acquire dates. Like any market there is a supply and demand for the ‘good’ in question. This book shows how simple economic reasoning can explain many of the characteristics of the market for dating partners, and also suggest strategies for effective participation in this market. Read more…

AIDS, Africa and Racism

: Chirimuuta, Rosalind; Chirimuuta

This book demonstrates the racist preconceptions that have guided the collection of evidence on AIDS in Africa and is a response to the alleged African origins of AIDS. The authors, Richard  & Rosalind Chirimuuta have added a substantial postscript for this edition. In it they point out that even though several Western researchers have withdrawn some of their evidence and specific claims, they still attempt to substantiate racist hypotheses. Read more…

The Politics of Attachment: Towards a Secure Society

: Kraemer, Sebastian; Roberts, Jane

Growing insecurity and uncertainty seem to characterise the human condition at the end of the twentieth century. The contributors to The Politics of Attachment, edited by Sebastian Kraemer and  Jane Roberts – are all distinguished authorities from a variety of backgrounds in public, professional and academic life – sharing a common conviction that we all have a powerful need to belong, to be attached to people, places and projects, and that social and political processes must reflect that. The writers draw on recent research and debate in developmental psychology and political science to provide a unique dialogue between the psychological and the social – a political grasp of ordinary human needs. Read more…

Cyborg Worlds: The Military Information Society

: Levidow, Lev

Lev Levidow has been Managing Editor of Science as Culture since its inception in 1987, and of its predecessor, the Radical Science Journal. He is Research Fellow at the Open University. He has been involved in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Collection of 7 essays + Introduction on military technology, cyborg soldiers, infotech, the post-Fordist interface between man & machine, automated war, & much more. Read more…

Collaborative creativity: Contemporary perspectives

: Miell, Dorothy

The contributors to this volume adopt a socio-cultural approach to understanding collaborative creativity across a wide range of domains such as music composition, business, school-based creative writing and art, fashion design, theatre production and web-based academic collaborations. Central to the socio-cultural approach to creativity is the recognition that it is a fundamentally social process. It thus follows that, if we are to understand and characterise human creativity, we need to examine the cultural, institutional and interpersonal contexts that support and sustain such activity. We also need to understand how cultural tools and technologies resource collaborative creativity. The volume offers a distinctive and valuable contribution to this growing field of scholarship by presenting new empirical findings, reviews and critiques of existing literature together with suggestions for how this field should develop. Edited by Dorothy Miell and Karen Littleton. Read more…