As recently as the early 1970s, the news media was one of the most respected institutions in the United States. Yet by the 1990s, this trust had all but evaporated. Why has confidence in the press declined so dramatically over the past 40 years? And has this change shaped the public’s political behavior? This book examines waning public trust in the institutional news media within the context of the American political system and looks at how this lack of confidence has altered the ways people acquire political information and form electoral preferences.
Drawing on historical evidence, experiments, and public opinion surveys, this book shows that in a world of endless news sources, citizens’ trust in institutional media is more important than ever before. (description from publisher)
Pop Music Pop Culture
ML3470 .R64 2011
What is happening to pop music and pop culture? Synthesizers, samplers and MDI systems have allowed anyone with basic computing skills to make music. Exchange is now automatic and weightless with the result that the High Street record store is dying. MySpace, Twitter and You Tubeare now more important publicity venues for new bands than the concert tour routine. Unauthorized consumption in the form of illegal downloading has created a financial crisis in the industry. The old postwar industrial planning model of pop, which centralized control in the hands of major record corporations, and divided the market into neat segments, is dissolving in front of our eyes.
This book offers readers a comprehensive guide to understanding pop music today. It provides a clear survey of the field and a description of core concepts. The main theoretical approaches to the analysis of pop are described and critically assessed. The book includes a major investigation of the revolutionary changes in the production, exchange and consumption of pop music that are currently underway.
Pop Music, Pop Culture is an accomplished, magnetically interesting guide to understanding pop music today. (description from publisher)
UN Peacekeeping in Africa
JZ4997.5 .A A34 2011
Nearly half of all UN peacekeeping missions in the post Cold War era have been in Africa, and the continent currently hosts the greatest number (and also the largest) of such missions in the world. Uniquely assessing five decades of UN peacekeeping in Africa, Adekeye Adebajo focuses on a series of questions: What accounts for the resurgence of UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa after the Cold War? What are the factors that have determined the success, or contributed to the failure, of the missions? Does the mandating of so many peacekeeping missions signify the failure of Africa s regional security organizations? And, crucially, how can a new division of labor be established between the UN and Africa s security organizations to more effectively manage conflicts on the continent?
Adebajo s historically informed approach provides an in-depth analysis of the key domestic, regional, and external factors that shaped the outcomes of fifteen UN missions, offering critical lessons for future peacekeeping efforts in Africa and beyond. (description from publisher)
Parting Ways: New Rituals & Celebrations of Life’s passing
BF789 .D4 C32 2011
Parting Ways explores the emergence of new end-of-life rituals in America that celebrate the dying and reinvent the roles of family and community at the deathbed. Denise Carson contrasts her father’s passing in the 1980s, governed by the structures of institutionalized death, with her mother’s death some two decades later. Carson’s moving account of her mother’s dying at home vividly portrays a ceremonial farewell known as a living wake, showing how it closed the gap between social and biological death while opening the door for family and friends to reminisce with her mother. Carson also investigates a variety of solutions–living funerals, oral ethical wills, and home funerals–that revise the impending death scenario. Integrating the profoundly personal with the objectively historical, Parting Ways calls for an “end of life revolution” to change the way of death in America. (description from publisher)
PR5824 .R57 2011
‘If literature, as Oscar Wilde once claimed, is not read at all, then either his work is not literature or Ruth Robbins has proved him wrong in this wonderfully original and provocative, deeply insightful critical account and appreciation of the text of Wilde. More than merely introductory—though Robbins’ study is the single most indispensable inauguration to the Wildean oeuvre I’ve had the fortune to read—here is a radically challenging, beautifully written, and intimately perceptive reading of Wilde. Robbins’ Oscar Wilde will, I have no doubt, set the agenda for thinking about Wilde again and, what is more to the point, astutely and intelligently. As Ruth Robbins demonstrates on every page with perceptive insight, wit and aplomb, the truth is rarely pure and never simple, but, in readings such as this, as rare as they are necessary, it is the truth—the truth of Wilde and the truth that only the literary and reading can effect—which appears everywhere. As Henry David Thoreau might have observed had he had the chance to read Oscar Wilde, read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. Oscar Wilde is one of those books.’ (Julian Wolfreys, Professor of Modern Literature and Culture, Loughborough University, author of Literature, in Theory )