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The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City provides a comprehensive study of current and future urban issues on a global and local scale. Premised on an ‘engaged’ approach to urban anthropology, the volume adopts a thematic approach that covers a wide range of modern urban issues, with a particular focus on those of high public interest. Topics covered include security, displacement, social justice, privatisation, sustainability, and preservation. Offering valuable insight into how anthropologists investigate, make sense of, and then address a variety of urban issues, each chapter covers key theoretical and methodological concerns alongside rich ethnographic case study material. The volume is an essential reference for students and researchers in urban anthropology, as well as of interest for those in related disciplines, such as urban studies, sociology, and geography.
Triathlons, such as the famously arduous Ironman Triathlon, and “extreme” mountain biking—hair-raising events held over exceedingly dangerous terrain—are prime examples of the new “lifestyle sports” that have grown in recent years from oddball pursuits, practiced by a handful of characters, into multi-million-dollar industries. In Why Would Anyone Do That? sociologist Stephen C. Poulson offers a fascinating exploration of these new and physically demanding sports, shedding light on why some people find them so compelling. Drawing on interviews with lifestyle sport competitors, on his own experience as a participant, on advertising for lifestyle sport equipment, and on editorial content of adventure sport magazines, Poulson addresses a wide range of issues. He notes that these sports are often described as “authentic” challenges which help keep athletes sane given the demands they confront in their day-to-day lives. But is it really beneficial to “work” so hard at “play?” Is the discipline required to do these sports really an expression of freedom, or do these sports actually impose extraordinary degrees of conformity upon these athletes? Why Would Anyone Do That? grapples with these questions, and more generally with whether lifestyle sport should always be considered “good” for people. Poulson also looks at what happens when a sport becomes a commodity—even a sport that may have begun as a reaction against corporate and professional sport—arguing that commodification inevitably plays a role in determining who plays, and also how and why the sport is played. It can even help provide the meaning that athletes assign to their participation in the sport. Finally, the book explores the intersections of race, class, and gender with respect to participation in lifestyle and endurance sports, noting in particular that there is a near complete absence of people of color in most of these contests. In addition, Poulson examines how concepts of masculinity in triathlons have changed as women’s roles in this sport increase.
The world of sports is often associated with commercialism, corruption, and reckless competition. Liberals have objected to sport being used for political propaganda, and leftists have decried its role in distracting the masses from the class struggle. Yet, since the beginning of organized sports, athletes, fans, and officials have tried to administer and play it in ways that strengthen, rather than hinder, progressive social change. From the workers' sports movement in the early 20th century to the civil rights struggle transforming sports in the 1960s to the current global network of grassroots sports clubs, there has been a glowing desire to include sports in the struggle for liberation and social justice. With the help of numerous full-color illustrations—from posters and leaflets to paintings and photographs—Playing as if the World Mattered makes this history tangible and introduces an understanding of sports beyond chauvinistic jingoism, corporate-media chat rooms, and multibillion-dollar business deals.
As Evan Friss shows in his mordant history of urban bicycling in the late nineteenth century, the bicycle has long told us much about cities and their residents. In a time when American cities were chaotic, polluted, and socially and culturally impenetrable, the bicycle inspired a vision of an improved city in which pollution was negligible, transport was noiseless and rapid, leisure spaces were democratic, and the divisions between city and country blurred. Friss focuses not on the technology of the bicycle but on the urbanisms that bicycling engendered. Bicycles altered the look and feel of cities and their streets, enhanced mobility, fueled leisure and recreation, promoted good health, and shrank urban spaces as part of a larger transformation that altered the city and the lives of its inhabitants, even as the bicycle's own popularity fell, not to rise again for a century.
This volume presents new theoretical approaches, methodologies, subject pools, and topics in the field of environmental anthropology. Environmental anthropologists are increasingly focusing on self-reflection - not just on themselves and their impacts on environmental research, but also on the reflexive qualities of their subjects, and the extent to which these individuals are questioning their own environmental behavior. Here, contributors confront the very notion of "natural resources" in granting non-human species their subjectivity and arguing for deeper understanding of "nature," and "wilderness" beyond the label of "ecosystem services." By engaging in interdisciplinary efforts, these anthropologists present new ways for their colleagues, subjects, peers and communities to understand the causes of, and alternatives to environmental destruction. This book demonstrates that environmental anthropology has moved beyond the construction of rural, small group theory, entering into a mode of solution-based methodologies and interdisciplinary theories for understanding human-environmental interactions. It is focused on post-rural existence, health and environmental risk assessment, on the realm of alternative actions, and emphasizes the necessary steps towards preventing environmental crisis.
"The NFL is the first collection of critical essays to focus attention on the NFL as a cultural force. The contributors and editors explore how the NFL is packaged for commercial consumption, the league's influence on American identity, and its relationship to state and cultural militarism, to provide a fuller understanding of football's role in shaping contemporary sport, media, and everyday life." -- back cover.