Society, Culture and Arts

Culture – the beliefs, behaviours and objects common to the members of a particular group – is a fundamental part of the infrastructure on which our societies depend, and a wellspring from which we can reflect and reinvent when faced with the urgent need to find ways to better co-exist on our planet.

Our publishing promotes Goal 3: Good health and well-being, through recognising the role culture plays in our lives, in our most disadvantaged communities, in old age and in the making of government policy. By listening to different societies, and different cultures within those societies, we can often find new perspectives and different approaches to tackling the problems that cut across all cultures.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Society and culture, we aim to address the following goal: 

Society, Culture and Arts

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Relocations, Relationships and Resources
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Leading migration researcher Louise Ryan’s topical and intersectional book provides rich insights into migrants’ social networks.

It draws on more than 200 interviews with migrants who followed various transnational routes in every decade since the 1940s, in order to build valuable longitudinal perspectives and comparisons. With a particular focus on London, it charts how social networks are formed and sustained, how trust is developed and how social support is accessed, and explores the key opportunities and obstacles that migrants encounter.

This is a seminal fusion of migration studies and social network analysis that casts new light on both subjects, essential for those interested in immigration, ethnicity, diversity and inequalities.

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A Framework for Understanding Policy Engagement
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Rather than being seen simply as social policy implementors, in recent decades there has been increasing recognition of social workers as professionals with unique knowledge and insights to contribute to policy formulation and social justice.

This book offers a path-breaking, evidence-based theoretical framework for understanding why social workers engage in policy, both as professionals and citizens, and the impact of their actions. Drawing on concepts from social work and the political, sociological and policy sciences, the authors set out the implications of this framework for research, education and practice.

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Towards a Convivial Society
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At the heart of capitalism lies the idea of “homo economicus”: an ever-rational human being motivated by self-interest which arguably leads societies to economic prosperity.

Drawing on French sociologist Marcel Mauss’ influential theory of “the gift”, Frank Adloff shatters this fallacy to show mutual trust is the only glue that holds societies together; people are giving beings and they can cooperate for the benefit of all when the logic of all when the logic of maximizing personal gain in capitalism is broken.

Acknowledging the role of women, nature and workers in the Global South in transforming society, this book proposes a politics of conviviality, (from Latin con-vivere: living together), for global and environmental justice as an alternative to the pursuit of profit, growth and consumption.

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Responses, Impacts and Adaptation

The voluntary sector was central to the COVID-19 response: fulfilling basic needs, highlighting new and existing inequalities and coordinating action where the state had been slow to respond.

This book curates rigorous academic, policy and practice-based research into the response and adaptation of the UK voluntary sector during the pandemic. Contributions explore the ways the sector responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector’s workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries.

Written for researchers and practitioners, this book considers what the voluntary sector can learn from the pandemic to maximise its contribution in the event of future crises.

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International Perspectives
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Media representations of ageing play a role in stereotype formation and even reinforce them. Encountering these stereotypes can negatively impact the self-esteem, health status, physical wellbeing and cognitive performance of older people.

This international collection examines different dimensions of ageing and ageism in a range of media. Chapters include explorations of the UK media during the COVID-19 pandemic; age, gender and mental health in Ghana; advertising in Brazil; magazines in Canada; Taiwanese newspapers; comics, graphic novels and more.

Bringing together leading scholars, this book critically considers differences in media portrayals and how older adults use and interact with the media.

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How and Why the Arts Can Make a Difference
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How do young people develop through youth arts programs and how can these programs reflect and extend young people’s personal interests? How can youth arts support participatory democracy and social change?

Frances Howard puts forward a powerful case for the value of youth arts programs, whilst acknowledging and interrogating the complexities involved, including unequal access to provision and the class-based harm that can be inadvertently practiced within them.

Drawing on the author’s own practice experience, alongside a range of international case studies showing best practice, this grounded and accessible text will be welcome reading to academics, students and practitioners across Education, Youth and Community courses.

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The continuing coronavirus pandemic has combined with other global crises to highlight some of the fundamental challenges of inequality that currently face us. They are global both in their current configuration and their historical constitution. Similarly, any solutions to the challenges represented will be global. The continuing relevance of the social sciences will rest on their ability adequately to conceptualise the global processes involved. It is only by acknowledging the significance of the ‘colonial global’ that it will be possible to understand and address the necessarily postcolonial present that is the context for issues of inequality in the present. This article argues for the need to consider our colonial past as the basis for thinking about contemporary configurations of the global. This is followed by an address of the implications of these arguments for how we understand citizenship and belonging in the present. What is needed is a ‘reparatory social science’ committed to undoing the inadequacies that have become lodged in our disciplines and working towards a project of repair and transformation for a world that works for all of us.

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Ideas and Inspiration from the Zapatistas

This ambitious book offers radical alternatives to conventional ways of thinking about the planet’s most pressing challenges, ranging from alienation and exploitation to state violence and environmental injustice.

Bridging real-world examples of resistance and mutual aid in Zapatista territory with big-picture concepts like critical consciousness, social reproduction, and decolonisation, the authors encourage readers to view themselves as co-creators of the societies they are a part of - and ‘be Zapatistas wherever they are.’

Written by a diverse team of first-generation authors, this book offers an emancipatory set of anticolonial ideas related to both refusing liberal bystanding and collectively constructing better worlds and realities.

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This article aims to understand what happens when gender equality policies cross prison walls – a challenging domain that has traditionally been invisibilised and ignored in the scholarship on gender and politics. By analysing the formulation and post-adoption phases in Spain, four main conclusions are drawn: first, the formulation phase has been highly impacted by the absence of the feminist movement and gender experts, resulting in the adoption of traditional views about the nature and needs of women; second, the lack of knowledge about, or disagreement with, the goals of the public policies activates forms of resistance that block attempts to advance; third, the ideas included in policy documents can be ‘fixed’ in the implementation phase and can eventually shape future courses of action; and, finally, the persistent absence of the feminist movement in the post-adoption phase results in the lack of opportunities to change the course of action towards a more transformative path.

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