This book explores software's pivotal role as the code that powers computers, mobile devices, the Internet, and social media. Creating conditions for the ongoing development and use of software, including the Internet as a communications infrastructure, is one of the most compelling issues of our time. Free software is based upon open source code, developed in peer communities as well as corporate settings, challenging the dominance of proprietary software firms and promoting the digital commons. Drawing upon key cases and interviews with free software proponents based in Europe, Brazil and the U.S., the book explores pathways toward creating the digital commons and examines contemporary political struggles over free software, privacy and civil liberties on the Internet that are vital for the commons' continued development.
James V. Spickard
Th e sociology of religion has long used Western Christianity as a model for all religious life. As a result, the fi eld has tended to highlight certain aspects of religion, such as religious beliefs and formal organizations, while paying less attention to others.
Rather than simply criticizing such limitations, Alternative Sociologies of Religion off ers three fresh and intriguing possibilities. James Spickard imagines what the sociology of religion would look like had it arisen in diff erent cultural contexts. What would sociologists of religion better see, had they been raised in Confucian China? What could they learn about religion from Ibn Khaldūn, the famed 14th century Arab scholar? What would they better understand, had they been born Navajo, whose traditional religion certainly does not revolve around beliefs and organizations? Th rough these thought experiments, Spickard demonstrates how non-Western sociologies would be better prepared to understand such factors as who maintains religious communities, the relationship between religion and ethnicity as forms of social solidarity, and the role of embodied experience in religious rituals. Moreover, he shows how thinking in these ways illuminates characteristics of Western religions that have largely been invisible to sociologists working in the dominant manner. Th e book situates these alternatives in a broader critique of sociology, prompted by scholars from the Global South. It concludes by highlighting the consequences of a Euro-centric view of intellectual life, calling for a more global perspective in the social sciences. Th rough broadening the sociological canon to make room for more voices, the volume off ers a stimulating challenge for the contemporary study of religion.
James V. Spickard
Research Basics: Design to Data Analysis in Six Steps offers a fresh and creative approach to the research process based on author James V. Spickard’s decades of teaching experience. Using an intuitive six-step model, readers learn how to craft a research question and then identify a logical process for answering it. Conversational writing and multi-disciplinary examples illuminate the model’s simplicity and power, effectively connecting the “hows” and “whys” behind social science research. Students using this book will learn how to turn their research questions into results
Religion Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Religious Dynamics in Africa and the New African Diaspora
Afe Adogame and James V. Spickard
Over the past twenty years, major change has taken place in the nature of migration in global society. The predominant pattern since at least the 18th-century had been for peoples to move to and settle in Western countries permanently, with relatively little substantive interchange with their former homelands. They adopted the modes of articulation characteristic of their new societies (a process expressed with respect to the USA, for example, as 'Americanization'). This pattern has now changed, and there is considerable interaction between homeland and migrant peoples. One of the places where this has become especially important is in religious exchanges between Africa and the West. While some negative effects of this process may grab headlines, there have also been extensive positive interactions, not least among African peoples, especially with respect to Pentecostal and allied religious movements. The chapters in this edited book illustrate the variety of these exchanges.
James V. Spickard, J Shawn Landres, and Meredith B. McGuire
Over the last decade, the sociology of religion and religious studies have experienced a surge of ethnographic research. Scholars now use ethnography, as anthropologists have long done, as a valued source of knowledge from which they draw their pictures of the religious world. Yet, many researchers of religion have yet to grapple with the issues that are changing anthropologists' use of the method. This edited collection provides an overview of recent debates while also pushing them in new directions. In addition, it offers a critique of some of anthropology's reigning conceptualizations.
Paul R. Spickard, James V. Spickard, and Kevin M. Cragg
This text is a survey of excerpts from the work of some of the major historians since the dawn of written history. The authors have included introductions to each excerpt giving some geographical and historical context, as well as discussing the types of information and ways of thinking that inform each historian's view of the world. These selections provide the reader the opportunity to contemplate the nature and purposes of history as it has been practiced by people from many different tradition and in many eras. This text can be used in the undergraduate Historical Methods course or as a supplement in the Western and World History courses.