Book Beat

Recent publications by members of the UF faculty

Martyrdom and the Politics of Religion

(SUNY Press) by Anna L. Peterson (Religion). (review taken from book jacket) Martyrdom and the Politics of Religion explores the ways that Salvadoran Catholics sought to make sense of political violence in their country in the 1970s and 1980s by constructing a theological ethics that could both explain repression in religious terms and propose specific responses to violence. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the book highlights the ways that progressive Catholicism offered a justification and tools for political resistance in the face of extraordinary destruction. By highlighting the importance of theological belief, of narrative, and of religious rationality in political mobilization, it touches questions of general interest to readers concerned with the social role of religion and ethics.

(Excerpt) The actual ideas of laypeople have received little attention in work on religion in Latin America.....for all the talk about the theology 'born of the people,' we have yet to see much theology or ethics in the specific terms, or even the basic framework, used by ordinary believers. I hope this book can make a start towards filling this gap by detailing a sophisticated, complex, and compelling popular belief system.

Everyday Sexism in the Third Millenium

(Routledge Press) co-edited by Barbara Zsembik (Sociology) and Joe Feagin (Sociology) (from book jacket) ... Everyday Sexism in the Third Millennium features new and original research by women and men from different backgrounds on the varieties of sexism still faced everyday by women in the United States. Topics include domestic abuse, child sexual abuse, varying views of sexual harassment, interlocking racial, gender, and class oppressions, and the Internet as a politicized space. With its broad range of approaches, its focus on discourse and experience in gendered spaces, and its debunking of societal fictions about gender oppression, Everyday Sexism in the Third Millennium demonstrates why sexism is still so pervasive in daily life and why real solutions to this problem must be found.

(excerpt) Sexism is a far more complicated process than men oppressing women at every turn. It is part of a larger system of social organization, which includes, among other things, the actions and consciousness of women themselves, who can in their turn reinforce or resist sexism. In addition, gender is only one of several overlapping social hierarchies that organize human relationships within a society like the United States.

Women & Political Participation

(CQ Press) co-authored by M.Margaret Conway (Political Science) (from book jacket) Women and Political Participation explores women's involvement in modern-day politics in the United States. Particular attention is given to the effects of cultural change on gender roles and women's political attitudes and behavior. The book examines topics such as the political socialization of women, differences between men and women involving public opinion, women's patterns of political participation, and women as members of the political elite. A historical overview of women's political participation is also provided, following trends in women's voting behavior and political attitudes and discussing their impact on politics and public policy.

(excerpt) Gender has always been a politically relevant subject, even though political scientists have sometimes ignored it; and American women have always been politically involved, even when political scientists ignored them. although political science as a discipline no longer overlooks women, relatively little has been published about them. From 1906 to 1991, the American Political Science Review, for example, published only twenty-four articles pertaining to women.

Re-Engineering Female Friendly Science

(Teacher's College Press) by Sue V. Rosser (Women's Studies) (adapted from book jacket) Rosser, Director of the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, is also the author of the pioneering book Female Friendly Science (1990), which introduced feminist teaching methods to math and science education and outlined a six-stage model for transforming curricula to attract and retain women in the sciences. This book was so successful that its reforms were assimilated into mainstream science education but, ironically, lost their appeal to women in the process. Now, in Re-Engineering Female Friendly Science, Rosser revisits the feminist origins of curriculum transformation and puts the gender back in gender equity.

(excerpt) Although the mainstream of science education now advocates curricular transformations that overlap with those advocated by feminist scientists, in some cases, such as when all examples in teaching about the history of science are white men, curricular reforms represent cooptation rather than transformation. Similarly, the impact of gender issues has been overlooked in some of the current science education trends, such as the school-to-work reform movement in high school, group work in undergraduate classes, and the transition to graduate school. In other cases, such as the creation of single-sex sections in the coeducational environment, too much credence may have been placed in a single, gender-based solution.