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Book Beat: October 1998

Recent publications from CLAS faculty.

A Village's Adventure:  Tradition, Migration and Change among Georgians in Turkey

A Village's Adventure:  Tradition, Migration and Change among Georgians in TurkeyPaul J. Magnarella, Department of Anthropology; Translated by Nurettin Elhuseyni 
(Istanbul:  Sinatle Press, 2001) 

This case study focuses on the 19th century migration of Muslim Georgians from the Caucasus Mountain region to Turkey, when they settled in a mountain village. It describes their family life, culture, and modes of subsistence. It also analyzes the impact that the emigration of some of these former peasants to Europe has had on this small, sending community.

Anatolia's Loom

Anatolia's LoomPaul J. Magnarella, Department of Anthropology 
(Istanbul :  The Isis Press, 1998)  

This volume consists of twenty-one of the author's published articles (some here revised and updated) on Turkey. The articles cover a wide range of topics, including community, kinship, education, religion, ethnicity, folklore, governance, law, international relations, and human rights.

Excerpt

Turks differ in sociocultural class, rural-urban living experience, and educational level. Despite this variation, a Turco-Islamic value system, shared by most Turks, characterizes the idealized Turkish male as courageous, brave, and strong; moderate in all activities; respectful of the learned and the elderly; loyal to kin and friends; guided by a keen sense of honor and shame; concerned for his and others' dignity; patient and enduring in the face of hardship; and generous, hospitable, and friendly. Historically, the Turkish male was a ghazi, or champion of Islam, who defended the faith against foreign threats. Today's Turks now associate this traditional image with patriotism as well as Islam. To die in the service of the country is to die a martyr.

Governance and the Changing American States 

Governance and the Changing American StatesDavid M. Hedge, Department of Political Science 
(Westview Press, 1998) 
Available through Amazon

This book nicely draws together and critically assesses much of the recent research on state politics. It provides a concise, effective synthesis and thoughtful reconsideration of the literature on the states in the contemporary political system.

Excerpt

There is a considerable consensus among scholars and practitioners alike that the states have undergone a dramatic resurgence in recent decades. As a result of forces operating at both the national and subnational levels, state governments have become more representative and better able and more willing to govern. A variety of initiatives and reforms have increased citizen participation and input into state government; blacks, Hispanics, and women enjoy considerably greater representation at the state and local level; and higher levels of interparty competition and a growing diversity of interest groups promise a better linkage between public opinion and public policy. Parallel changes have occurred in the state's political institutions. Governors now have more power than ever before and are willing to use that power to effect innovative policy solutions. That influence is evidenced by their prominence and visibility; no fewer than a dozen governors and former governors have been serious contenders for the presidency in the past four elections.

A Discourse Grammar of Mandarin Chinese 

A Discourse Grammar of Mandarin ChineseChauncey C. Chu, Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures
(Peter Lang Publishing, 1998)
Available through Amazon

A Discourse Grammar of Mandarin Chinese focuses on the relationships between clauses in Mandarin Chinese in the functional framework. Underlying these relationships are notions like modality, presupposition, topicality, and information structure, encoded by such devices as conjunction, aspect, topic, "sentence"-particles and subordination. Chauncey Chu devotes a chapter to each of these devices, with a view to discovering their contribution to the coherent organization of Chinese discourse. These devices are finally integrated into a network, culminating in a proposal of "the discourse sentence" (represented by SENTENCE) to replace the syntactically and/or semantically defined "traditional" sentence. The organization of SENTENCES into paragraphs also is discussed in the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory.

Excerpt

Being a linguist and language teacher myself, this book was written with both the Chinese linguist and the Chinese language teacher in mind. For the former, I  hope the book will be able to suggest some alternative ways of approaching the language, which is known to be drastically different from many Western languages in one way or another. For the latter, I strongly believe that, without distorting the facts of the language, it will provide some realistic but easily comprehensible explanations for some of the problems that are daily encountered in the classroom.

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