A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION
Feminism: A Very Short Introduction
How much have women’s lives really changed? In the West women still come up against the ‘glass ceiling’ at work, most earning considerably less than their male counterparts. What are we to make of the now commonplace insistence that feminism deprives men of their rights and dignities? And how does one tackle the issue of female emancipation in different cultural and economic environments – in, for example, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, and Africa?
This book provides an historical account of feminism, exploring its earliest roots as well as key issues including voting rights, the liberation of the sixties, and its relevance today. Margaret Walters touches on the difficulties and inequities that women still face more than forty years after the ‘new wave’ of 1960s feminism, such as how successful women are at combining domesticity, motherhood, and work outside the house. She brings the subject completely up to date by providing an analysis of the current situation of women across the globe, from Europe and the United States to Third World countries.
The New Testament as Literature: A Very Short Introduction
The words, phrases, and stories of the New Testament permeate the English language. Indeed, this relatively small group of twenty-seven works, written during the height of the Roman Empire, not only helped create and sustain a vast world religion, but also have been integral to the larger cultural dynamics of the West, above and beyond particular religious expressions.
Looking at the New Testament through the lens of literary study, Kyle Keefer offers an engrossing exploration of this revered religious text as a work of literature, but also keeps in focus its theological ramifications. Unique among books that examine the Bible as literature, this brilliantly compact introduction offers an intriguing double-edged look at this universal text–a religiously informed literary analysis. The book first explores the major sections of the New Testament–the gospels, Paul’s letters, and Revelation–as individual literary documents. Keefer shows how, in such familiar stories as the parable of the Good Samaritan, a literary analysis can uncover an unexpected complexity to what seems a simple, straightforward tale. At the conclusion of the book, Keefer steps back and asks questions about the New Testament as a whole. He reveals that whether read as a single document or as a collection of works, the New Testament presents readers with a wide variety of forms and viewpoints, and a literary exploration helps bring this richness to light.
A fascinating investigation of the New Testament as a classic literary work, this Very Short Introduction uses a literary framework–plot, character, narrative arc, genre–to illuminate the language, structure, and the crafting of this venerable text.
Fashion: A Very Short Introduction
Fashion is a dynamic global industry that plays an important role in the economic, political, cultural, and social lives of an international audience. It spans high art and popular culture, and plays a significant role in material and visual culture. This book introduces fashion’s myriad influences and manifestations. Fashion is explored as a creative force, a business, and a means of communication. From Karl Lagerfeld’s creative reinventions of Chanel’s iconic style to the multicultural reference points of Indian designer Manish Arora, from the spectacular fashion shows held in nineteenth century department stores to the mix-and-match styles of Japanese youth, the book examines the ways that fashion both reflects and shapes contemporary culture. Using historical and contemporary examples, it gives a clear understanding of how fashion has developed since the renaissance, while raising questions about its status, ethical credibility, and influence on consumers.
The book provides insight into the structure of the fashion industry and how fashions are designed, promoted and consumed, in relation to relevant historical, social and cultural contexts. It is structured thematically, to look at the role and development of designers, the growth of shopping and the different businesses involved in making and selling fashionable clothes. Fashion’s relationship to the wider culture is also explored, by considering its representation in art and collaborations between designers and artists, the moral controversies surrounding fashion, and attempts to produce ethical clothing, and the effects of globalisation on the fashion trade.
Manfred B. Steger, Ravi K. Roy
Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction
Anchored in the principles of the free-market economics, ‘neoliberalism’ has been associated with such different political leaders as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Augusto Pinochet, and Junichiro Koizumi.
In its heyday during the late 1990s, neoliberalism emerged as the world’s dominant economic paradigm stretching from the Anglo-American heartlands of capitalism to the former communist bloc all the way to the developing regions of the global South. At the dawn of the new century, however, neoliberalism has been discredited as the global economy, built on its principles, has been shaken to its core by a financial calamity not seen since the dark years of the 1930s.
So is neoliberalism doomed or will it regain its former glory? Will reform-minded G-20 leaders embark on a genuine new course or try to claw their way back to the neoliberal glory days of the Roaring Nineties? Is there a viable alternative to neoliberalism?
Exploring the origins, core claims, and considerable variations of neoliberalism, this Very Short Introduction offers a concise and accessible introduction to one of the most debated ‘isms’ of our time.
Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction
What is epidemiology? What are the causes of a new disease? How can pandemics be prevented?
Epidemiology is the study of the changing patterns of disease and its main aim is to improve the health of populations. It’s a vital field, central to the health of society, to the identification of causes of disease, and to their management and prevention.
Epidemiology has had an impact on many areas of medicine; from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to the origin and spread of new epidemics. However, it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media.
In this Very Short Introduction Rodolfo Saracci dispels some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology. He provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos.