Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Veronique Mottier
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199298025
Category: Medical
Page: 151
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Is our sexuality a product of our genes, or of society, culture, and politics? How have views of sexual norms changed over time? And how have feminism, religion, and HIV/AIDS affected our attitudes to sex? This Very Short Introduction examines these questions and many more, exploring what shapes our sexuality, and how our sexuality shapes us.

Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Marlene Zuk,Leigh W. Simmons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191084409
Category: Science
Page: 144
View: 8276

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What is responsible for the differences between the sexes in so many animals, from the brilliant plumage of birds of paradise to the antlers on deer? And why are the traits that distinguish the sexes sometimes apparently detrimental to survival? Even when they look more or less alike, why do males and females sometimes behave differently? Questions like these have intrigued scientists and the public alike for many years, and new discoveries are showing us both how wildly variable the natural world is, and how some basic principles can help explain much of that variation. Like natural selection, sexual selection is a process that results from differential representation of genes in successive generations. Under sexual selection, however, the crucial characteristics that determine whether an individual reproduces depend on sexual competition, rather than survival ability. This Very Short Introduction considers the history of our understanding of sexual selection, from Darwin's key insights to the modern day. Considering the investment animals place on reproduction, variation in mating systems, sexual conflict, and the origin of sexual dimorphism, Marlene Zuk and Leigh Simmons discuss questions such as whether females can really choose between males on aesthetic grounds, and how sexual conflict is resolved in different species. They conclude with a consideration of the thorny question of how, and even if, sexual selection theory applies to humans. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Foucault: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Gary Gutting
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191578045
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 144
View: 6266

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Foucault is one of those rare philosophers who has become a cult figure. Born in 1926 in France, over the course of his life he dabbled in drugs, politics, and the Paris SM scene, all whilst striving to understand the deep concepts of identity, knowledge, and power. From aesthetics to the penal system; from madness and civilisation to avant-garde literature, Foucault was happy to reject old models of thinking and replace them with versions that are still widely debated today. A major influence on Queer Theory and gender studies (he was openly gay and died of an AIDS-related illness in 1984), he also wrote on architecture, history, law, medicine, literature, politics and of course philosophy, and even managed a best-seller in France on a book dedicated to the history of systems of thought. Because of the complexity of his arguments, people trying to come to terms with his work have desperately sought introductory material that makes his theories clear and accessible for the beginner. Ideally suited for the Very Short Introductions series, Gary Gutting presents a comprehensive but non-systematic treatment of some highlights of Foucault's life and thought. Beginning with a brief biography to set the social and political stage, he then tackles Foucault's thoughts on literature, in particular the avant-garde scene; his philosophical and historical work; his treatment of knowledge and power in modern society; and his thoughts on sexuality. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Darwin: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Jonathan Howard
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192854542
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 125
View: 9086

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Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.

Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Christopher Janaway
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191604496
Category: Philosophy
Page: 160
View: 1706

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Schopenhauer is the most readable of German philosophers. This book gives a succinct explanation of his metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of his thought, which inspired many artists and thinkers including Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer's central notion is that of the will - a blind, irrational force that he uses to interpret both the human mind and the whole of nature. Seeing human behaviour as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexuality which influenced both psychologists and philosophers. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction


Author: David Hopkins
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577693
Category: Art
Page: 208
View: 9938

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The avant-garde movements of Dada and Surrealism continue to have a huge influence on cultural practice, especially in contemporary art, with its obsession with sexuality, fetishism, and shock tactics. In this new treatment of the subject, Hopkins focuses on the many debates surrounding these movements: the Marquis de Sade's Surrealist deification, issues of quality (How good is Dali?), the idea of the 'readymade', attitudes towards the city, the impact of Freud, attitudes to women, fetishism, and primitivism. The international nature of these movements is examined, covering the cities of Zurich, New York, Berlin, Cologne, Barcelona, Paris, London, and recenlty discovered examples in Eastern Europe. Hopkins explores the huge range of media employed by both Dada and Surrealism (collage, painting, found objects, performance art, photography, film) , whilst at the same time establishing the aesthetic differences between the movements. He also examines the Dadaist obsession with the body-as-mechanism in relation to the Surrealists' return to the fetishized/eroticized body. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Damien Keown
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577944
Category: Religion
Page: 168
View: 2676

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The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a growing interest in Buddhism, and it continues to capture the imagination of many in the West who see it as either an alternative or a supplement to their own religious beliefs. Numerous introductory books have appeared in recent years to cater for this growing interest, but almost none devotes attention to the specifically ethical dimension of the tradition. For complex cultural and historical reasons, ethics has not received as much attention in traditional Buddhist thought as it has in the West, and publications on the subject are few and far between. Here, Damien Keown, author of Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction , illustrates how Buddhism might approach a range of fascinating moral issues ranging from abortion and suicide to cloning. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Feminism: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Margaret Walters
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019280510X
Category: History
Page: 159
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This book provides an historical account of feminism, exploring its earliest roots and key issues such as voting rights and the liberation of the sixties. Margaret Walters brings the subject completely up to date by providing a global analysis of the situation of women, from Europe and the United States to Third World countries.

American Women's History

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Susan Ware
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199328331
Category: History
Page: 160
View: 9528

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"This Very Short Introduction explores the major transformations in American women's lives, ranging from political activism to popular culture, the workforce, and the family. Beginning in early America, it places gender at the center of American history, making it clear that women's experiences were not always the same as men's. Susan Ware shows how women's domestic and waged labor shaped the northern economy and how slavery affected the lives of both free and enslaved southern women. She moves through the tumultuous decades of industrialization and urbanization, describing the nineteenth-century movements led by women (temperance, moral reform, and suffrage). The book culminates in twentieth-century female activism for civil rights and successive waves of feminism. From Anne Bradstreet to Ida B. Wells to Eleanor Roosevelt, this book recognizes women as a force in American history and, more important, tells women's history as American history." -- Front cover flap.

Freud: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Anthony Storr
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191606650
Category: Psychology
Page: 176
View: 3813

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) revolutionized the way in which we think about ourselves. From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis, Freud developed psycho-analysis into a general psychology which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality and interpersonal relationships. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Work: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Stephen Fineman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199699364
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 137
View: 4392

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Work is deeply embedded in the moral and political character of most societies. For many, work becomes fused with our personal and social identities - who we are and how we define ourselves. Steve Fineman explores the key debates about work and the factors that affect it including topics such as globalization, feminism, and technology.

Family Law

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Jonathan Herring
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199668523
Category: Law
Page: 144
View: 1209

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What is a family? What makes someone a parent? What rights should children have? In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Herring provides an insight not only into what the law is, but why it is the way it is. It also looks at the future to consider what families will look like in the years ahead, and what new dilemmas the courts may face.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Malise Ruthven
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0199642877
Category: Religion
Page: 200
View: 6243

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Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant forms, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand its nature. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction, offers essential insights into the big issues, provides fresh perspectives on contemporary questions, and guides us through the complex debates.

Psychotherapy

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Tom Burns,Eva Burns-Lundgren
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199689369
Category: Psychology
Page: 127
View: 7752

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Over the last century, psychotherapy has transformed from an obscure treatment for wealthy, intellectual neurotics in fin-de-siècle Vienna to a widely used treatment for emotional and psychological difficulties. In this compendium, the authors map the development of psychotherapy, from its origins in Freud's psychoanalysis to the range of approaches available today, including counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness, and group therapies.--From publisher description.

Modernism: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Christopher Butler
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191613487
Category: Art
Page: 136
View: 9985

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Is a tower block, your unmade bed, your lavatory basin, or the bicycle chained to the gate next door a work of art? Why should a novel have a beginning, a middle, and an end; or even a story? Whether we recognise it or not, virtually every aspect of our life today has been influenced in part by the aesthetic legacy of Modernism. In this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butler examines how and why Modernism began, explaining what it is and showing how it has gradually informed all aspects of 20th and 21st century life. Butler considers several aspects of modernism including some modernist works; movements and notions of the avant garde; and the idea of 'progress' in art. Butler looks at modernist ideas of the self, subjectivity, irrationalism, people and machines, and political definitions of modernism as a whole. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Judaism

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Norman Solomon
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199687358
Category: Religion
Page: 151
View: 8906

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Outlines the basics of practical Judaism and considers how Judaism has responded to, and dealt with, a number of key issues and debates, including the impact of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Socialism: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Michael Newman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804316
Category: Political Science
Page: 171
View: 616

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Offering a practical and historical perspective on socialism this work explains the evolution of socialist ideas from the French Revolution, and examines why past attempts to implement socialism might have failed.

Biography: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Hermione Lee
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623016
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 192
View: 7110

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Biography is one of the most popular, best-selling, and widely-read of literary genres. But why do certain people and historical events arouse so much interest? How can biographies be compared with history and works of fiction? Does a biography need to be true? Is it acceptable to omit or conceal things? Does the biographer need to personally know the subject? Must a biographer be subjective? In this Very Short Introduction Hermione Lee considers the cultural and historical background of different types of biographies, looking at the factors that affect biographers and whether there are different strategies, ethics, and principles required for writing about one person compared to another. She also considers contemporary biographical publications and considers what kind of 'lives' are the most popular and in demand. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Networks: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Guido Caldarelli,Michele Catanzaro
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199588074
Category: Computers
Page: 122
View: 2214

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Networks are involved in many aspects of everyday life, from food webs in ecology and the spread of pandemics to social networking and public transport. This Very Short Introduction explores the basics of network theory to understand the science of complexity and its importance, using examples from nature, technology, and society, and history.

The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Nick Groom
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191642398
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 184
View: 6522

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The Gothic is wildly diverse. It can refer to ecclesiastical architecture, supernatural fiction, cult horror films, and a distinctive style of rock music. It has influenced political theorists and social reformers, as well as Victorian home décor and contemporary fashion. Nick Groom shows how the Gothic has come to encompass so many meanings by telling the story of the Gothic from the ancient tribe who sacked Rome to the alternative subculture of the present day. This unique Very Short Introduction reveals that the Gothic has predominantly been a way of understanding and responding to the past. Time after time, the Gothic has been invoked in order to reveal what lies behind conventional history. It is a way of disclosing secrets, whether in the constitutional politics of seventeenth-century England or the racial politics of the United States. While contexts change, the Gothic perpetually regards the past with fascination, both yearning and horrified. It reminds us that neither societies nor individuals can escape the consequences of their actions. The anatomy of the Gothic is richly complex and perversely contradictory, and so the thirteen chapters here range deliberately widely. This is the first time that the entire story of the Gothic has been written as a continuous history: from the historians of late antiquity to the gardens of Georgian England, from the mediaeval cult of the macabre to German Expressionist cinema, from Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy to American consumer society, from folk ballads to vampires, from the past to the present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.