Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

The Jill Principle: A Woman’s Guide to Healing Your Spirit After Divorce or Breakup

May 1, 2007

From the book jacket:

If you’re contemplating a break-up, are in the midst of one, or eve if the relationship is technically “over,” reaching a place of peace and strength may seem a long way off, but you can use this time of upheaval and change to reconnect with your spirit and reclaim your true self. Michele Germain, a psychotherapist who specializes in divorce recovery, believes many long-term relationships fail due to unresolved “historical wounds” and unrealistic expectations. Emphasizing the body-mind-spirit connection, Germain offers an effective, holistic approach to healing.

The Jill Principle presents a step-by-step process that begins with recognizing the trauma of divorce, releasing emotional wounds from childhood, and eliminating negative self-talk. Guided medications, bioenergetic exercises, and other techniques help you identify and overcome buried pain and create lasting health and vitality in your body and soul. Moving personal accounts, including Germain’s own story, illustrate how the practices in this book have helped hundreds of women recover from crisis and find new opportunities for self expression and true happiness.

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The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care

April 13, 2007

From the book jacket:
In 1973 Marcia Lowry, a young civil liberties attorney, filed a controversial class-action suit that would come to be known as Wilder, which challenged New York City’s operation of its foster-care system. Lowry’s contention was that the system failed the children it was meant to help because it placed them according to creed and convenience, not according to need. The plaintiff was thirteen-year-old Shirley Wilder, an abused runaway whose childhood had been shaped by the system’s inequities. Within a year Shirley would give birth to a son and relinquish him to the same failing system.

Seventeen years later, with Wilder still controversial and still in court, Nina Bernstein tried to find out what had happened to Shirley and her baby. She was told by child-welfar  officials that Shirley had disappeared and that her son was one of thousands of anonymous children whose circumstances are concealed by the veil of confidentiality that hides foster care from public scrutiny. But Bernstein persevered.

The Lost Children of Wilder gives us, in galvanizing and compulsively readable detail, the full history of a case that reveals the racial, religious, and political fault lines in our child-welfare system, and lays bare the fundamental contradiction at the heart of our well-intended efforts to sever the destiny of needy children from the fate of their parents. Bernstein takes us behind the scenes of far-reaching legal and legislative battles, at the same time as she traces, in heartbreaking counterpoint, the consequences as they are played out in the life of Shirley’s son, Lamont. His terrifying journey through the system has produced a man with deep emotional wounds, a stifled yearning for family, and a son growing up in the system’s shadow.

In recounting the failure of the promise of benevolence, The Lost Children of Wilder makes clear how welfare reform can also damage its intended beneficiaries. A landmark achievement of investigative reporting and a tour de force of social observation, this book will haunt every reader who cares about the needs of children.

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American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood

April 11, 2007

From the book jacket:

In her father’s Peruvian family, MARIE ARANA was taught to be a proper lady, yet in her mother’s American family she learned to shoot a gun, break a horse, and snap a chicken’s neck for dinner. Arana shuttled easily between these deeply separate cultures for years. But only when she immigrated with her family to the United States did she come to understand that she was a hybrid American whose cultural identity was split in half. Coming to terms with this split is at the heart of this graceful, beautifully realized portrait of a child who was a north-south collision, a New World fusion. An American Chica.

Here are two vastly different landscapes: Peru earthquake-prone, charged with ghosts of history and mythology, and the sprawling prairie lands of Wyoming. In these rich terrains resides a colorful cast of family members who bring Arana’s history to life…her proud grandfather who one day simply stopped coming down the stairs; her dazzling grandmother, clicking through the house as if she were making her way onstage. But most important are Arana’s parents: he, a brilliant engineer, she a gifted musician. For more than half a century these two passionate, strong-willed people struggled to overcome the bicultural tensions in their marriage and, finally, to prevail.

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Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals About Morality

April 11, 2007

What neuroscience reveals about morality

 

From the book jacket:

Neuroscience research over the past twenty or more years has brought about a significant change in our perceptions of how the brain affects morality. Findings show that the mid and brain are very close, if not the same, and that the brain ‘makes’ the mind. This is bringing about a change of focus from examining mental activity (‘mentalism’) to the physical activity of the brain (‘physicalism’) to understand thinking and behavior. We are discovering that the physical features of the brain play the major role in shaping our thoughts and emotions, including the way we deal with ‘moral’ issues. This book sets out the historical framework of the transition from mentalism to physicalism, shows how the physical brain works in moral decisions, and then examines three broad areas of moral decision making: the brain in ‘bad’ acts, the brain in decisions involving sexual relations, and the brain in money decision making.

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Reflections of our Past: How Human History is Revealed in our Genes

April 9, 2007

Book Description
An accessible and absorbing examination of how the genes of living people reveal the history of humankind, from the origins of humans 6 million years ago to the present. Where did modern humans come from and how important are the biological differences among us? Are we descended from Neanderthals? How many races of people are there? Were Native Americans the first settlers of the New World? How can we tell if Thomas Jefferson had a child with Sally Hemings? Can we see even in the Irish of today evidence of Viking rampages of a millennium ago? Through engaging examination of issues such as these, and using non-technical language, Reflections of Our Past shows how anthropologists use genetic information of many kinds to test theories and define possible answers to fundamental questions in human history. By looking at genetic variation in the world today, we can reconstruct the recent and remote events and processes that have created the variation we see, providing a fascinating reflection of our genetic past.

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Sexual Orientation & Gender Expression in Social Work Practice: Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender People

April 9, 2007

Book Description

Broad yet in-depth, this volume offers an invaluable resource for both social work educators and practitioners working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients and their families. It is the first such work to specifically address issues affecting bisexual and transgender individuals. Topics discussed include heterosexism and homophobia, GLBT identity development, GLBT adolescents and older adults, healthcare concerns, workplace issues, sex reassignment, and AIDS. The contributors also consider intragroup issues of race, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status.

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Facing the Mirror: Older Women and Beauty Shop Culture

April 3, 2007

Book Description

This innovative, ethnographic study of a neighborhood beauty salon investigates how customers constitute a lively, affirming community of peers during their weekly visits. Beauty Shop Culture gives voice to older women, who, in a sexist and ageist society, are frequently devalued and rendered invisible. These older, mostly Jewish women articulate their experiences of bodily self-presentation, femininity, aging and caring pertaining to their lives within and outside Julie’s International Salon. This books explores the socio-moral significance of these experiences which reveals as much about society as about older women themselves. Women’s narratives expose structures of power, inequality, and resistance in the ways women perceive reality, make choices and live in their worlds.

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The Future of Marriage

April 2, 2007

The future of marriage


From the book jacket:

With precision and passion, David Blankenhorn offers a bold new argument in the debate over same-sex marriage: that it would essentially deny all children, not just the children of same-sex couples, their birthright to their own mother and father. If we change marriage, we change parenthood–for all families. Altering marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would mean weakening in culture and eliminating in law the idea that children need both their mother and their father.

The Future of Marriage analyzes recent survey data from 35 countries, offering the first scientific evidence that support for marriage is weakest in those nations where support for gay marriage is strongest. Blankenhorn explains how same-sex marriage would transform our most pro-child social institution into a purely private relationship (“an expression of love”) between adults, defined by each couple as they wish. Changing marriage laws to include same-sex couples, he argues, would require us to “deinstitutionalize” marriage, “amputating from the institution one after another of its core ideas, until the institution itself is like a room with all the furniture removed and everything stripped from the walls.”

For Blankenhorn, the main question concerning the future of marriage in the United States is not whether we will adopt gay marriage. The main question is whether the social institution of marriage will become stronger or weaker. If we wish to strengthen marriage on behalf of children, there is no shortage of ideas for doing so. What matters is whether we as a society regard this as a worthy and urgent goal.

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How people work: and how you can help them to give their best.

April 2, 2007

From the book jacket:

People want to do many things. We want to feel that the work we do is worthwhile and that we make a difference. We want to feel valued, forge meaningful relationships and encounter energizing challenges. For managers, the key to unlocking motivation and performance is somehow to match the things you want to get done with things your people want to do.

If roles are interesting, stimulating and satisfying then people are likely to want to do them; maybe not all the time, but consistently enough to be able to say “I enjoy your work.” If on the other hand managers allow jobs to become boring, stultifying and disappointing they close the door on excellence before it has the chance to develop because no-one can put their talents and energy for very long into something they really don’t want to do.

Excellent individual performance has to be facilitated. Facilitated by the right organizational setting, and facilitated by the right management to ensure that their people are allowed to give their best.

The way work is organized and the way people are encouraged to carry it out can make or break excellent performance, and certain characteristics of the work environment are consistently associated with successful outcomes. This book explores the dynamics that influence a great working environment, and sets out the management tools to nurture deeper commitment and better performance.

It will be your field-guide to understanding how people work and how you can help them to achieve more.

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Darkness in El Dorado

April 2, 2007

From the book jacket:

Hidden in the impenetrable jungles and highlands of Venezula and Brazil, the Yanomami were first encountered in the 1960s by anthropologists who described them as the most savage and warlike of any tribe alive. Their brutal wars and sexual competition spawned countless films and books, including a million-copy bestseller, Napoleon Chagnon’s The Fierce People. Now, in a landmark account based on a decade of research, Patrick Tierney reveals the grim consequences of ambition and exploitation.

Drawing on new evidence that confronts the anthropological and scientific establishment, Darkness in El Dorado has set off a furious debate in the academic world, prompted an investigation into its charges, and changed forever the discipline of anthropology.

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