Spring 2018 Books from RSF

January 24, 2018

Below is a first look at new and forthcoming books from the foundation for Spring 2018. The list includes Homeward, an in-depth investigation of the challenges faced by former prisoners reentering society; The Government-Citizen Disconnect, a study of the growing gulf between people’s perceptions of the federal government and the role it actually plays in their lives; Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change, a study of a new generation of Asian American and Latino evangelicals and their political orientations; and Sites Unseen, an examination of the processes of social and environmental transformation and risk containment in urban areas.

Three new issues of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences will also be released this spring, and include a special double issue, “Anti-Poverty Policy Initiatives for the United States,” edited by Lawrence M. Berger, Maria Cancian, and Katherine A. Magnuson (University of Wisconsin–Madison); and “Biosocial Pathways of Well-Being Across the Life Course,” edited by Thomas W. McDade (Northwestern University) and Kathleen Mullan Harris (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison

By Bruce Western

In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year, with many returning to chaotic living environments rife with violence. In these circumstances, how do former prisoners navigate reentering society? In Homeward, sociologist Bruce Western examines the tumultuous first year after release from prison. Drawing from in-depth interviews with over one hundred individuals, he describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality, and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability despite their efforts to rejoin society. Read more

The Government-Citizen Disconnect

By Suzanne Mettler

Americans’ relationship to the federal government is paradoxical. Polls show that public opinion regarding the government has plummeted to all-time lows, with only one in five saying they trust the government or believe that it operates in their interest. Yet, at the same time, more Americans than ever benefit from some form of government social provision. Political scientist Suzanne Mettler calls this growing gulf between people’s perceptions of government and the actual role it plays in their lives the “government-citizen disconnect.” In The Government-Citizen Disconnect, she explores the rise of this phenomenon and its implications for policymaking and politics. Read more

Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change

by Janelle S. Wong

As immigration from Asia and Latin America reshapes the demographic composition of the U.S., some analysts have anticipated the decline of conservative white evangelicals’ influence in politics. Yet, Donald Trump captured a larger share of the white evangelical vote in the 2016 election than any candidate in the previous four presidential elections. Why has the political clout of white evangelicals persisted at a time of increased racial and ethnic diversity? In Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change, political scientist Janelle Wong examines a new generation of Asian American and Latino evangelicals and offers an account of why demographic change has not contributed to a political realignment. Read more

Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities

By Scott Frickel and James R. Elliott

From a dive bar in New Orleans to a leafy residential street in Minneapolis, many establishments and homes in cities across the nation share a troubling and largely invisible past: they were once sites of industrial manufacturers, such as plastics factories or machine shops, that likely left behind carcinogens and other hazardous industrial byproducts. In Sites Unseen, sociologists Scott Frickel and James R. Elliott uncover the hidden histories of these sites to show how they are regularly produced and reincorporated into urban landscapes with limited or no regulatory oversight. By revealing this legacy of our industrial past, Sites Unseen spotlights how city-making has become an ongoing process of social and environmental transformation and risk containment. Read more

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