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October 31st, 2013

Reading List: Most-read book reviews October 2013

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Blog Admin

October 31st, 2013

Reading List: Most-read book reviews October 2013

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

October is always a busy month at universities, with students and staff getting stuck into challenging lectures and endless reading lists. This month on LSE Review of Books we’ve been busy too, publishing 45 book reviews, 3 Academic Inspiration essays, and 1 podcast. Here are the top 5 most-read reviews on the site for October 2013. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and congratulations to the reviewers below.

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Number 1: Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research by Mats Alvesson & Jorgen Sandberg 
Traditional textbooks on research methods tend to ignore, or gloss over, how research questions are constructed. In this text, Mats Alvesson & Jorgen Sandberg seek to challenge researchers to look past the easy or obvious choices and create more interesting and rewarding questions. Joanna Lenihan feels that this is potentially a valuable and practical tool for researchers and could be integrated into required reading for research students in the humanities and social sciences embarking on research. Read more…

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Number 2: Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook 4th Edition by David Silverman
In the fourth edition of his best-selling textbook, David Silverman provides a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting qualitative research. Using real examples from real postgraduate students, the book aims to make it easy to link theory to methods and shows how to move from understanding the principles of qualitative research to doing it yourself. This book will be of great use to students studying research methods, and will give them a thorough and readable introduction to what can sometimes feel like a rather overwhelming subject, concludes Sally Brown. Read more…

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Number 3: Left Without a Future? Social Justice in Anxious Times by Anthony Painter
In this book, Anthony Painter advocates new economic, social and cultural policies which provide a manifesto for the future development of Social Democracy – and centre-left institutions – in Britain. Left Without a Future? is an engaging read and one of the better, more innovative responses from the centre-left to the challenges posed in post-crisis Britain. This is a valuable contribution, but – with Ed Miliband flirting with different ideas – it remains to be seen whether it is an influential one, writes Daniel Sage. Read more…

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Number 4: Anti-Porn: The Resurgence of Anti-Pornography Feminism by Julia Long
Countering the ongoing ‘pornification’ of Western culture and society, with lads’ mags on the middle shelf and lap-dancing clubs in residential areas, anti-porn movements are re-emerging among a new generation of feminist activists worldwide. This guide to the problems with porn starts with a history of modern pro and anti political stances before examining the ways in which the new arguments and campaigns around pornography are articulated, deployed and received. If you’re looking for a history of anti-porn activism, this is a good start. But if you’re looking for an argument against pornography, this book fails to deliver, writes Stephanie Spoto. Read more…

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Number 5: Celebrity Politics: Image and Identity in Contemporary Political Communications by Mark Wheeler 
In Celebrity PoliticsMark Wheeler offers an analysis of the ways that celebrity politicians and politicized celebrities have had an impact upon the practice of politics. New forms of political participation have emerged as a result and the political classes have increasingly absorbed the values of celebrity into their own PR strategies. Celebrity activists and humanitarians  also play a part in reconfiguring politics for a more fragmented and image–conscious public arena. Hansley A. Juliano encounters some theoretical weaknesses but believes the book remains useful for students of political communication. Read more…

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Amy Mollett is Managing Editor of the LSE Review of Books. Amy graduated from the University of Sussex with a First in English Language, and completed a Masters degree in Social Policy and Gender at the LSE. She joined the PPG in September 2010 as Book Reviews Editor on the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog, before moving on to manage the LSE Impact of Social Science Blog, until the launch of the LSE Review of Books in April 2012.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
This work by LSE Review of Books is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales.