New Book Acquisitions

HIV prevalence estimates from the demographic and health surveys
By: Erica Nybro, Bernard Barrère. 2008.

HIV tests among thousands of men and women provide a sobering look at the international epidemic. A new publication, HIV Prevalence Estimates from the Demographic and Health Surveys, summarizes the results of population-based HIV tests in 28 countries among more than 400,000 men and women worldwide.

Starting in 2001, the MEASURE DHS project included blood tests for HIV in its national surveys, leading world experts to readjust international estimates of HIV prevalence. While this readjustment lowered the estimates of HIV infection worldwide, the new report describes the international burden of the epidemic with prevalence rates ranging from less than one percent in Asia and West Africa to almost 26 percent in Swaziland. Southern Africa is by far the most affected region. About one in four adults is infected in Lesotho and Swaziland and 18 percent in Zimbabwe. Less than one percent of the population is infected in the three Asian countries with DHS-based HIV estimates-India, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In India, however, less than one percent means that close to 2 million people age 15-49 are infected with HIV.

Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide
By: Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart. 2004.

Seminal thinkers of the nineteenth century — Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud — all predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the emergence of industrial society. The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century. During the last decade, however, the secularization thesis has experienced the most sustained challenge in its long history. The traditional secularization thesis needs updating. Religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the concept of secularization captures an important part of what is going on. This book develops a theory of secularization and existential security. Sacred and Secular is essential reading for anyone interested in comparative religion, sociology, public opinion, political behavior, political development, social psychology, international relations, and cultural change.

Assessing Organizational Change: A Guide to Methods, Measures, and Practices
Stanley E. Seashore, Edward E. Lawler III, Philip H. Mirvis, Cortlandt Cammann. 1983.

From the preface: This book is about assessing organizational change. It is a progress report on the results of a multiyear large-scale effort to develop measures, methods, and practices to measure change. To a significant degree it is a how-to book that contains a wide range of measurement instruments, observation techniques, and analytical methods.

A biologist’s guide to mathematical modeling in ecology and evolution
Sarah P. Otto, Troy Day. 2007.

Thirty years ago, biologists could get by with a rudimentary grasp of mathematics and modeling. Not so today. In seeking to answer fundamental questions about how biological systems function and change over time, the modern biologist is as likely to rely on sophisticated mathematical and computer-based models as traditional fieldwork. In this book, Sarah Otto and Troy Day provide biology students with the tools necessary to both interpret models and to build their own.

The book starts at an elementary level of mathematical modeling, assuming that the reader has had high school mathematics and first-year calculus. Otto and Day then gradually build in depth and complexity, from classic models in ecology and evolution to more intricate class-structured and probabilistic models. The authors provide primers with instructive exercises to introduce readers to the more advanced subjects of linear algebra and probability theory. Through examples, they describe how models have been used to understand such topics as the spread of HIV, chaos, the age structure of a country, speciation, and extinction.

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists today need enough mathematical training to be able to assess the power and limits of biological models and to develop theories and models themselves. This innovative book will be an indispensable guide to the world of mathematical models for the next generation of biologists.

Gender and Ageing: Changing Roles and Relationships
Sara Arber, Kate Davidson, Jay Ginn. 2003.

This book is a follow-up to Arber and Ginn’s award winning Connecting Gender and Ageing (1995). It contains original chapters from eminent writers on gender and ageing, addressing newly emergent areas within gender and ageing, including gender identity and masculinity in later life. Early work on gender and ageing was dominated by a focus on older women. The present collection breaks with this tradition by emphasizing changing gender roles and relationships, gender identity and an examination of masculinities in midlife and later life.

A key theme running through the book is the need to reconceptualize partnership status, in order to understand the implications for women and men of widowhood, divorce and new forms of relationships, such as Living Apart Together (LAT-relationships). Another is the influence of socio-economic circumstances on how ageing is experienced and transitions are negotiated.

The book illustrates new ways of thinking about old age and indicates policy implications, especially concerning the nature of service provision for older people. It will change the ways in which social scientists conceptualize later life.

Written with undergraduate students and researchers in mind, Gender and Ageing: Changing Roles and Relationships will be an invaluable text for those studying social gerontology, sociology of later life, gender studies, health and community care and social policy.

Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century: A State of the Art in Demography
Johan Surkyn, Patrick Deboosere, Jan Van Bavel. 2008.

Inspired by the work of Ron Lesthaeghe, retired Belgian professor of demography and social science research methodology, this collection of contributions is also based on a conference entitled “Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century: A State of the Art in Demography.” During Ron Lesthaeghe’s tenure, he established himself as a scholar, publishing highly influential work that changed the face of demography and founded the research group, Interface Demography. Most of his research was in the various subfields of demography: historical, social, and economic, and mainly covered populations of Europe and of sub-Saharan Africa. He also researched the fields of cultural change in Europe and of ethnic minority studies. This book offers a collection of tributes to his contribution to demography, presented by leading international demographers.

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