How to Contribute a Capsule Review for the Book Nook
Write a capsule review of a really good ethnography, preferably recent (or old but overlooked), in 200-300 words, and attach its cover picture. Give your capsule a title. Tell us in one sentence who the author is and in a couple of paragraphs what the book is about; two or three things it does well; and why patrons of the CAFÉ should read it. When two superb ethnographies go together like a left jab and a right cross, pair them. Capsules on smashing monographs that have unjustly gone unnoticed or fallen into oblivion are particularly appreciated. Send your capsule to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ironies of working class consciousness
Paul WILLIS, Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs (Saxon House, 1977; Columbia University Press, 1982; Routledge, 2017).
Muriel DARMON, Becoming Anorexic: A Sociological Study (London, Routledge, 2016, translated from French, 2008).
Power in its infancy: learning to take, give back, and ask for things in a daycare center
Disinterring Necroviolence via Public Ethnography
Jason De León, The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (University of California Press, 2015).
Behind Digital Flexing
Forrest STUART, Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy (Princeton University Press, 2020)
This book was a remarkable surprise to discover in the summer of 2020: In the middle of my pandemic-induced overconsumption of news and social media, I found this ethnography about how young and poor black men in Chicago use social media in pursuit of micro-celebrity by uploading raw rap videos onto YouTube.
Inside the Symbolic Violence of Gender
Annick PRIEUR, Mema’s House, Mexico City: On Transvestites, Queens, and Machos (University of Chicago Press, 1998).
Drop a young, tall, blue-eyed, Norwegian ethnosociologist into a sanctuary house for young homosexual men in a poor barrio of Mexico City and equip her with an acute sense of social diplomacy, lush humor, a sharp eye for practical detail and ear for subtle meaning, the gamut of gender theories and the conceptual framework of Pierre Bourdieu and you get an ethnographic gem.