Skip to main content

New faculty books: From maids' daughters to murder

August 25, 2011

As a toddler, Olivia left her family and traditions in Mexico to live with her mother, Carmen, a live-in maid in an exclusive, nearly all-white gated community in Los Angeles. Mother and daughter sleep in the maid’s room, just off the kitchen, but Olivia is raised alongside the other children of the family. She goes to school with them, eats meals with them, and is taken shopping for clothes with them. She is like a member of the family. Except she is not.

What will happen to Olivia? And what does this mean for her mother’s employers?

Olivia’s story is told in a new book by Mary Romero, a professor in the School of Social Transformation, titled “The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream.”

Based on more than 20 years of research, “The Maid’s Daughter” explores a complex story of belonging, identity, and resistance, and reveals the hidden costs of paid domestic labor that are transferred to the families of private household workers and nannies—and how everyday routines pass privilege from one generation to another.

Romero’s book is among a number of books recently published by ASU faculty members. They range from a book that maps the emergence of Buddhism into European consciousness during the first half of the 19th century to one on how to pass the bar exam. And one that contends that sex and murder have “everything to do with life.”

Here is a look at some of the new books:

“Complete Guide to Sport Education” (2nd Ed.), Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics (2011) by D. Siedentop, P. Hastie and Hans van der Mars, ASU professor of physical education. Van der Mars is the 2011 recipient of the Physical Education Teacher Education Honor Award from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

“Romantic Dharma: The Emergence of Buddhism into Nineteenth-Century Europe,” New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, by Mark S. Lussier, professor of English. “Romantic Dharma” maps the emergence of Buddhism into European consciousness during the first half of the 19th century, probes the shared ethical and intellectual commitments embedded in Buddhist and Romantic thought, and proposes potential ways by which those insights translate into contemporary critical and pedagogical practices.

“Handbook of Accessible Achievement Tests for All Students,” ISBN 978-1-4419-9355-7, by Stephen N. Elliott, the Mickelson Foundation Professor of Education and the director of the Learning Sciences Institute, and Alexander Kurz, an assistant research professor in the Learning Sciences Institute and an affiliated adjunct faculty in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

“The Handbook of Accessible Achievement Tests for All Students: Bridging the Gaps Between Research Practice, and Policy” presents a wealth of evidence-based solutions designed to move the assessment field beyond “universal” standards and policies toward practices that enhance learning and testing outcomes. Drawing on an extensive research and theoretical base as well as emerging areas of interest, the volume focuses on major policy concerns, instructional considerations, and test design issues.

“Statistical-Approaches to Measurement-Invariance,” by Roger E. Millsap, professor of psychology. Routledge Academic; ISBN-10: 1848728182; ISBN-13: 978-1848728189. This book reviews the statistical procedures used to detect measurement bias. Measurement bias is examined from a general latent variable perspective so as to accommodate different forms of testing in a variety of contexts including cognitive or clinical variables, attitudes, personality dimensions, or emotional states. Measurement models that underlie psychometric practice are described, including their strengths and limitations. Practical strategies and examples for dealing with bias detection are provided throughout.

“Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life,” by Douglas Kenrick, professor of psychology. In “Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life,” social psychologist Douglas Kenrick exposes the selfish animalistic underside of human nature, and shows how it is intimately connected to our greatest and most selfless achievements. As Kenrick divulges, beneath our civilized veneer, human beings are a lot like howling hyenas and barking baboons, with heads full of homicidal tendencies and sexual fantasies. But, in his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviors—such as inclinations to one-night stands, racial prejudices, and conspicuous consumption—ultimately manifest what he calls “Deep Rationality.” Illuminated with stories from Kenrick’s own colorful experiences -- from his criminally inclined shantytown Irish relatives, his own multiple high school expulsions, broken marriages, and homicidal fantasies, to his eventual success as an evolutionary psychologist and loving father of two boys separated by 26 years -- this book is an exploration of our mental biases and failures, and our mind’s great successes. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, “Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life" uncovers the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.”

“Identidades Transfronterizas: Migración y Cultura Chicana,” co-edited by Carlos Vélez-Ibañez, director, School of Transborder Studies. This work summarizes the extensive body of knowledge that is forming on transborder themes of identity, culture, economy, ecology, politics, urbanization, political economy, and expressive culture. All of the essays gathered in this volume have a theoretical, methodological, reflective, or historical interest in how multiple dimensions of ecological-cultural-psychological spaces emerge and that have been created by this political "sore" called the border.

“Racismo, Exclusión, Xenofobia y Diversidad Cultural en la Frontera México Estados Unidos,” co-edited by Carlos Vélez-Ibañez, director, School of Transborder Studies. The cases included in this volume contribute to understanding the northern México-U.S. Southwest context.

“Bilingual and ESL Classrooms: Teaching in Multicultural Contexts,” by Carlos Ovando, professor, School of Transborder Studies, with Mary Carol Combs. The fifth edition of this classic text integrates theory and practice to provide comprehensive coverage of bilingual and ESL education. The book covers the foundations of bilingual and ESL education and provides a strong focus on what a teacher needs to know in a bilingual classroom.

“An Impossible Living in a Transborder World: Culture, Confianza, and Economy of Mexican-Origin Population,” by Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, University of Arizona Press. The book updates and expands upon his major 1983 study of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), incorporating new data that reflect the explosion of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Much more than a study of one economic phenomenon though, the book examines the way in which these practices are part of greater transnational economies and how these populations engage in—and suffer through—the 21st century global economy.

“Accounted For,” by Jeannine Savard, published by Red Hen Press. “Accounted For” is a collection of lyrical narrative poems told by a multifaceted persona intent on discovering meaning regardless of the apparent self’s impermanent nature. Many poems reveal encounters with other selves, mirrored selves, intimated, drawn, or fully detailed. Each persona reveals a concern for the illusion of "set or fixed" historical time as it plays out in both the personal and social spheres. Prayer, dreams, invocations, and meditations suggest relationship with the Unseen, and when faith in a whole self’s seed is present, Savard finds openness to the mystery of life and death.

“Immigrant Geographies of North American Cities,” co-edited by Wei Li, professor of Asian Pacific American studies, School of Social Transformation, and professor of geography. This groundbreaking collection examines issues of immigration, migration, and settlement from a unique geographical perspective. It features original research by both Canadian and American scholars and fills a significant gap in the existing literature on immigration. Using a comparative approach, the authors give readers a deep understanding of the complex social, spatial, economic, and political factors that affect immigration policies and immigrants' experiences in the evolving urban landscapes of North America.

“Indigenous Languages Across the Generations – Strengthening Families and Communities,” co-edited by Mary Eunice Romero-Little, associate professor of Indigenous education in the School of Social Transformation; Simon Ortiz, professor of English; Teresa McCarty, Alice Wiley Snell Professor of Education Policy Studies in the School of Social Transformation and professor of applied linguistics; with Ran Chen, doctoral student in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Spanning cases from Africa, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada, Latin America, Russia, and the United States, this volume offers lessons of success as well as cautionary findings for sustaining Indigenous languages. Chapters include youth perspectives on language and culture continuance, innovative strategies for Indigenous language teaching, and insights from a worldwide struggle for Indigenous language rights. Together, the chapters provide a wealth of lessons for strengthening families and communities through language revitalization.

“Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice: Revisioning Academic Accountability,” co-edited by Mary Romero, professor and faculty head, justice and social inquiry, School of Social Transformation. In the 1960s and 1970s, activists who focused on the academy as a key site for fostering social change began by querying the assumptions of the traditional disciplines and transforming their curricula, putting into place women's and ethnic studies programs that changed both the subject and methods of scholarship. The pattern of scholars and activists joining forces to open fields of research and teaching continued in subsequent decades, and recent additions, including critical race studies, queer studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies, take as their epistemological foundation the inherently political nature of all knowledge production. The essays examine how effectively interdisciplinary fields have achieved their goals of intellectual and social change, and consider the challenges they now face inside and outside the academy.

“A Civil Society Deferred: The Tertiary Grip of Violence in the Sudan,” by Abdullahi Gallab, assistant professor of African and African American studies in the School of Social Transformation and assistant professor of religious studies. Professor Gallab chronicles the socio-political history and development of violence in the Sudan and explores how it has crippled the state, retarded the development of a national identity, and ravaged the social and material life of its citizens. The book offers the first detailed case studies of the development of both a colonial and postcolonial Sudanese state and grounds the violence that grips the country within the conflict between imperial rule and a resisting civil society.

“The Growing Gap Between Emerging Technologies and Legal-Ethical Oversight: The Pacing Problem,” by Gary Marchant, ASU Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, executive director of the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, senior sustainability scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU, and associate director, Origins Initiative, ASU. Co-edited by Braden Allenby, ASU Lincoln Professor of Engineering and Ethics, and Joseph Herkert, ASU Lincoln Associate Professor of Ethics and Technology. Published by Springer. The book details the growing gap between the pace of science and technology and the lagging responsiveness of legal and ethical oversight. More information.

“Politics, Taxes, and the Pulpit: Provocative First Amendment Conflicts,” by Professor Laurence H. Winer of the College of Law and Professor Nina J. Crimm of St. John’s University School of Law, published by Oxford University Press. The book examines the provocative mix of religion, politics, and taxes involved in the controversy over houses of worship engaging in electoral political speech.

“The Portrayal of Social Catastrophe in the German-Language Films of Austrian Filmmaker Michael Haneke,” by Dennis Eugene Russell, associate professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Published by The Edwin Mellen Press. Since 1989, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke has earned the reputation of one of the most provocative and subversive auteurs in international cinema. His cinema represents a nightmare vision of Western civilization teetering on the brink of catastrophe while awash in the excesses of advanced capitalism, obsessive consumerism, and media/technological saturation. Calling upon postmodern theory and existential philosophy, Russell examines Haneke’s attempt to locate the root causes of a pervasive moral and psychological deterioration afflicting Western culture. This is not activist filmmaking in the sense of evoking change, but instead a radical cinema propelled by Haneke’s aggressive methods of cultural vivisection.

“Dissent in Organizations,” by Jeffrey Kassing, professor of communication. Polity Books.Employees often disagree with workplace policies and practices, leaving few workplaces unaffected by organizational dissent. While disagreement persists in most contemporary organizations, how employees express dissent at work and how their respective organizations respond to it vary widely. Through the use of case studies, first-person accounts, current examples, conceptual models, and scholarly findings, this work offers a comprehensive treatment of organizational dissent. Readers will find a sensible balance between theoretical considerations and practical applications.

“The Handbook of Stress: Neuropsychological Effects on the Brain,” edited by Cheryl D. Conrad. ISBN: 978-1-60750-532-7, Wiley-Blackwell. “The Handbook of Stress: Neuropsychological Effects on the Brain” is an authoritative guide to the effects of stress on brain health, with a collection of articles that reflect the most recent findings in the field. Examines stress influences on brain plasticity across the lifespan, including links to anxiety, PTSD, and clinical depression and is an essential reference guide for scholars and advanced students.

“Les premières francs-maçonnes au siècle des Lumières” (The First Women Freemasons), by Janet M Burke, associate dean for national scholarships, Barrett the Honors College, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux. This book is a collection of previously published journal articles on women in masonry, translated into the French, by Burke and Margaret Jacob. It is the first volume of a series on the Masonic world, “Monde Maçonnique.”

“The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam,” by clinical professor Chad Noreuil, published by Carolina Academic Press. In addition to offering practical exam tips, the book gives advice on how to maintain a personal balance while studying and taking the exam.