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Tom Shakespeare's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Tom Shakespeare recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Tom Shakespeare's favorite book recommendations of all time.


On Materialism

This polemical work presents to the English-speaking world one of the most original philosophical thinkers to have emerged within post-war Europe. Sebastiano Timpanaro is an Italian classical philologist by training, an author of scholarly studies on the nineteenth-century poet Leopardi, and a Marxist by conviction. With great force and wit, On Materialism sets itself against what it sees as the virtually universal tendency within western Marxism since the war, to dissociate historical materialism from biological or physical materialism. Whereas the philosophical legacy of the later... more
Recommended by Tom Shakespeare, and 1 others.

Tom ShakespeareThe puzzle that I was trying to work out in my mind, and still am really, is the relationship between the biological and the cultural. In the 80s and 90s and probably still now, social science is very much about language and ideas. A lot of the time sociologists argue about ways of talking about things rather than about things. And I find this tremendously frustrating. (Source)

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Postmodern Ethics

In this sequel to Modernity and the Holocaust and Legislators and Interpreters, Zygmunt Bauman provides a philosophical and sociological investigation of the postmodern perspective on morality. Going beyond fashionable and simplistic reports of the end of ethics, he argues that the postmodern era has in fact opened up the possiblity of a radically new understanding of the ethical. less
Recommended by Tom Shakespeare, and 1 others.

Tom ShakespeareI am very interested in ethics, particularly bio ethics. In 2000 I wrote a book called Help. At that stage I was really interested in care. Disabled people said, We don’t want care; we want independent living.  We want to be able to control our lives.  I think, well, yes of course, but at the end of the day many disabled people are receiving care in different ways. So the disability movement says... (Source)

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First published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company. less
Recommended by Tom Shakespeare, and 1 others.

Tom ShakespeareYes. There is a huge gap in information about the personal lives of disabled people. I wanted to do some empirical research into this so I could write a book called The Sexual Politics of Disability: Untold Desires. Of course, there is this prevailing view that disabled people are asexual. And, as I tried to think through the methodology of doing this book and think about sexuality, Ken Plummer’s... (Source)

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Recommended by Tom Shakespeare, and 1 others.

Tom ShakespeareYes, that’s true. I was busy doing my PhD in around 1990 and that is when the first books on disability started coming out, from a social research perspective. I had already done a sociology degree so it was interesting to apply the theories that I had learned to disability and to see that they were relevant to me. With my PhD I was starting to construct a sociology of disability and then these... (Source)

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From the author of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Stigma is analyzes a person’s feelings about himself and his relationship to people whom society calls “normal.”

Stigma is an illuminating excursion into the situation of persons who are unable to conform to standards that society calls normal. Disqualified from full social acceptance, they are stigmatized individuals. Physically deformed people, ex-mental patients, drug addicts, prostitutes, or those ostracized for other reasons must constantly strive to adjust to their precarious social identities....
Recommended by Tom Shakespeare, and 1 others.

Tom ShakespeareYes, I went back to Cambridge to do a PhD about how to understand disability and met the sociologist Anthony Gibbons and he said: ‘What are you going to do?’ And I told him my plans. He looked at me and said: ‘Goffman’, and marched off down the street! (Source)

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