100 books like Here, Our Culture is Hard

By Laura J. McCluskey,

Here are 100 books that Here, Our Culture is Hard fans have personally recommended if you like Here, Our Culture is Hard. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Invention Of Women: Making An African Sense Of Western Gender Discourses

Romina Istratii Author Of Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

From my list on gender, religion, and domestic violence.

Who am I?

As a Moldovan emigrant growing up in Greece, I believed that Western institutions were centers of excellent knowledge. After studying in the USA and the UK and conducting research with Muslim and Christian communities in Africa, I became aware of colonial, ethnocentric, and universalizing tendencies in gender, religion, and domestic violence studies and their application in non-western contexts. International development had historically followed a secular paradigm congruent with Western societies’ perception of religion and its role in society. My work has since sought to bridge religious beliefs with gender analysis in international development work so that the design of gender-sensitive interventions might respond better to domestic violence in traditional religious societies.

Romina's book list on gender, religion, and domestic violence

Romina Istratii Why did Romina love this book?

Oyèrónké Oyěwùmí’s was the first book I encountered when I started to critically engage with Western feminist scholarship as a Master's student in the UK.

This book made a major intervention by challenging theories of gender in Western social sciences and questioning their relevance to African societies. I especially loved the book because Oyěwùmí offered a detailed presentation of gender realities in the Oyo-Yorùbá society of Nigeria that paid attention to human relations holistically and situationally and did not assume gender inequality on the basis of female/male bodies.

A must-read analysis for anyone working to decolonize gender theory.

By Oyeronke Oyewumi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Invention Of Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The "woman question", this book asserts, is a Western one, and not a proper lens for viewing African society. A work that rethinks gender as a Western contruction, The Invention of Women offers a new way of understanding both Yoruban and Western cultures.
Oyewumi traces the misapplication of Western, body-oriented concepts of gender through the history of gender discourses in Yoruba studies. Her analysis shows the paradoxical nature of two fundamental assumptions of feminist theory: that gender is socially constructed in old Yoruba society, and that social organization was determined by relative age.


Book cover of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject

Romina Istratii Author Of Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

From my list on gender, religion, and domestic violence.

Who am I?

As a Moldovan emigrant growing up in Greece, I believed that Western institutions were centers of excellent knowledge. After studying in the USA and the UK and conducting research with Muslim and Christian communities in Africa, I became aware of colonial, ethnocentric, and universalizing tendencies in gender, religion, and domestic violence studies and their application in non-western contexts. International development had historically followed a secular paradigm congruent with Western societies’ perception of religion and its role in society. My work has since sought to bridge religious beliefs with gender analysis in international development work so that the design of gender-sensitive interventions might respond better to domestic violence in traditional religious societies.

Romina's book list on gender, religion, and domestic violence

Romina Istratii Why did Romina love this book?

Saba Mahmood’s book is an intellectually stimulating and insightfully written study of a grassroots women’s mosque movement in Cairo, Egypt.

Speaking to a North American audience, Mahmood challenged secular-liberal theorizations of human agency and views that depicted Muslim women in patriarchal societies as without agency. Her nuanced and multi-dimensional study evidenced a considerably more complex picture of moral choice, agency, and Islamist politics that centered on the women’s own understandings and interpretation of a complex religious and political landscape.

It is Mahmood’s balanced and reflexive approach that makes this book a deeply educational study for students and scholars alike.

By Saba Mahmood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Politics of Piety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Politics of Piety is a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women's piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. Unlike those organized Islamist activities that seek to seize or transform the state, this is a moral reform movement whose orthodox practices are commonly viewed as inconsequential to Egypt's political landscape. Saba Mahmood's compelling exposition of these practices challenges this assumption by showing how the ethical and the political are indelibly linked within the context of such movements. Not only is this book a sensitive ethnography of a critical but largely ignored dimension…


Book cover of Family Matters: Feminist Concepts in African Philosophy of Culture

Romina Istratii Author Of Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

From my list on gender, religion, and domestic violence.

Who am I?

As a Moldovan emigrant growing up in Greece, I believed that Western institutions were centers of excellent knowledge. After studying in the USA and the UK and conducting research with Muslim and Christian communities in Africa, I became aware of colonial, ethnocentric, and universalizing tendencies in gender, religion, and domestic violence studies and their application in non-western contexts. International development had historically followed a secular paradigm congruent with Western societies’ perception of religion and its role in society. My work has since sought to bridge religious beliefs with gender analysis in international development work so that the design of gender-sensitive interventions might respond better to domestic violence in traditional religious societies.

Romina's book list on gender, religion, and domestic violence

Romina Istratii Why did Romina love this book?

I read Nzegwu’s book after completing my PhD and it left a lingering impression on me.

Her work effectively challenged conceptualizations of gender that assumed an inherently hierarchical relationship between female and male. It also drew attention to the role of colonial laws and judicial edicts in promoting gender inequality in Nigeria’s Igbo society.

Nzegwu's discussion of the Onitsa dual-sex system that had historically embraced sexual difference but still granted women and men respective powers and responsibilities in society told a different story about gender relations in African societies prior to Western colonialism.

Nzegwu’s work echoes Oyěwùmí’s, and together they offer a window into alternative gender realities we can learn from. 

By Nkiru Uwechia Nzegwu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Charts new trends in gender studies through a compelling analysis of Igbo society.


Book cover of Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam

Romina Istratii Author Of Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

From my list on gender, religion, and domestic violence.

Who am I?

As a Moldovan emigrant growing up in Greece, I believed that Western institutions were centers of excellent knowledge. After studying in the USA and the UK and conducting research with Muslim and Christian communities in Africa, I became aware of colonial, ethnocentric, and universalizing tendencies in gender, religion, and domestic violence studies and their application in non-western contexts. International development had historically followed a secular paradigm congruent with Western societies’ perception of religion and its role in society. My work has since sought to bridge religious beliefs with gender analysis in international development work so that the design of gender-sensitive interventions might respond better to domestic violence in traditional religious societies.

Romina's book list on gender, religion, and domestic violence

Romina Istratii Why did Romina love this book?

Talal Asad’s genealogical analysis of the concept of religion in Western thought is a classic.

Asad, a Saudi-born anthropologist, proposed that it was the unique product of Western modernity and secularism to perceive religious discourse in the public arena as a disguise for power, which created a bias towards it in public life. This bias was then internationalized through the transposition of an inherently ethnocentric concept of religion.

Among other insights, Asad stressed the need to approach religious traditions in reference to the experience of the believers and the texts or traditions they invoke in their everyday life. A seminal piece of work that can provide a point of reference for anyone working to decolonize religious studies.

By Talal Asad,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Genealogies of Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In "Geneologies of Religion", Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation-from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign-is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is…


Book cover of Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Nadine Macaluso Author Of Run Like Hell: A Therapist's Guide to Recognizing, Escaping, and Healing from Trauma Bonds

From my list on trauma bonds.

Who am I?

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I also have my Ph.D. in somatic psychotherapy. In my clinical practice, I noticed how many smart, kind women were trapped in trauma bonds. So, I researched the topic and decided to write a book to help women understand the complex psychological process of trauma bonds and how to recover from coercive control and abuse. Also, my ex-husband is the "Wolf of Wall Street", so I have personal experience of a trauma bond as well.

Nadine's book list on trauma bonds

Nadine Macaluso Why did Nadine love this book?

This is the best book ever written about the psychology of the male perpetrator in a trauma bond.

In this book, I was able to see into the mind of an abuser and no longer make excuses for them. I love how the author described the different types of abusers and how he explained how to leave a trauma bond.

I refer this book to every one of my patients.

By Lundy Bancroft,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft—a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men—uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued, and to find ways to get free of an abusive relationship.

He says he loves you. So...why does he do that?
 
You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men—and change your life. In Why Does He Do That? you will learn about:
 
• The early warning signs of abuse
• The nature of abusive…


Book cover of Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice

Leigh Gilmore Author Of The #MeToo Effect: What Happens When We Believe Women

From my list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Who am I?

I marvel at the resilience, tenacity, and optimism with which survivors and their advocates confront sexual violence. As a scholar of life writing, I find the “me too” movement to offer a fascinating case study of how survivors broke through default narratives of women’s unreliability and “he said/she said” to be heard by a massive global audience. By telling their own stories as “we said,” they tapped into a new collective credibility. Each of my recommended books helps us to understand “me too” as a powerful episode in a long struggle for survivor justice.

Leigh's book list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice

Leigh Gilmore Why did Leigh love this book?

In trauma studies, Judith Herman is the GOAT. Truth and Repair follows up Herman’s landmark book Trauma and Recovery and cements her contribution to the study of sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Although The Body Keeps the Score became a surprise pandemic bestseller, it is Truth and Repair that updates trauma theory and clinical practice for the #MeToo era. Herman argues that justice is part of the healing process for individuals and communities.

Her feminist perspective on the real-world factors that enable sexual abuse is clear eyed and her prescription for how to connect healing and justice is ultimately hopeful.

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Truth and Repair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Who am I?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

I think this is a basic skills book from which I was able to refresh my own knowledge.

This is an excellent workbook for therapists dealing with domestic abuse. It shows the real statistics behind domestic abuse, and begins by debunking myths, then explores the long-term effects on the survivors including the cycle of abuse in families.

It itemises therapeutic approaches and how people can be helped. It explores ways in which people can be helped to reconnect with their own identity and find themselves again after the terrible period of trauma.

By Christiane Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse explains how counsellors can facilitate recovery from domestic abuse within a secure, supportive therapeutic relationship.

There has been growing awareness in recent years of the impact and consequences of domestic abuse, especially the relationship between domestic abuse and mental health. To appreciate the nature of trauma caused by domestic abuse, professionals need to understand its complex nature and the psychobiological impact of repeated exposure to control and terror. This book examines the therapeutic techniques and specific challenges, such as secondary traumatic stress, faced by professionals when working with survivors of domestic abuse. The author stresses…


Book cover of In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Who am I?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is a non-fiction book about how domestic abuse can easily turn into murder.

The author is an authority on cases of coercive control, stalking, and domestic abuse. Case studies are used frequently and the writing is clear and easy to read quickly. I found some of the concepts echoed some minor bullying that I was subjected to at school.

It begins with a typical scene where a victim of domestic abuse will not report the incident and will not get into the ambulance even though they are badly injured. The author says that it was this case which opened her eyes to the complexities of domestic abuse incidents.

The book debunks some common myths which perpetrators use as excuses, such as ‘crime of passion’. It describes eight stages of coercive control which can often lead to homicide. These are a whirlwind of commitment in the early stages of a…

By Jane Monckton Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Control as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Groundbreaking' OBSERVER 'Blows assumptions about abusive relationships out of the water' CAITLIN MORAN 'Offers a strategy for intervention that would save lives' INDEPENDENT Every four days in the UK, a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner - and in the past year, domestic abuse has become an epidemic. For thirty years, Jane Monckton Smith has been fighting to change this. A former police officer and internationally renowned professor of public protection, she has developed her ground-breaking research into an eight-stage homicide timeline, laying out identifiable stages in which coercive relationships can escalate to violence and murder. Drawing on…


Book cover of Voices Behind The Tears: A Domestic Violence Anthology

Kiexiza Rodriquez Author Of Beautiful

From my list on drama surrounding friendships and finding yourself.

Who am I?

I write what I know. My life has given me so much to write about that people seem to connect with. I started this journey as a writer to share my personal story but instead, what I authored was a novel about my life, but as a fictional story. A lot of situations that my characters find themselves in are things that I have endured or seen personally in my life and in my travels. My passion is broken people I guess, because I have been surrounded by so many of them, in my life.

Kiexiza's book list on drama surrounding friendships and finding yourself

Kiexiza Rodriquez Why did Kiexiza love this book?

This is an anthology that thirty authors submitted stories to. This book dealt with the serious subject of domestic violence. The writers ranged from the tender age of 12, who shared her real-life story dealing with abuse, to authors who submitted poetry, and others peeks into their novels. This book touched my heart and soul on a personal level as domestic violence in all its ugly forms is something that too many people don't want to discuss. It's become a secret that women, men, and children learn to deal with quietly for fear of not being believed or shame.

By Saving Lives Through Lit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voices Behind The Tears as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voices Behind the Tears, is an anthology created by over 20 authors, writers, and poets, ranging in ages from 12 and up. They have all come together along with Saving Lives Through Lit to help bring attention to the Abuse and Violence that quietly goes on in many homes. Through true, fictionalized and excerpts, these talented, gifted contributors bring you stories to move you deeply.
It is their hope you will join them and SLTL to help give aid to the agencies that assist these families... Proceeds from sales of this book will go to those various agencies...


Book cover of I Am Not Your Victim: Anatomy of Domestic Violence

Allison Bloom Author Of Violence Never Heals: The Lifelong Effects of Intimate Partner Violence for Immigrant Women

From my list on domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective.

Who am I?

I've been a researcher, educator, and practitioner of domestic violence services for over 15 years, and am extremely passionate about this topic. After having worked in the domestic violence field, I then pursued my PhD to study this problem, which I now continue to research and teach about as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Moravian University. In our ever-globalizing world, I believe it's especially important for us to consider domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective, and having studied this issue in Latin America and among Latina women in the U.S., I hope to spread that knowledge even further. More than ever, it is important for everyone to gain knowledge on this worldwide problem.

Allison's book list on domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective

Allison Bloom Why did Allison love this book?

Hearing about domestic violence from a survivor’s first-hand perspective is one of the most important ways to learn about this widespread issue.

This book was one of the first that I ever read about this topic many years ago, and even though the book is nearly three decades old, it still remains one of the most powerful first-hand accounts of a survivor’s experience.

When I teach with this book, my students are blown away by Beth’s strength and what she overcomes. Through this book, they come to understand how someone can end up in such a dangerous situation, and the many barriers they often face to finding justice and safety.

By Beth M. Sipe, Evelyn J. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Your Victim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I Am Not Your Victim vividly details the evolution of domestic violence during the 16-year marriage of author Beth Sipe. Encouraged to publish her story by her therapist and co-author, Evelyn J. Hall, Beth relates the background and events leading up to and immediately following the tragic act of desperation that ended the life of her sadistic perpetrator. Beth's subsequent mishandling by the police, the military, a mental health professional, and the welfare system illustrates how women like Beth face further revictimization and neglect by the very systems that should provide support and assistance. Insightful commentaries written by experts in…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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