The Apartheid Wall

Two days ago marked the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. However, in the West Bank, there is a wall twice as high and four times as long. Once construction finishes, it will stretch over 440 miles. While the West Bank does not belong to Israel, Israel regularly annexes it illegally by... Continue Reading →

The Pink Dragon is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers

Sociological Fragments

“The marketing illustrations for children’s Halloween costumes remains largely anchored in traditional gender roles, images, and symbols. The symbolic representations of gender contained within Halloween costumes may, along with specific costume titles, refurbish stereotypical notions of what women/girls and men/boys are capable of doing within the realm of their imaginations.”

Adie Nelson

Although the term “fantasy” implies a “play of the mind” or a “queer illusion,” the marketing illustrations for children’s Halloween costumes suggest a flight of imagination that remains largely anchored in traditional gender roles, images, and symbols. Indeed, the noninclusive language commonly found in the names of many children’s Halloween costumes reverberates throughout many other dimensions of the gendered social life depicted in this fantastical world. For example, the participation in the paid-work world and financial success for men and of physical attractiveness and marriage for women is reinforced through costume names that reference masculine costumes by…

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A Pragmatic Argument Against High Inequality

“It is important not to think that pragmatic arguments about inequality always support the status quo. There are also strong pragmatic arguments against high levels of inequality. Excessive inequality can have all sorts of undesirable practical consequences. Two considerations are particularly important here: the impact of inequality on the costs of social control and the... Continue Reading →

Batterers, Abandonment, and Love Addiction: Jimmy’s Story

I am reblogging one of the most-liked posts on this blog, “Batterers, Abandonment, and Love Addiction: Jimmy’s Story.” The excerpt comes from one of the leading texts on masculinity and mental health authored by Terrence Real, Ph.D., “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression.” I have always found the text immensely powerful, both for aiding in my personal journey in wrestling with masculinity as well as providing rich interviews and analysis with men that illustrate how gender socialization negatively impacts men and the people around them. I hope others find this excerpt helpful as I do.

Sociological Fragments

Jimmy, like most of the male batterers I have encountered, suffered from both forms of addictive intoxication: the need for merger with an abundant other and the need to wrestle nature, as represented by his wife, into submission. Shirley helped me see the connection between the two forms of intoxication in a couple’s therapy session when she offered a suggestion.

“If you really want to be of use to somebody,” Shirley proposes, folding out the wrinkles of her fashionable miniskirt, “what you should do is write yourself up some little grant, you know, some little research project, and figure out what happens to guys when their girlfriends spend time on the phone. I never met a man yet who didn’t get berserk when I was on the phone for more than ten minutes.”

Jimmy sputters, “Hey, listen. The baby was crying. I’m trying to get your attention. You’re…

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Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?

“At a minimum, the results of our study call into question claims that undocumented immigration increases violent crime. If anything, the data suggest the opposite.” Michael T. Light and Ty Miller “Our findings suggest that undocumented immigration over this period is generally associated with decreasing violent crime. The negative association between unauthorized immigration and violence... Continue Reading →

“You can’t handle the truth!”

“Even though most men are not perpetrators, they nonetheless contribute to--and derive pleasure from--a sexist cultural climate where women are put down and sexually degraded. Thus they have little motivation to examine it critically, and a lot of incentive to look away.”Jackson Katz, The Macho Paradox (2006) “One of the most memorable movies lines is... Continue Reading →

“Does the child support program make money? No…”

Does the child support program "make money" for either the federal government or the states? The answer to this question, simply put, is no. Like most other social programs, the child support system provides to families a service that upholds a strong value-system of parents providing for their children, but does so at a direct... Continue Reading →

Critical Tasks in Transforming Gender Inequality

"Many men have something to lose from further advances in gender equality. But it is also true that in certain important ways, men potentially have much to gain from deeper and more robust forms of gender equality in American life. In a world of real gender equality, men would have a richer array of life... Continue Reading →

Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign and Adorno’s Psychological Technique: Content Analyses of Authoritarian Populism

Using Adorno’s understudied textual analysis of the radio addresses of Martin Luther Thomas and Trump’s 2016 US presidential campaign, this study extracted three rhetorical devices that Adorno uses to characterise Thomas and his authoritarian populism and transposed them to Trump. The first device was the lone wolf device amounting to anti-statism or pseudo-conservatism, most clearly exemplified... Continue Reading →

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