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Archives for Sociology

Addiction

Are Our Emotions Cranked To 11?

Have you been watching "Downton Abbey" like the rest of us?

Think about the Dowager Countess of Grantham, marvelous Maggie Smith. When she doesn’t like something, she gets a face like a cat that’s smelled something bad. And you get the message.

If you read authors like Edith Wharton and Jane Austin, you know there’s not a lot of bellowing and stomping around. Hearts are broken, fortunes lost, people became ill, or bereaved, despondent...
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Aging

Are We Scaring Kids Off Of Adulthood?

A friend is fretting about her 22-year-old son, who is living at home and, she fears, not getting it together.

This is a family with plenty of dough. The boy is well-educated and has been well cared for, despite some dysfunctional family fun, which few of us escape in this world. My friend complains that he’s lazy and over-entitled. He hasn’t been knocking himself out to find a job, and he’s drinking too much.

What’s a...
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Communication

A Dark Side of Therapists Online

Several years ago, I got into an online squabble with a friend who was in grad school, getting her MSW for a future career as a counselor.

The whole thing unfolded in the comments section of my blog and concluded (along with the friendship) when she spluttered that I am “…WEAK! And I MOCK weak people!”

Wow, I thought. Your future clients are in for a treat.

This incident came to mind when a Twitter buddy sent...
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Communication

Look Me In The Eye When You Type That, You Cowardly Troll

Remember when I interviewed Post Secret founder Frank Warren about the app that launched just a couple of months ago?

Well, say good-bye to that. Warren had to close down the app because people were behaving so badly, his screeners couldn’t keep up with the screeds.

In a post explaining the decision, he wrote,
99% of the secrets created were in the spirit of PostSecret. Unfortunately, the scale of secrets was so...
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Family

Happy Festivus! Air Those Grievances

I love Festivus because it frees the part of my personality that I am told I should suppress--the gripey, complainy part.

(What's Festivus? Watch the video here.)

Perhaps I shouldn't admit to having anything in common with Frank Costanza. And I'd rather skip the Feats of Strength part of the holiday. And I haven't put up a Festivus pole this year.

But the Airing of the Grievances? I'm all over it.

I'm not...
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Developmental Psychology

What Is The Parenting Recipe For Making Mean Kids?

It’s Anti-Bullying Week and this year’s theme is Stop and Think—Words Can Hurt.

Interestingly, for all our focus on how to stop kids from bullying each other, we have precious little research addressing what parenting styles are likely to produce bullies. Because, let’s face it, if your nine-year-old child is a bully, chances are very good you and/or the child’s other parent can take credit.
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Aging

How the Internet Destroys Our Past

“Say hello to your past,” read the subject line of an email that landed in my junk email box.

It was from my old friend Meryl. I hadn’t spoken to her in decades. A few weeks later, we met for coffee.

Later I received a Facebook friend request from a mutual friend. Within three days, we had located three more people from that old gang of ours. Then we were...
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Anthropology

Research Happens: “Post Secret” As An Archive Of Our Id



Since I wrote this post, Frank Warren has had to withdraw the Post Secret app because people just couldn't play nicely. 

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When Frank Warren launched the Post Secret blog in 2004, it was a lark. “A creative prank,” he calls it. He gave out 3,000 postcards to strangers around Washington , and asked each person to write a secret on it and mail it to him. And they did....
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Body Image

Sexy Anna Rexia: Eating Disorders As Machisma

It’s almost October and you know what that means: Here come the goblins, ghosts, witches, and sluts!

The sleaziness of women’s (and little girls’) Halloween costumes has become an annual gripe for mommies and feminists.

But my friend Jeannine Gailey, PhD, a sociologist at Texas Christian University, clued me in on what might be the most appalling costume ever created: Anna Rexia, the sexy side of a life-threatening eating disorder.

Yikes.

The model dressed as someone...
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