Tag Archives: Sociology

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Julie of the Wolves, Ann Rule

I greatly enjoyed Brian Lehrer’s interview segment with Jon Ronson called “When Social Media Gets Mad,” and was even more delighted with his thoughtful, creative, and meticulously researched book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. He does so much more than just remind us of dumb tweets and stupid truth-stretching. Ronson is after understanding the nature of shame and how it operates. I especially loved the section on disgraced Jersey governor Jim McGreevey’s second life as a pioneer in prison reform. I am also very interested…

Read More »

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell

Synopsis: A sociologic look at the increase of narcissism in American culture. Review: In The Narcissim Epidemic, as Dr. Jean Twenge’s previous book, the authors parsed similar data from psychological studies over the decades to see that overall Americans are scoring more highly on narcissistic traits than before. It’s a little sad to see that there’s empirical data to show that yes, we really are a nation of self-obsessed assholes. But I’m writing this while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” and the humility…

Read More »

The Starter Marriage by Pamela Paul

Synopsis: An overview of the recent phenomenon of marriages that end before they reach the five-year mark. Review: I hate books that never tell you more than what you read in the title. I generally enjoy books like this, as I’m keenly interested in human behavior and social trends, but this book really didn’t do it for me. I never felt like Paul’s interviewees came alive, and as a result I wasn’t sucked into the drama of their lives. I gave up on it 2/3…

Read More »

Unhooked by Laura Sessions Stepp

Synopsis: A dissection of hook-up culture on college campuses and in high schools, including anecdotal accounts. Review: More hand-wringing than Last Night in Paradise, less high-minded than Unprotected, Unhooked is more likely than either to provoke fear and consternation in the hearts of parents of teenagers across America–particularly if they’ve read I Am Charlotte Simmons and their daughter is looking at Duke University. Share on Facebook

Read More »

Last Night in Paradise by Katie Roiphe

Synopsis: A look at sexual mores in the age of AIDS. Review: I like a good polemic as much as the next person, particularly when it involves people having lots of sex, mostly because I always feel like that’s nice work if you can get it. Last Night in Paradise isn’t hard-hitting investigative journalism as much as it’s an apologia for all the sex that Roiphe and her friends had in the 80s and 90s: “look, we may have slept around but we are always…

Read More »

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Judith Wallerstein

Synopsis: Judith Wallerstein began a long-term study of the effects of divorce on children 25 years ago, and this book presents a portrait of the history and present of 5 children of divorce, and 5 who lived in families with similar dynamics where the parents did not divorce. Share on Facebook

Read More »