What is Beauty?

HOW TO EMBRACE PERSONAL BEAUTY AND REJECT COMMODIFICATION When I teach my class on body image and the media I break up the lecture by asking, “what is beauty?” At first, this question seems to be a common sense notion. After all, everyone knows what beauty is. It’s… Well, it’s…you know… Sociologists are forever at […]

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Gender Does not Equal Sex

WHAT IS BEING REVEALED BY THE DEBATE ON TRANSGENDER RIGHTS It’s easy to get distracted by the Great Transgender Bathroom debate. However, it’s important to understand that the legislation in question goes far beyond public restroom and locker room policy. The North Carolina state law, HB2 not only nullifies Charlotte’s ordinance protecting transgender people using […]

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This is MY Bathroom

AND I’M TAKING A STAND! One of the most sociologically interesting characters created by the Saturday Night Live team is the androgynous Pat. This character is totally bereft fo gendered characteristics, either physically or socially. It is, therefore, impossible to categorize Pat as being a man, or a woman. This causes a great deal of tension for […]

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On ISIS and Anomie

WHY IS EXTREMISM SO ATTRACTIVE TO SOME?  I recently viewed some videos published by the New York Times addressing the motivations of young people, living otherwise normal lives by western standards, who nevertheless opt to join ISIL in their jihad against infidels and their mission to establish a new caliphate. The videos were very revealing, perhaps […]

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The Two Way Street of Identity

Rachel Dolezal, Caitlyn Jenner and the Process of Identity The Rachel Dolezal case is interesting in its consequences with regard to identity. One of the presumed defining features of our times is the seemingly flexible concept of personal identity. There was a time when identity was a fairly stable construct, but in what is referred […]

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