While I completed this observation on 18 and 19 February, I observe this phenomenon daily on the Internet and in the external world.  I have observed all varieties of propaganda in the everyday for far longer than Facebook has been around, Facebook exemplifies what is most fascinating about this phenomenon:  the example of unintentional propaganda… Read More


My driving research interests are more like lifelong passions, as any glance into one of several bookshelves of my library will reveal.  However, those interests are usually distilled into a few topics that contain a myriad of additional subjects.  I am fascinated by sociology in general, but I am especially fascinated by how people react… Read More


Who I am as a sociologist is, by turns, a complex question, as well as one that will never be fully defined as I continue to evolve year by year, learning and researching people and their environments from the simple to the complex.  How and why I arrived at this present destination is also complex,… Read More


And there is still more, some popular and some early seminal punk.  We begin with Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry. As always, if you find or write any worthy of consideration, send them my way, and we may get to a few more additions and editions of these.… Read More


While Erving Goffman expanded the scope and study of sociology to face-to-face interactions between individuals and small group gatherings, little has been said of the application of those ideas to propaganda on a personal level.  I will argue that Goffman’s study of frame analysis and impression management apply to propaganda of various types that he… Read More


Masculinities can be defined from a myriad of perspectives, and so I reaffirm here what has been an obvious fact of life all along and should probably be a truism, that there are as many definitions of masculinity as there are people populating the planet.  When the traditional cultural definition of masculinity contradicts what someone… Read More


While he does not use the word outright, his description is a dead-on description of our discussion, the application of propaganda to Goffman’s impression management in the frame analysis of small groups.  Indeed, it’s still a “duck,” as they say. “In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at… Read More


Neil LaBute’s In The Company of Men is described as black comedy.  In some twisted universe, perhaps this is a comedy of a sort, but I see something else, perhaps several things.  This is an exploration of masculinity, yes, but it is also an exploration of stereotypical locker-room, hate-filled testosterone-filled masculinity, one that describes men… Read More


Ma Vie En Rose, directed by Alain Berliner, is a Belgium film produced in France.  While this film is obviously in French, the surrounding set design embodies an “American” look and feel for most of the film.  The characters also appear to be atypically “American” in their extreme negative reactions to Ludovic’s realization that he… Read More


Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, is a simple and complex love story between two people.   It is simple because it has also been called a straightforward gay love story as well as a bisexual love story.  While those points of view are valid on some level, this is a complex love story, because labeling… Read More


The documentary Murderball, directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, is raw, visceral, violent, and beautiful.  It is a story of a multi-dimensional masculinity and humanity told from several points of view.  It embodies the expression, “in your face,” in that neither the filmmakers nor the subjects feel inclined to leave most topics… Read More


In order for propaganda to be effective, it must contain an element of perceived truth.  Goebbels understood this, Karl Rove understands this, and bell hooks understands this as she abundantly explains in Where We Stand:  Class Matters.  The intent is to help us understand how and why we live in a class society.  Analyzing every… Read More


Tommy Lee Jones’ The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada begins as a story of honour between close friends and quickly devolves into multiple perspectives of an archetypal quest for masculine redemption and second chances.  For Pete Perkins, the rancher and Melquiades’ best friend, Belmont, the local sheriff, and Norton, the border patrolman, each quest is… Read More


John Crowley’s Boy A tests our perceptions of social acceptance of a boy/young man  (Eric/Jack) in arrested masculine development who has had few opportunities to properly mature outside of a prison/youth detention culture for fifteen years.  Crowley contrasts this vis a vis Jack’s male co-workers and the masculinity of his girlfriend Michelle’s romantic advances as… Read More