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


While general study can encompass a wide subject area, it does not cover every nuance of our population.  The subject of inequality touches upon almost everyone in our society and others, barring the standard bearer of privilege, the wealthy white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, but we can only discuss general aspects of that inequality within a… 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


At some point in the future, I may probably teach a class on this subject since it is something I feel very strongly about.  For now, this is an assignment for a class, an annotated bibliography for a class I would like to teach.  The following will be a bibliography devoted to the inequality and… 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


These songs scream propaganda to me and I have been fascinated by them for many years.  I am sure there are others.  If you encounter others, please send them my way. My friend, Ian Sklar, gave me something to ponder when he wrote, “Made me wonder whether the songs were meant to influence the listener… Read More


While social theorists attempt to incorporate all aspects of a given society to generate a grand theory that functions for all people all of the time, invariably, because the theory in question is so grand, there are elements that are excluded, misplaced or forgotten.  Jurgen Haberamas is no exception.  I will argue that, while his… 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


While McCormack’s main premise is that there is a decline in homophobia, I would clarify that it has only declined in specific areas due to their nature, be they be large cities with a strong progressive element such as San Francisco or New York or specific schools that he analysed first hand. However, and unfortunately,… Read More


While segregation has been mostly and forcibly eradicated in education, categories of segregation (or queues) have not been eliminated in the work place (Manza, et al: 415).  Primarily in the control of the employers’ and their representatives, they stereotypically categorize women and minorities in various rankings of lesser importance, visualizing the segregation and prejudice as… 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


Pierre Bourdieu’s desire to create a union of opposites, of the subjectivist and objectivist approaches in sociology, became what he called habitus.  This is his attempt to overcome the dualism in what he saw as a problem in sociological theory.  However, this attempt to generalize two opposing forces does not account for any individual’s desire… 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


Poverty can be explained with cold hard statistics.  Racism, on the other hand, cannot be explained scientifically, but it is explained as an individual social construct. (Omi 2001: 243).  Racism is derived from generalities that individuals use to separate the different from him/herself. (Hume 2007: 99-102).  Unfortunately, little has changed in centuries.  We are all… Read More


Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt school analysed contemporary society using key elements of Sigmund Freud’s theories filtered through the classical social theory of Karl Marx as a jumping off point.  However, he turned that on its head into three areas:  the decline of the individual, the deranged logic of capitalism, and a promise of liberation. … 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