My Annual Miss America Predictions [edited with results]

It’s both a somber and celebratory day on which to hold the Miss America finals: September 11th. As much as people can criticize (with some validity, granted) various aspects of the Miss America program, remember that we are a country where women can decide to parade on live TV in skimpy bikinis while wearing the […]

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PLAYING TO WIN Turns 3 (and 4!)

It has been almost exactly three years since Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture was released. And people continue to read it, which is definitely an amazing feeling. In fact, sales are up this year! Mostly this is thanks to professors assigning the book/excerpts in classes, and I can tell you that […]

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Random thoughts after Week 1 in Rio

We are one week into the Rio Olympics and I have some thoughts– well, a lot of thoughts, but here are some serious (and not so serious) personal highlights. I’ll focus on the big three that sociologists like to think about: gender, class, and race. I’d like to thank various journalists for giving me a […]

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Ready for Rio: Gold Medal Families

Today the Olympics officially begin! My whole family is very excited (Carston and I are especially psyched for gymnastics, and John for Track & Field, though Q is undecided…). In honor of the Opening Ceremonies tonight I’m writing about Lifetime’s docuseries Gold Medal Families. The 8-part 1-hour each episodes followed 6 Olympic hopefuls (artistic gymnastics, […]

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Watching the Brie Train: Douglas Family Gold

It’s an established fact that I like gymnastics, and I love reality TV. So you can bet when there is overlap I’ll be watching. Enter Douglas Family Gold. Oxygen aired the six episode (30 minutes each) series beginning in May 2016, though the action all takes place in 2015 as Gabrielle Douglas (aka Gabby/Brie), reigning […]

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Update to my Psychology Today piece: No More Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikinis

Yesterday on the heels of the Miss Teen USA decision to drop swimsuit and replace it with fitness wear (unclear if that will include a fitness routine or just the attire) I published a piece at Psychology Today. You can read the full version of that by clicking here. Two of the photos I included […]

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Goodbye Stranger and Girls & Sex: One way to navigate the complicated new landscape

So far this year– almost halfway through– I have a clear favorite fiction book (Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead) and a clear favorite nonfiction book (Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein). And, in my opinion, they are really in conversation with one another; though I’m not sure anyone has made this connection before. In her […]

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In the Room Where It Happens: Hamilton and (Cultural) Capital

Last fall I literally bought into the hype and got the Hamilton soundtrack. Predictably (as a musical theater fan, history-loving nerd, and aspiring wordsmith), I fell in love. This was not out of character. For instance, last century, I bought the Rent soundtrack and knew every word long before I ever saw it live. I […]

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Fantastic Lies and TRex: Documentaries and Sports in American Society

Wow, I haven’t blogged in three months. Why? Most of my time has been taken up by the course I am teaching this semester, a large lecture class at Brown called Sports in American Society. Standing room only crowd today in my inaugural Sports in American Society lecture. <insert sporting exhortation here> #americanstudies #sportsinamericansociety #professorlife […]

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The Fix Is In: Miss Universe 2016

To me there are three High Holy Days of Pageantry each year: Miss America is the apex (with a Holy Week to go along with it), then Miss Universe, and Miss USA. It’s no secret that my favorite part of Miss Universe are the national costumes. I actually missed them live this year because I […]

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