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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It’s the Official Publication Day for PLAYING TO WIN: RAISING CHILDREN IN A COMPETITIVE CULTURE

Well, it’s here. The culmination of years of research, writing, and revising. Everyone can now buy my book at a variety of outlets and in a variety of ways. I even got to celebrate with friends and sociologists in NYC at my official book launch party a few weeks ago (see pictures here). Oh, and […]

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Reflections on Preview of Playing to Win from The Atlantic: Soccer Isn’t for Girly-Girls?

For a writer there is no greater feeling than people reading your work, sharing it, and thinking about it. I got a great taste of that feeling earlier this week when part of Chapter 4 of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture was excerpted at The Atlantic. The full title of Chapter […]

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Writing, Writing, Writing, and Writing (Talking, too) about Competition

I’ve been writing so much lately, partly in preparation for the release of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture (have I mentioned you can pre-order it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the University of California Press’ website?!), that I decided to do a writing round-up this week. These four different […]

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The Competition-Performance Relation and Dance

When I read Matt Richtel’s article, “The Competing Views on Competition,” last month in The New York Times I couldn’t stop thinking about what one of the chess moms I met told me while I was researching Playing to Win: “Raising kids is a big experiment and I won’t know till later if I did […]

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Life Is an Audition: Recent Books About Young Adult Performers (from Huffington Post Books)

This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post Books. “My life has been one big audition.” This is the first line of Elizabeth Eulberg’s latest young adult novel, Take a Bow [Scholastic, April 1, 2012]. Take a Bow follows four young performers–two songwriters, one singer, and an actor–through their senior year at the fictional New […]

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“Princess means that you’ re a loser!”: Recent beauty pageant portrayals on TV (UPDATED to include dance competitions)

Princess means that you’re a loser! A lot of feminists might agree with this sentiment– especially with the recent release of Disney’s newest princess targeted at the preschool set, Sofia the First. But it was a child beauty pageant mom who uttered this line during the continuing fourth season of TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, which […]

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Pas de Deux: A Review of Bunheads and Audition (from The Huffington Post Books)

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ON THE HUFFINGTON POST BOOKS! It’s no wonder that young adult readers are fascinated by the world of competitive ballet. Even if they aren’t dancers themselves, teens are drawn in by the all-consuming dance world (made more intriguing by the general absence of parents) and the focus on romance as […]

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Foot Perfect: A Review of Jig

One weekend I went shopping at a mall in downtown Boston—and was transported into another culture.  A hotel, connected to the mall, was hosting an Irish dancing competition (or “feis”). My friend turned to me and asked, “Wait, is this a child beauty pageant, or something else?”  With the bobbing heads full of Shirley Temple-like […]

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Dance Studio Dynamics: Reflections on Season One of Dance Moms (from orgtheory.net)

During the summer of stage mothers, Lifetime’s Dance Moms emerged as a breakout hit for the network.  From its debut in mid-July 2011 to its season finale this past week, the show steadily attracted more viewers (up 62% since its premiere).  With about 1.6 million watching each episode, it’s not surprising that the network has […]

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