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Mike Males, Ph.D.,
October 13, 2002 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Mike Males, Ph.D., professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, author and pro-youth advocate, thinks kids are getting a bad rap these days. He is very fond of pointing out that poverty and grown-ups are the biggest threats to teens today. His latest book, "Kids and Guns", is available for free online (HTML version on his homepage, PDF version at Common Courage Press). He even knocks the drug policy reform movement for making the same "save the children" diatribes as their opponents. His site isn't exactly the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I haven't been so engrossed by something on the web in a long, long time.
posted by botono9 (10 comments total)

 
Buy Framing Youth: 10 Myths About the Next Generation with The Scapegoat Generation for one low price of $24.85!

Seriously, though -- I checked Amazon's reviews on this guy. Though not much is written on Mike Males, what is there is quite complimentary. And I, for one, agree; the kids who are getting a bum rap are the kids I went to high school with. I'd say the majority are great kids.

I don't know, however, how necessary it is to have "youth advocates" rallying for our cause; every generation is going to say the generation prior is lazy, degenerate, and outright violent. Nothing's new, nothing's changed, and we don't need no stinkin' advocacy on our side because, unlike other kinds of prejudice, we eventually grow up and out of having the finger pointed at us.
posted by jennanemone at 12:24 PM on October 13, 2002


I don't know, however, how necessary it is to have "youth advocates" rallying for our cause; every generation is going to say the generation prior is lazy, degenerate, and outright violent. Nothing's new, nothing's changed, and we don't need no stinkin' advocacy on our side because, unlike other kinds of prejudice, we eventually grow up and out of having the finger pointed at us.

You kids need to get your generations straight. Prior generations usually don't get dissed. Subsequent ones do.
posted by srboisvert at 12:43 PM on October 13, 2002


Teach people fear and they will run to the government to protect them; they will ask for authority to expand even further so they may be safe. Best of all, they may become so afraid of one another that they dare not trust each other enough to act against a government that is encroaching upon freedom.

Why else would our media distort reality in this manner?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:15 PM on October 13, 2002


My generation sucked. Kids today are great. I just wish they would take off their baseball caps when they are getting laid--my daughter's complaint.
posted by Postroad at 1:49 PM on October 13, 2002


Ratings, pyramid, ratings. It's the invisible hand of the mass media at work.

And stop making me laugh so hard, Postroad. It's making me feel guilty to laugh when there are horrible things happening in the world that I can't do anything about (don't click, it's just there for reference).

Now I feel guilty for being a party-pooper.

Lastly, I just want to say that Mike Males is très cool. That's all.
posted by skoosh at 2:41 PM on October 13, 2002


Don't expect me to pay too much attention to someone so utterly clueless as to pimp the same deceitful pro Drug War rhetoric that the Office of National Drug Control Policy does.

I don't know any pro-legalization people saying that drug reform will reduce drug use, only that people who want to use drugs will use them regardless of if they are legal or not. I know I will.
posted by mark13 at 5:01 PM on October 13, 2002


mark13, I hope you're not talking about Mr. Males. He is critical of the drug reform movement because it keeps trying to "protect" children. He was recently critical of the Nevada initiative to regulate marijuana because it kept penalties for minors! I don't think that's exactly in line with the ONDCP. Mr. Males thinks kids should be able to experiment in a safe environment.

His main point as far as the drug war goes is that we need to base it on science. He quotes the Netherlands own statistics which show use of marijuana rose quite a bit after "legalization". But that's not the point. It doesn't matter if more people are using a drugs as long as they are doing it safely and responsibly, which is much easier in a legal, regulated market. Don't sweat it. You and Mr. Males are on the same side.
posted by botono9 at 5:16 PM on October 13, 2002


I went to college with this guy; he was smart and gutsy then too. Thanks for the links.
posted by languagehat at 7:43 PM on October 13, 2002


Not that I'm trying to hijack the thread, but this makes me think of the "This is the dime bag that Stacy bought" sort of ads I've seen on TV lately -- if it's really all about saving kids from getting shot, fine, just LEGALIZE THE SHIT, the bottom will drop out of the market, and people will quit getting capped over all the money, turf and law-enforcement chickenshit.
posted by alumshubby at 6:09 AM on October 14, 2002


Mike Males is great. I did an interview with him once for the dot-com casualty Ytrybe, and greatly enjoyed reading Framing Youth. I agree with most of what he says — see also Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions and Grace Llewellyn's books, especially the Teenage Liberation Handbook.

Males is especially good at coming up with hard statistics to debunk the shared mythology of the oppression of youth (for those people for whom common sense isn't enough).
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:50 AM on October 14, 2002


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