ANGRY WHITE MEN: American Masculinity at the End of an Era
Host Theresa Mitchell interviews sociologist Michael Kimmel about his new book ANGRY WHITE MEN: American Masculinity at the End of an Era.
Kimmel locates the anger of white men in the seismic economic, social and political shifts that have so transformed the American landscape. Downward mobility, increased racial and gender equality, and an anachronistic ideology of masculinity has left manymen feeling betrayed and bewildered. Raised to expect unparalleled social and economic privilege, white men are suffering today from what Kimmel calls "aggrieved entitlement": a sense that the benefits that white men believed were their due have been snatched away from them. ANGRY WHITE MEN introduces readers to the sons of small town America, scarred by underemployment and wage stagnation. Menfeel they’ve lived their lives the ‘right’ way, worked hard and stayed out of trouble, but still haven’t gotten economic rewards. They’ve been subject to a bait-and-switch, one that leads them, inevitably, to blame women, gay people, or members of other races and ethnicities. And, even more terrifying, young boys are following in men’s angryfootsteps. School shootings are all committed by boys—alienated young men who are transformed into mass murderers by a sense that using violence against others is their right.
Michael Kimmel is one of the leading writers on men and masculinity in the world today, and for his new book he has spent hundreds of hours in the company of America’s angry white men—from white supremacists to men's rights activists to schoolboys —to try to figure out what makes them so furious. The book attempts to diagnose their mindset, their anxieties—and their rage.