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Economic UpdateLUMPENPROLETARIAT—Dr. Richard Wolff has interviewed Dr. Harriet Fraad, a recurring guest on Economic Update, in the wake of a new study by two noted economists.  As broader socioeconomic changes restructure gender politics within the capitalist mode of production, many men, particularly middle-aged white males, are facing depression and worsening mortality rates, as they struggle to adapt to demoted positions in society and in the home. [1]

Dr. Fraad, as a mental health counsellor, asks the dominant culture to reconceptualise male gender roles, so that men may learn to take pride in home-making and contributing to the domestic work load, which has often been degraded by our hitherto patriarchal society.  Dr. Fraad and Dr. Wolff also help us understand the structural or societal aspects of many socioeconomic challenges, which millions of individuals often internalise as personal failure.  This is a timely and important discussion.  This type of informed discussion helps individuals, families, and communities find common ground across gender, ethnicity, and other socioeconomic markers toward healthier outcomes for all.  Please listen (or download) here. [2]

Messina

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ECONOMIC UPDATE—Welcome back to the second half of Economic Update for this Thanksgiving Day Weekend 2015.  I’m very proud to have with me, again, and, partly, by the way, because so many of you have written in asking me to bring back Dr. Harriet Fraad, who is a mental health counsellor and a hypnotherapist with a private practice in New York City.  And she also writes prolifically in a variety of places on politics and economics and how they intersect and interact with personal life.  And that’s, indeed, why I wanted her to join with us today because, as she will explain, there’s been some recent research, that has really touched precisely on the interaction of economics and personal life.  And, so, this is a perfect opportunity to explore that.  Thank you very much, Dr. Fraad, for joining us.”

DR. HARRIET FRAAD:  “I’m glad to be here.”

DR. RICHARD WOLFF:  “So, tell us, if you will, in a few words, what is this new research, who performed it, and what, basically, does it tell us.”

DR. HARRIET FRAAD:  “Well, it’s a very recent study by […]”  [expanded transcript pending]

Learn more at ECONOMIC UPDATE.

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[The following is an excerpt of a book review originally published by Dr. Harriet Fraad on 25 FEB 2014 at THE INDYPENDENT.  The book reviewed is Angry White Men written by Michael Kimmel and published in 2013 by Nation Books.]

DR. HARRIET FRAAD—It’s been a tough 40 years for working and middle-class white men in America. Accustomed to an exalted place in the social hierarchy, they have seen their wages stagnate and decline since the early 1970s. At the same time, women have gained unprecedented new freedoms and our society became more racially and culturally diverse.

Rather than adapt and change, many of these men cling to male dominance. Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology and gender studies at Stony Brook University in New York, journeys deep into the worlds of his white male aggrieved subjects.

Kimmel has produced a masterful account of white men’s rage. He focuses on the sons of successful skilled craftsmen, small businessmen and small farmers disenfranchised by the corporatizing of America, mass production, outsourced work, mega-stores like Walmart and Home Depot and restaurant chains like McDonalds and Applebees.

Learn more at DR. HARRIET FRAAD.

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[1]  The term capitalist mode of production is used by many within the discipline of economics, primarily within the subset known as heterodox economics, to denote capitalism.  In my training, and having graduated with honours with a degree in Economics from the heterodox economics department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I have come to view the term as the most appropriate way to denote capitalism.  (One of my economics professors, Dr. Erik Olsen, actually had Dr. Richard Wolff as one of his professors and dissertation advisers.)  To simply refer to our current economic system as capitalism runs the risk of perpetuating the myth that our current mode of production and social organisation is somehow natural, necessary, or inevitable.  This, of course, is not true.  In the past, other forms of social organisation have existed and endured for long periods of recorded human history, such as feudalism, slavery, and other tribal forms of organisation not based on the extraction and accumulation of capital.  I know the term is a mouthful, as many of my non-economist friends have complained.  But it’s an important distinction we may overlook only at our own peril.

[2]  Dr. Richard Wolff’s interview with Dr. Harriet Fraad begins at minute 29:00 of the Economic Update broadcast.

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[3 DEC 2015]

[Last modified  3 DEC 2015  10:38 PDT]

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