in the media

Patricia Leavy’s Op-Ed and By-Line Articles

“Top 10 Tips for Surviving and Thriving Over the Holidays Without Relatives or a Partner” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, December, 17, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-10-tips-for-surviving_b_4339417.html

“Top 10 Sexist Media Moments of 2013” by Patricia Leavy and Scott Richardson, The Huffington Post, December 16, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-10-sexistmedia-moment_1_b_4449914.html

“The Codes of Female Friendship: 5 Common Friend Types and Why We May Want These Gals in Our Circle” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, October, 7, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/the-codes-of-female-friendship_b_3967372.html

“Freelance Writing: An Interview about Inspiration, Obstacles and Advice” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, September 10, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/freelance-writing-an-inte_b_3844207.html

“Authorship Isn’t Just About Writing: The Creation, Production and Promotion of Books for the Marketplace” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, August 14, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/authorship-isnt-just-abou_b_3755324.html

“Teaching Children About Race and Cultural Differences: Thoughts and Advice From Two Mothers” By Patricia Leavy and Donna Y. Ford, The Huffington Post, August 6, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/teaching-children-about-race-and-cultural-differences_b_3701810.html

“I Don’t See Race’: An Open Dialogue Between Two Scholar-Mothers About the Unintended Consequences of Racial Blindness and the Importance of Celebrating Cultural Diversity” By Patricia Leavy and Donna Y. Ford, The Huffington Post, July 24, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/i-dont-see-race-an-open-d_b_3643865.html

“An Honest Heartfelt Dialogue About Race Between Two Mothers: What Can America Learn About Race Post Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman?” By Patricia Leavy and Donna Y. Ford, The Huffington Post, July 18, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/an-honest-heartfelt-dialo_b_3611978.html

“Top 10 Tips for Translating Research into Fiction” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, July 2, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-10-tips-for-translating-research-into-fiction_b_3530418.html

“When Readers Tell Authors Their Personal Stories” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, June 6, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/when-readers-tell-authors_b_3395934.html

“Top 4 Ways Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Reveal will Help Girls and Women” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, May 14, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-4-ways-angelina-jolies-double-mastectomy-helps-women_b_3274521.html

“Boys Seeking Celebrity Prom Dates, Steubenville, and How the Media Still Don’t Get it” by Scott Richardson and Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, March 21, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/boys-seeking-celebrity_b_2916270.html

Why Girls and Women Participate in Rape Culture: More Lessons from Steubenville”by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, March 20, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/why-girls-and-women-parti_b_2909542.html

A Challenge to Boys and Men: Will You Help Stop Rape Culture?” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, March 18, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/rape-culture_b_2903406.html

“Top 5 Tips for Turning the Valentine’s Day Pity Party into a Day of Connection” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, February 13, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/valentines-day_b_2679370.html

“How Researchers are Using Fiction to Make Their Reports Accessible to the Public” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, April 24, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/how-researchers-are-using_b_3141178.html

“Top 10 Sexist-Media Moments of 2012″ by Patricia Leavy and Scott Richardson, The Huffington Post, December, 23, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-10-sexistmedia-moment_b_2352247.html

“Mass Killing Isn’t Gender Neutral: What Sandy Hook Can Teach Us About Violent Masculinity” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, December, 17, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/mass-killing-isnt-gender-_b_2316727.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#postComment

“The Kennebunk ‘Client List’ and What it is Doing to Women in my Community” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, October, 22, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/kennebunk-client-list_b_1970828.html

“‘All Men Pay For Sex’: More Fallout from the Kennebunk Scandal” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, October, 19, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/kennebunk-prostitution-ring_b_1978689.html

“Making Research Matter: The Academy versus Real-World Problems” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, September 4, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/making-research-matter-th_b_1854022.html

“Madonna’s ‘Gang Bang’ and the Double Standard Female and Male Performers Face” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, July 12, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/madonna-gang-bang_b_1657498.html

“Top 4 Reasons Americans Should Care About the Hard V. Soft Science Debate” by Patricia Leavy, The Mountain Weekly News, June 19, 2012              http://mtnweekly.com/top-4-reasons-americans-should-care-about-the-hard-v-soft-science-debate-32851

Desperate Housewives Makes Women Ask: Do We Let Our Friendships Fade Away?” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, May 18, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/desperate-housewives-finale_b_1528360.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Bad Idea: Spas for Tween Girls” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, April 26, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/tween-spas_b_1456683.html

“How Higher Education Fails Us All” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, April 2, 2012  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/higher-education_b_1396360.html  (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“4 Top Tips for Women Who Want to Turn Pop Culture on Its Head” by Patricia Leavy, The Huffington Post, March 6, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/top-4-tips-for-women-who-_b_1323670.html (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Bipartisan Politics and Higher Education: Two Roads to Nowhere?”by Patricia Leavy, The Mountain Weekly News, February 5, 2012                                               http://mtnweekly.com/bi-partisan-politics-and-higher-education-two-roads-to-nowhere-28374#.Ty_esAmvJG8.facebook

“Top 5 Tips for Single Women on Valentine’s Day” by Patricia Leavy, The Cypress Times,  February, 4, 2012 http://thecypresstimes.com/article/Columnists/Columns/TOP_5_TIPS_FOR_SINGLE_WOMEN_ON_VALENTINES_DAY/55883&authorizedAccess

“Take Control of Your Life with These Four Tips for Meeting Mr. Right” by Patricia Leavy, SunHerald.com, January 12, 2012  http://www.sunherald.com/2012/01/12/3683160/take-control-of-your-life-with.html

” A Single Girls’ Guide to New Year’s Eve” by Patricia Leavy, The DailyComet.com, December 7, 2011                                                                               http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20111207/WIRE/111209681?p=1&tc=pg

“Why Buying Your Teen Breast Implants is a Bad Idea” by Patricia Leavy, The Cypress Times, November, 21, 2011 http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/Opinion_Editorial/WHY_BUYING_YOUR_TEEN_BREAST_IMPLANTS_IS_A_BAD_IDEA/53142 (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Top 5 Signs You are in a Diet Relationship” by Patricia Leavy, The Cypress Times, October 6, 2011 http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/Books_Reviews/Authors_News/TOP_5_SIGNS_YOU_ARE_IN_A_DIET_RELATIONSHIP/51439&authorizedAccess (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Top 5 Lessons Normal Parents Can Learn from Toddlers & Tiaras” by Patricia Leavy, Huffington Post, September 21, 2011 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-leavy-phd/toddlers-and-tiaras-lessons_b_973981.html (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Soap Opera’s Swan Song is Good For Women Who Refuse to Settle” by Patricia Leavy, MediaPost Blogs, September 20, 2011 http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=158945 (ran in numerous additional media outlets)

“Even the President Can Be Bullied” by Patricia Leavy, Providence Journal, May 9, 2011
www.stonehill.edu

“Mom, The Fashion Cop” by Patricia Leavy, The Record (New Jersey), August 30, 2007
(available upon request)

“Anti-War Fashion Buyers Fool Selves” by Patricia Leavy, Providence Journal, March 30, 2004

Patricia Leavy on Television News

Glenn Beck (January 18, 2007)
web.stonehill.edu

Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN (January, 8, 2004)

Patricia Leavy on Radio

WSVA, Mike Schikman (September 27, 2013)

WCCO, a CBS station (September 23, 2013)

WDRC – Talk of Connecticut, Mary Jones Show (July 29, 2013)

PowerTalk Radio in Ann Harbor, MI with Lillian Cauldwell (December 15, 2011)

http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WNLDvbpv0

KLVT radio in Texas “The Morning Show” with Tonia Moody (December 9, 2011)

Patricia Leavy Featured in News Stories

“Sociologist’s novel studies appearances” by Alex Acquisto, The Kennebunk Post, August 2, 2013  http://post.mainelymediallc.com/news/2013-08-02/People/Sociologists_novel_studies_appearances.html

“Stonehill Professor Patricia Leavy Named New England Sociologist of the Year” by Theresa Knapp, Easton Patch, November 27, 2010
www.stonehill.edu

“Might we forget 9/11?” by Gerry Tuoti, Taunton Daily Gazette, September 14, 2007
www.tauntongazette.com

Samples of Patricia Leavy’s Quotes in Newspapers: Stories on gender, celebrity, popular culture and current events

Sorry, Miley. It’s time for a new kind of celebrity

“We’re seeing the emergence of people who are grateful, and who have either a genuine artistic desire or some kind of social message,” said Patricia Leavy, a sociologist with expertise in pop culture. “It’s in stark contrast to the overindulged celebrity who just wants to be famous… People like things that are provocative, as it gives them something to talk about. But when it’s all they’re seeing over and over again, they start to recognize it for what it is: kind of pathetic,” said Leavy, author of American Circumstance.”

PostMedia News (October 18, 2013) by Misty Harris http://o.canada.com/entertainment/music/new-celebrity/

Online hoaxes rampant in aftermath of school shooting

“It’s natural for people to want to come together after such a traumatic event,” says Patricia Leavy, a sociologist and author. “So you click and share without
thinking because you want to go through the grieving process with other
people.”

PostMedia News (December 17,  2012) by Misty Harris http://o.canada.com/2012/12/17/newtown-hoaxes/

“Spanx for nothing: Shapewear sales slim down by double digits”

Patricia Leavy, a pop-feminist author and sociologist, admits she invested in Spanx during their heyday but has since retired them. “At some point, I just realized that they were completely ridiculous – and so uncomfortable,” says Leavy. “A part of me wonders if other women have given up on all this nonsense, too.” She also notes a shift in the cultural undertow wherein fashion media is featuring a wider variety of body shapes than in 2007, when Oprah’s endorsement of Spanx sparked a shapewear renaissance. While the standards of pop culture remain completely unrealistic, I think the overall emphasis on women’s stomachs isn’t as pronounced now,” says Leavy…. NPD proposes two key opportunities for growth: marketing shapewear as more of an everyday item, and targeting the largely untapped 18 to 24-year-old demo – a prospect that sociologist Leavy isn’t crazy about.“If you’re not happy with your body at 20, God help you when you’re 40,” says Leavy.                                                                                                                                              PostMedia News (October 16, 2012) by Misty Harris http://o.canada.com/2012/10/16/1017-shapewear-decline/

 ”Sophia and Jacob are Most Popular U.S. Baby Names”

But sociologist Patricia Leavy, an expert on pop culture at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., says when regular people emulate the names celebrities choose, they risk some pushback. “The average person doesn’t live in the world that a celebrity does,” she says. “If you pick an unusual name, your child will get attention for that, which may or may not be positive.” Leavy says the focus on a special name is particularly important among today’s parents.” They want their child to stand out and they’re afraid if  they have four children in the classroom with the same name, their child won’t stand out,” she says.                         USA Today (May 15, 2012: Front Page) by Sharon Jayson http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-14/top-baby-names/54952086/1#.T7JJ-Zqa3lQ.facebook

“Careful, the sh*t you say may promote stereotypes: expert”

But to view the trend through a sociologist’s eyes, the “cheap laughs” come at a high price. “People think if it makes them laugh, it must be harmless and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. However, these memes promote some of the worst gender, race, sexual orientation and class-based stereotypes,” says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “Laughing about stereotypes deflects people from thinking about them — and in the real world, they aren’t very funny at all.” PostMedia News (January 9, 2012) by Misty Harris http://www.canada.com/life/Careful+promote+stereotypes+expert/5967506/story.html

“Putting the female back in friendships: Studies show women’s personal social time away from family, work has plummeted in recent years”

“Social media has given a lot of people the idea that they’re more connected than they are,” says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “Putting a post on Facebook about what’s going on in your life is hardly the same as a ladies’ night out, but it may give the illusion that (you’re) social…This trend is plumbed by sociologist Leavy in her new book Low-Fat Love, which underscores the importance of women’s friendships…Women often put everyone else’s needs first: their partner, their children, their colleagues. But you need to give to yourself in order to have more to give others,” says Leavy. “Female friendships can contribute greatly to a woman’s self-esteem. These relationships can make us feel valued, heard, and offer solace and encouragement when needed.” PostMedia News (September 23, 2011) by Misty Harris

“Keeping a stiff upper lip as Botox turns 10”

“People on TV keep getting younger and younger-looking, and faces appear like masks; signs of life are now seen as undesirable,” says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.” With Botox now considered a normal part of appearance management, those who do have lines and pores are frowned upon as if they’re lazy couch potatoes.”… “When it first came out, I remember thinking, ‘God, who would put that in their face?’ And now everybody does it,” says Leavy. “We assume that this is the way people are supposed to look.”… But sociologist Leavy says if the drug is increasingly sought as a cure, it’s only because the drug-maker has turned aging into a sickness. “If people are feeling insecure about lines on their face, they’re probably insecure because Botox has become so normalized in the first place.”
Canwest News Service (June 21, 2011) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)

“South Coast Salutes as Oprah Signs Off”

Patricia Leavy, an associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, believes Oprah’s focus on her own weight struggles and body image have helped “dispel the myth that women can have it all and it will come easily – even Oprah, with all of her power and success, still has areas of personal struggle and growth. This makes her highly relatable to women across the country.”
SouthCoast Today (May 25, 2011) by Alexis Hauk
www.stonehill.edu

“Life of Arnold’s Secret Child Forever Changed”

“This is not going to prevent the majority of people from seeing his movies,” says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “When there is such a public scandal there is a stain maybe forever, so I don’t think people will forget this. But at the end of the day, will this impact whether people see his movies? I don’t think so. In a perverse way, it’s a lot of free publicity.”
USA Today (May 19, 2011) by Cindy Clarke
www.stonehill.edu

“Words Can’t Express How Happy We Are”

Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., and the author of a book about public memory of 9/11, said the impromptu outbursts represent deep feelings of vindication and relief. “While typically it is not considered socially acceptable to rejoice in death or killing, in the case of Osama bin Laden, nothing follows typical norms,” she said… “As the public has grown weary of the never-ending pursuit of terrorism, which is usually a shadowy image that can’t quite be pinned down, bin Laden is the face of terrorism and his death signifies a tangible success.”
The Tampa Tribune (May 3, 2011) by Donna Koehn
www.stonehill.edu

“Blake Lively named Most Desirable”

“Celebrity has become watered down,” says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “While some of these folks gain great popularity for brief spurts of time, often their appeal is limited, and the average person walking down the street wouldn’t recognize their face or name.”… But household names weren’t totally usurped by newcomers. Scarlett Johansson (7), Natalie Portman (11), Rachel McAdams (35), Angelina Jolie (67), Beyonce (23) and Halle Berry (85) are among the more high-voltage stars landing on the list – a solid presence that comes as little surprise to pop-culture expert Leavy. “Award shows may feature a whole lot of folks who appear no different than you and me, but the mega-stars like Brad and Angelina, Tom Cruise and Sandra Bullock still get the most flashbulbs in their faces, screaming fans and dominate magazine covers,” says Leavy. “Real star power has a longer shelf life.”
Canwest News Service (February 1, 2011) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
www.canada.com

“‘The Dilemma’ Raises Difficult Questions”

Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, advises putting yourself in your friend’s shoes.
“There’s no hard and fast rule for what to do should you find yourself with knowledge about a friend,” Leavy says.
“One thing to bear in mind, from a sociological perspective, is that people always like to save face in front of others. Therefore, if you tell a friend that their spouse is cheating on them, you run the risk of your friend being so embarrassed that he or she will either downplay it or avoid you as a way of saving face.”
SouthCoastToday.com (January 14, 2011) by Lauren Daley
www.stonehill.edu

“Girls Abandon Dolls for Web-based Toys”

“Girls don’t play with dolls as much or for as long anymore because they are being socialized by media culture to grow up faster,” said Patricia Leavy, an associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., who has witnessed a lack of interest in dolls in her own 9-year-old daughter. Tween culture “is transforming the lives of girls,” Leavy said, and often to the detriment of self-esteem, she argued, with its emphasis on idealized images of beauty. Although some say an avatar fills the role just fine, Leavy disagrees, calling online diversions “a different level of intimacy and connection. It doesn’t have to be dolls, but I don’t think it’s going to come from a Web site.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer (March 31, 2010) by Lini S. Kadaba
www.stonehill.edu

“Anybody Can Be a Star These Days. Witness Snooki”

“There is no celebrity culture anymore; just fame culture in which D- listers without any discernible talent manage to capture the headlines long past their 15 minutes,” says sociologist Patricia Leavy, an associate professor at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “The recently announced cast of Dancing with the Stars makes this clear. Who are these people?”
Canwest News Service (September 06, 2010) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
www.stonehill.edu

“Burning love affair with Elvis 75 years after his birth”

“He wasn’t just a famous musician. He ultimately became a commodity: a brand, a symbol and a vehicle, not only for selling products but also for selling fantasies,” says sociologist Patricia Leavy, an associate professor at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “Elvis was really the beginning of consumer culture as we experience it now.”
Canwest News Service (January 7, 2010) By Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
www.canada.com

“Celebs Design New Ways to be Noticed”

“In our celebrity-obsessed culture, people are often willing to pay top-dollar for items with (stars’) names attached to them,” says Patricia Leavy, a professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “This is another form of celebrity branding.” “Celebrities think they have very fine taste,” says Leavy. “Because they wear the best clothes and live in the best homes, they think they can design them.”
Canwest News Service (January 01, 2009) By Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
www.stonehill.edu

“PARENT TO PARENT: Pssst! Don’t tell the kids, but some YouTube videos can teach them something”

“There’s been a push for decades for parents to watch TV with their children,” but parents haven’t always done that, said Patricia Leavy, sociology professor at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “But with this new technology, parents are able to watch with their children,” she said, adding that YouTube offers “a way of sharing common interests.”
And Leavy, who watches Tori Amos concerts with her 7-year-old daughter, thinks this is a positive trend. “Whenever you have parents and children spending time together, it’s good. When parents and kids consume media together, any kind of media, there’s more of a conversation of what they’re seeing.”
Chicago Tribune (June 1, 2008) By Kelly Haramis
www.stonehill.edu

“ME GENERATION PUTS THE ‘I’ IN CHARITY: Web lets ordinary people advertise their altruism”

Charitable giving has become both a fashion trend on the red carpet and a competitive sport on TV,” says Patricia Leavy, a sociologist and pop culture expert at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.” I think the public knows that real giving has no entertainment value, nor is it likely to occur with cameras flashing.” Though the sheer number of charities and non-profits has made competition a longtime reality for fundraising insiders, it’s only recently that individual donors have embraced the same aggressive — and highly public — approach to philanthropy.
CanWest News Service (March 10, 2008) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
web.stonehill.edu

“Exasperation rises as suggestive clothes for girls spread from teens to toddlers”

“It’s a very scary phenomenon,” said Patricia Leavy, a sociology professor at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “I don’t think it’s going to go away. I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Leavy said the clothing trend is only piggybacking off pop culture and the toy industry, where Bratz dolls have spun off Baby Bratz and celebrities such as Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan have grown up much faster than the fans who follow them. “The reason it’s really happening is money,” Leavy said.
The Arizona Republic (June 28, 2007) by Lisa Nicita
www.azcentral.com

The too-fast lane: Police try to keep up as more drivers go to dangerous extremes”

Patricia Leavy, incoming chairwoman of the sociology and criminology department at Stonehill College in Easton, sees speeding as a manifestation of a person’s need to “push on the border of normal” and a reflection of the harried times in which we live. “Once they get used to driving at 70, that’s the norm for them; they fail to see it as speeding. Then the speeding norm increases,” she said. “People are overextended and stressed, in a constant and unnecessary state of emergency. Getting somewhere really important and just going to the store take on the same urgency.” And drivers stuck in traffic seem angst-ridden, Leavy said. “They have a massive look of stress,” she said. “If you are late for a meeting or to pick up your child, that’s one thing. But just about anyone stopped in traffic looks like they’re in a panic, and though not all are going to life-shattering events, they’re less able to discern the difference.”
The Boston Globe (August 30, 2007) by Paul E. Kandarian

“Canadians lead the way in shift from ‘girl power’ to ‘girls gone wild’”

“The Spice Girls and that whole era of MTV feminism … really trivialized power,” says Patricia Leavy, director of the gender studies program at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “As a result, ‘girl power’ is a joke to (today’s young women). It just means deciding who you want to have sex with, or if you want to have sex. That’s what they think power is.” … Sociologist Leavy says this kind of casual consumption is exactly the problem. “Girls will say it’s fluff and it’s not important and they don’t take it seriously,” she observes, “but if you trivialize it and don’t take it seriously, that means you don’t intellectually think about what you’re watching – which makes it worse because there’s no filter.”
CanWest News Service (September 17, 2007) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)
www.canada.com

“Tabloid TV hits new lows groping stars in public”

“There’s a big gender dimension to (the trend), agrees Patricia Leavy, assistant professor of sociology at Massachusetts-based Stonehill College. The awards show itself, however, was not without its uncomfortable male moments. Leavy notes that every guy in the room looked stunned at the “unbelievably awful” moment in which presenter Dennis Quaid introduced Brokeback Mountain a love story about two cowboys as the film that “rhymes with ‘chick flick.’” “It, too, is a part of the larger story in which schoolboy and bathroom humor makes its way onto the red carpet and the awards show itself, as opposed to the reverence for great film-making and old school Hollywood film stars,” she says. Leavy contends the replacement of celebrity worship with celebrity exploitation is the product of the tabloid mentality of entitlement trickling into legitimate media. “Unfortunately, the more you saturate the culture with it, the more regular citizens will find it normal and thus acceptable,” she says. “There really is less of a distinction between a movie star and Paris Hilton… And if there is no reverence, then this is the kind of thing you get.”
Canwest News Service (January 19, 2006) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)

“Adult Entertainment Center Keeps Low Profile in Stoughton”

Sexuality is exploited in American culture, said Patricia Leavy, an assistant professor of sociology at Stonehill College. “The whole idea of ‘sex sells’ has been taken to extremes,” Leavy said. “When you walk through a mall, you can see images suggesting group sex.”… But despite the patronage of pro athletes and the aura of the strip joint as a “gentlemen’s club,” Leavy said it’s important to keep in mind what goes on there. “It’s a place where men pay to see women strip. It is what it is,” she said. Community fears that strip clubs will bring in prostitution are not unfounded, Leavy said. A number of studies, she said, “show a link between strip clubs and prostitution. Some women make extra money by servicing men.”
The Enterprise (January 20, 2004) by Seth Owens

“Analyze these fans”

Prof. Patricia Leavy, Stonehill sociology professor, said there is a “collective exhilaration” felt by the individual and the community when the local team is winning. Moods and behaviors can definitely be altered. It can be seen in a variety of behaviors, from the supermarket line to the traffic jam. People hold doors open for others. They refrain from road rage. “But,” she added, “on the other side, it will be a collective blow if we lose.”
The Taunton Daily Gazette (February 10, 2004) by Frank Mulligan

“Having a ball”

It’s [knitting’s]popularity also was fueled when Hollywood stars such as Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz took up the hobby, according to Patricia Leavy, assistant professor of sociology and director of gender studies at Stonehill College in Easton. “I think it’s linked to celebrity culture the same way Kaballah has made a huge comeback because of Madonna,” Leavy said, referring to the pop star’s following of Kaballah, an aspect of Jewish mysticism… “in the fashion industry, scarves became popular and the yarn industry had the technology to produce these wildly wonderful yarns, novelty yarns that lent themselves to big needles and fast projects,” Leavy said. “I don’t know if the fashion industry drove knitting or vice versa.”… Knitting is relatively easy to learn, portable and ritualistic—a great way for people to occupy their time while waiting at public places or relaxing at home, Leavy said. “It’s a way to unwind, it’s therapeutic,” said Leavy. “I think people are so saturated by the media culture that they are looking for something to do besides lying on the couch and watching TV or being on the Internet.”
The Enterprise (November 15, 2004) by Elaine Allegrini

“Benched: Men wait in the sidelines while women shop”

“I think it’s about separate togetherness,” said Patricia Leavy, a sociology professor at Stonehill College in Easton. “If the woman wants to go shopping over the weekend and the couple wants to spend time together, he might agree to go along.”… “If you didn’t sit there and do it together, you wouldn’t be together,” Leavy says. “If they didn’t put up with these things with partners, they wouldn’t have a lot of time to spend together.”
The Patriot Ledger (November 25, 2004) by Mark Fontecchio

“Parents make boobs of themselves publicly bragging about celebrity offspring’s anatomy”

According to Patricia Leavy, an expert on body image and consumerism, the issue may be a blurring of the line between person and product when Jessica Simpson’s dad talks publicly about her sexiness, for example, he’s regarding the singer as a saleable brand more so than a daughter. “It puts (us) into a lot of different terrain, as a culture, we might not be ready for,” says Leavy, an assistant professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “If you live in a culture where even (a starlet’s) dad can talk about her breasts like they have their own zip code, then anybody else can do it too and it’s got to be fair game.” “Frankly,” says Leavy, laughing, “I long for the days when people were embarrassed to go buy their first training bra with their mother.”
Canwest News Service (December 24, 2004) by Misty Harris
(story ran in newspapers across Canada)

“Exercise resolution 2003: Fitness advisors say commitment, not season, is key”

Having realistic expectations is important, said Patricia Leavy, an assistant professor of sociology and criminology at Stonehill College in Easton. People are motivated by their beliefs, desires, and assumptions, she said. They’ll continue to follow through with a goal (exercising, eating well) if their assumptions and desires are met (losing weight, feeling better). They won’t stick with it if their goals are unrealistic (looking like a supermodel). People who have made lifestyle changes have “smaller goals that are being met, and in a natural sort of way,” said Leavy, who teaches courses on sociology of gender and sociology of pop culture.
Boston Globe South (February 16, 2003) by Judith Forman

“‘Anger’ could be a raging hit”

Patricia Leavy, a sociologist at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., says Sandler’s often-violent comedy “resonates with audiences because we get to vicariously experience the over-the-top responses to unfair situations we all, at least in our minds, wish we could act out. The slapstick nature of his approach makes it acceptable, because we understand it, but don’t really buy it.”… “Adam Sandler’s angry comedy comes from the idea or experience of being an outsider, different, or even a nerd,” says Patricia Leavy, a sociologist at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass… Leavy finds Nicholson’s on-screen anger more real and frightening than Sandler’s. She recalls his fuming line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!” The moment works, she says, “because there is truth in it. Perhaps we can’t handle the truth about how our freedom is militarily protected, or the truth about growing old, or the truth about those sentenced to mental institutions (all topics covered in his films), and we know it.”
USA Today (April 10, 2003) by Andy Seiler

“Callers seek less privacy, opt for cell phones instead of stalls”

“The way people talk on cell phones now is not something we would have considered doing even 20 years ago,” says Patricia Leavy, a sociology professor at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “It’s a reflection of shifting values- away from privacy and toward autonomy.” In this context, phone booths can be viewed as a symbol of privacy- enclosing its occupant and sealing him off from the outside world. Likewise, cell phones are symbols of autonomy- take it with you and wherever you go you can connect and are connected. “And now people talk on their cell phones as if no one is around. It’s a sort of hyper autonomy, people acting out this illusion of seclusion and separation that defies logic and reality.”
The Dallas Morning News (April 12, 2003) by Tom Maurstad

“‘Star Wars Kid’ Becomes Internet Star”

“It resonates because we all know what it is like to have moments like that,” says Patricia Leavy, a sociology professor at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. who specializes in popular culture. “Personally, I sing and bop along to TV theme songs,” she adds. “Embarrassing, yes. But also a part of being human.”
The Associated Press (August 21, 2003) by Martha Irvine
(story was syndicated in newspapers across the United States)

“First or worst? Recall raises questions about how California’s image will shake out”

“To the outside world, the recall just reinforces the image of California as a place where everything is a grand spectacle, without a lot of substance,” said Patricia Leavy, an assistant professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. “We see it and we ask, ‘What are all you people with surfboards doing over there?’”
The San Diego Union Tribune (August 31, 2003) by Cristina Martinez
(story was syndicated in newspapers across the United States)

“The ’70s Keeps Stayin’ Alive”

“It’s the decade that won’t die,” says Patricia Leavy, an assistant professor in sociology at Massachusetts’ Stonehill college.
The Sunday Oregonian (August 31, 2003) by Kristi Turnquist

“The female fear factor: Young women are flocking to, and revolutionizing, horror films”

These movies allow a safe way of dealing with the real threat of violence against women, said Patricia Leavy, a sociologist and pop culture scholar at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “In reality, women are more likely to be the victims of violence,” she said, noting that in these horror films that females are often attacked but then turn the violence on their male/monster predators. “It’s a form of escape, of looking at something that is an epidemic and looking at it as a form of entertainment.”… “The shortest route to getting that audience is to put Jessica Biel in a tank top,” she said. “If you mix sex and violence, you are sure to get a crowd.”
The Los Angeles Times (November 8, 2003) by Lorenza Munoz

“Fashion dolls are marketed with different images, but are some healthy for girls?”

“Dolls are a part of one’s identity,” said Patricia Leavy, a sociology professor at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “Popular girls tend to pick having the right doll and all the accessories that go with it.” Leavy and other critics argue that some of the dolls are inappropriate. She calls the trendier dolls, particularly Bratz, which were released by MGA Entertainment in 2001, “hyper-sexualized.”
The Associated Press (November 19, 2003) by Anne D’Innocenzio
(story was syndicated in newspapers across the United States)

“Faded Glory: An American icon is about to become an overseas import when the makers of Levi’s close their last US plant near San Antonio”

“It’s an end of an era,” says Patricia Leavy, assistant professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “More than any other garment in pop culture, Levi’s are symbolic of America. They’ve come to represent some of the ideals this country is based on. Equality: anyone can afford to wear them, everyone does wear them– kids, adults, any age, any race.” “Taking this all-American thing, which is being produced by Americans and American laborers, out of the country, you’ve changed the meaning of it,” says Leavy, who teaches a one-day class on the history of blue jeans. “Even if people still buy it, it’s not the same thing.”
Fort Worth Star Telegram (December 3, 2003) by Malcolm Mayhew
(story was syndicated in newspapers across the United States)

“‘Tweens’ fleeing Barbie—Dolls race faster out of childhood”

The truth is, feminists also loathe the Bratz dolls, Patricia Leavy, a sociologist specializing in gender issues at Stonehill College, in Easton, Mass., calls them “hypersexual.” She finds their pouty mouths, heavy makeup and large breasts repugnant… they have big heads relative to their small bodies, giving them the “lollipop” look of anorexics. The fashion world refers to ultra-thin actresses, such as Calista Flockhart and Katie Holmes of Dawson’s Creek, as “Lollipop celebrities.” “Blown up heads are almost a trend in the culture, which is horrific and grotesque,” Leavy says. “The dolls are known for this.”
The Providence Journal (December 7, 2003) by Froma Harrop

“Absolutely Fadulous”

“People often latch onto a trend because they want to be hip and edgy, but when it becomes mainstream it’s not edgy anymore, it’s the butt of jokes,” says Patricia Leavy, assistant professor of sociology and pop culture at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. “Today, with everything mass-produced and the speed of the Internet, a trend can really explode quickly and then die out just as quickly.”
The Portland Press Herald (2003) by Ray Routhier

“Brides 2002: Census shows more married couples live in small towns”

Stonehill College sociology Prof. Patricia Leavy agrees. “Renting an apartment or owning a small condo in a city like Brockton is less of a lifetime commitment than setting up the white picket fence in a town like Berkeley,” she said. City residents are more likely to move around, she added. Leavy also pointed to the comparative sizes of the dating pools in cities and small towns. “Our choices are influenced by our options, and in a huge city, we seem to have a limitless options,” said Leavy.
The Enterprise (September 27, 2002) by David Connolly

“And then there was one… A look at what decided the governor’s race and where we go from here”

Patricia Leavy, an associate professor of sociology and criminology at Stonehill College, said gender is a big issue in politics across the country and ultimately played a role in the governor’s race. “We elect an image of a leader,” she said. “We’re socialized into seeing men as authoritative figures. We’re used to seeing men be aggressive and tough.” When O’Brien came across in that vein, it rubbed people the wrong way. “Had she come across as a little bit nicer and more sympathetic, she may have done better. I don’t think we’d say that about men,” Leavy said. The scrutiny on family issues that female candidates undergo differs, too. Leavy pointed to acting Gov. Jane Swift as the prime example. “We looked at her struggle to balance family and work,” she said. “We want women to be agreeable, meet us in the middle,” she said. “We expect women to be more friendly and congenial.” Given that women represent 51% of the population, Leavy said they have the power to provoke change. But that’s still a way off. “Even though in terms of numbers, we have the ability to, turn things around, we’re not there culturally,” she said.
The Sunday Enterprise (November 10, 2002) by Jennifer Kovakich

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