Michael Schwalbe

Michael Schwalbe

Michael Schwalbe is professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. His most recent book is Making a Difference: Using Sociology to Create a Better World (Oxford, 2020).

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Reproductive Freedom 101
Thirty years ago I learned the basic lessons that shaped my views on abortion. What I came to understand back then is that abortion is an essential right for women. But since that time, the anti-choice movement has stigmatized abortion so badly that many pro-choice people fail to defend it. The basic lessons about abortion are thus not being effectively passed on to the next generation. With the battle for women's reproductive freedom moving into a new phase of intensity, now seems like a good time for a review.
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Monday, August 02, 2004
New Tobacco Image Masks Deadly Business as Usual
Ten years ago the image of the tobacco industry stank like a dirty ashtray. As the annual death toll from tobacco-related diseases neared the 400,000 mark, many Americans were disgusted by the industry's continuing denial of the damage and suffering it caused. That disgust was heightened when, in congressional hearings held in the spring of 1994, the CEOs of the seven largest U.S. tobacco companies denied, under oath, that cigarettes cause disease and that nicotine is addictive.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
The Sport of Empire
Last summer my twelve-year-old nephew excitedly told me that he was finally going to get to play real football. That meant being on a school team, wearing a uniform, pads, and a helmet, and tackling. He was excited not only by the prospect of playing the game but by entering a standard rite of American manhood. I couldn't echo his enthusiasm. Nor could I bring myself to try to explain what was wrong with football. All I could do was to remark on how fast he was growing up.
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Sunday, November 02, 2003
Worker Rights Must Be Trade Policy Bottom Line
How long have you and your dad been selling furniture at the flea market? "About a year," the young man said. "Since the mill closed." He told me that his father had lost his job after twenty years as a textile dye supervisor. "It's the Asians," he said, his voice taking on an edge. "They make their stuff so cheap that they're putting American companies out of business. We just can't compete."
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Monday, May 05, 2003
Lessons in Death, Born in the USA
Young American men are the most violent group in the industrialized world. In 1992, after the first Gulf War, the homicide rate for American men between 15 and 24 was 37.2 per 100,000. That's ten times higher than the next country on the list, Italy, and 60 times higher than England. Homicide is now the second leading cause of death among young American men. Why do they kill so often? The comparison to European countries suggests that part of the answer has to do with lax gun control. Easy access to guns in this country ensures that violence will more often be deadly.
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Sunday, October 21, 2001
Professing Hard Truths
The enforcers of conformity who have criticized professors for daring to link the events of Sept. 11 to U.S. foreign policy would be wise to consider the case of Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick, a professor of chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill during an earlier time of national trouble. Hedrick published a letter to the editor in which he expressed views that his fellow Southerners found "incompatible with our honor and safety as a people." He was denounced as a traitor and corrupter of youth, burned in effigy, and fired by the UNC board of trustees.
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