Why You Should Pursue Meaning, Not Happiness

A recent article in The Washington Post identified a rising “sea of despair” among the white working class and a surge in suicides from 1999 to 2015, when a record high of 600,000 Americans took their own lives. In a country as free and as prosperous as the United States of America, where the pursuit … Continued


The End of Summer Doesn’t Mean the End of Fun

It’s like something out of a Disney movie, except it’s real life: A polar bear and dog, otherwise mortal enemies, start playing with each other in a snowy field in northern Canada. Brian Ladoon, a hunter and trapper in northern Canada, didn’t think it would go this way when he first saw the 1,200 pound … Continued


Give Monogamy a Chance

The hit HBO series Girls, which is wildly popular with twenty-something audiences, is also notorious for its frank portrayals of the dark side of the casual-sex culture reigning among America’s young adults. I’ve written about the show for Acculturated, but as a reminder, in the first season of the show, the main character, Hannah (played by Lena … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Television

There’s More to Life Than Being Successful

Listening to the Acculturated podcast with Rod Dreher, which we published yesterday, made me wonder about some of the cultural differences between the north and the south in this country. In an essay about the south for the New Criterion, the writer Barton Swaim notes that, unlike the south, the north is “more vulnerable to the cultural volatility and … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music

How Technology Is Killing Human Connections, Happy Hour Edition

Will everything one day be sacrificed on the altar of convenience and efficiency? When it comes to how we interact with each other, we certainly seem to be trending in that direction. E-mail, texting, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other innovations of the digital age have expanded our social networks in a breathtaking way while, at … Continued

Culture, Tech

The Benefits of Optimism

Have you seen or read Silver Linings Playbook and/or Life of Pi? If you haven’t, I couldn’t recommend them more. My latest piece was actually inspired by these two phenomenal books/movies. In the piece, titled “The Benefits of Optimism Are Real,” I argue that a positive outlook on life is the most important predictor of resilience–or how … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Movies

Are Women Who Say “Sorry” Weaker?

Who apologizes more, men or women? According to a highly circulated study from 2010, which has resurfaced recently in a post on Jezebel, the answer is women: Researchers analyzed the number of self-reported offences and apologies made by 66 subjects over a 12-day period. And yes, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men … Continued


The Beyoncé Debate: Can Traditionally Minded Women Be Sexy?

Yesterday, we ran a wonderful piece by Ashley McGuire on Beyoncé’’s Soulful Feminism. Ashley looked at Beyoncé’s superbowl performance and saw a strong woman who is beautiful, sexy, incredibly successful, and–perhaps most interesting of all–traditionally minded when it comes to sex, relationships, and family. Just recently, she slammed the idea of surrogates, saying  “I respect mothers … Continued

Culture, Fashion

What Is Love, Anyway?

In her new book Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, the psychologist Barbara Fredrickson offers a radically new conception of love. Fredrickson, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presents scientific evidence to argue that love is not what we think it is. It … Continued

Books, Culture

Thrift and Fashion: A Beautiful Alliance

Several weeks ago when we ran on Acculturated a series of blog posts about our “pop culture guilty pleasures,” I had intended to write in about glossy fashion magazines–and how much I loved paging through them, not to read the articles, but just to look at the gorgeous ads that make up the bulk of the … Continued

Culture, Fashion