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Man (Dis)connected

Philip Zimbardo and Nikita S. Coulombe

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Rider

Published : 2016

Copyright : Philip Zimbardo and Nikita S. Coulombe 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84604-485-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84604-485-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Young men are failing as never before - academically, socially and sexually. But why is this so? What are the implications? And what needs to be done about it before it's too late?

Philip Zimbardo and co-writer Nikita Coulombe examine the modern meltdown of manhood and how this is manifest in the lives of young men today. They consider such factors as absent fathers, and legislation favouring women, which contribute to many men lacking social skills and direction in their lives. Most controversially, Zimbardo argues that readily available hardcore pornography and exciting gaming realities provide digital alternatives that are less demanding and far more appealing for many than sex, sports and social interaction in the real world. Immersion in these alternative realms is playing havoc with these boys' cognitive development, their ability to concentrate and their social development, allowing girls to excel in the real world where social skills are a source of success.

By illuminating the symptoms and causes of these gloomy trends, Zimbardo and Coulombe shed light on how we arrived at this state of affairs and, most significantly, what the solutions might be.

'Detailed and absorbing... masterly and honest.'

Times Higher Education Supplement

'Zimbardo has put his finger on a great challenge of the modern era.'

The Sunday Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (010520) Rating (8/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 8/10

In Man (Dis)connected the eminent psychologist Philip Zimbardo trains his clinical eye about what it means to be a man in the early 21st century. Young men can find out about sex through the internet, in ever more explicit ways, they can fight false wars on a computer screen, and see more and more horror exploding in the news. They are falling behind their female classmates, both academically and socially, whilst ever increasing unemployment has meant that fewer can find work in many of the older, masculine work places that their fathers and grandfathers took for granted. Computers are taking away their need to leave the house, whilst the increase in online gambling is causing more problems.

Zimbardo posits many reasons for this general malaise, from absentee fathers, the glamorisation of drugs and crime, to a general disillusionment with schools, low paid, low level jobs, and a largely unfair, and indifferent society.

Much like he did with The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo’s previous, controversial, and abandoned project, where volunteers took on the roles of prisoners, and guards, he examines the problem from both sides. Seeing it as a worldwide problem, rather than one confined to one country, or one generation, he posits that the way to improvements can be found in a multi-pronged attack, where the government, media, and local community can play a large part.

However, there is very little historical context within the book, and during the industrial revolution, the two world wars, even the market street crash of 1929, young men would have found themselves facing similar issues, it is just that they are spoken of more, and studied more these days, particular with our ever increasing reliance on computers.

The book is written in highly intelligent, but accessible language. Readers do not need to have three degrees in psychology to get the point, and there is a lot to learn from this book. The work of Zimbardo, and his research scientist Nikita S. Coulombe is both vital and timely, with much to think about, not only for this generation, but for the next one, and the one after that.
Ben Macnair (1st May 2020)

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