The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things

Written by Barry Glassner

In the age of 9/11, the Iraq War, financial collapse, and Amber Alerts, our society is defined by fear. So it's not surprising that three out of four Americans say they feel more fearful today then they did twenty years ago. But are we living in exceptionally dangerous times?

In The Culture of Fear, sociologist Barry Glassner demonstrates that it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. Glassner exposes the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears, including advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases and politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime, drug use, and terrorism.

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Featured On Episode #70

The Culture Of Fear

We're joined by sociologist and author Barry Glassner. For ten years, his book The Culture Of Fear has shed light on the way that cultural anxiety is manufactured to drive media ratings and win votes for politicians. The book has recently been updated to cover the trends of the last decade, and Glassner will explain why we're still afraid of all the wrong things. And Greg Laden is back with Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong. This time, is it true that poor people have more babies than the wealthy?

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