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October 2003

Release Date: October 7, 2003

Sociologist to Examine 'Social Atrophy' and Its Implications on Society

Dr. D. Stanley Eitzen, one of the nation's leading sociologists and the AEP Distinguished Professor in Residence at Angelo State University this fall, will speak on "The Atrophy of Social Life" at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, on campus.

Eitzen will talk about the social trends that are converging to hinder or even eliminate social interaction in contemporary American society. The AEP Distinguished Visiting Faculty Public Forum at which he will talk is open free to the public in Room 100 of the Math-Computer Science Building, 2200 Dena Drive.

Eitzen contends that life now has less social interaction than a generation or two ago and that this fragments American society. Factors that tend to block social interaction include technology, such as air conditioning, television and computers, geographical mobility, home schooling, gated communities, suburbs and architecture. The effects and implications of these and other phenomena ultimately lead to social malnutrition.

A professor emeritus in sociology at Colorado State University, Eitzen is spending six weeks on the ASU campus this fall and teaching in the Department of Psychology and Sociology and the Department of Kinesiology. His teaching specialties include sport and society and the sociology of sport as well as a variety of other sociological topics, such as political sociology, social stratification, corporate power and elite deviance.

Eitzen is the author or editor of 19 books, including Experiencing Poverty: Voices from the Bottom, Fair and Foul: Rethinking the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport, Criminology: Crime and Criminal Justice and Sociology of American Sport. He has written chapters in 46 other books and has published more than 110 articles in professional journals and publications.

AEP established the Distinguished Professor in Residence Program in 1997 to bring to ASU outstanding individuals in a variety of fields for extended interaction with students, faculty, staff and the public.