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Scholarly reflections on ‘bae’

What do you call your loved one? Babe and baby have been used for centuries to discuss small children, and eventually a significant other. With the inclusion of bae on Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year shortlist, we asked a number of scholars for their thoughts on this new word and emerging phenomenon.

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50 Years After Emmett Till, Bigotry Isn’t Just for “Bubbas” Anymore

Fifty years ago this past Sunday, the brutal slaying of Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Chicagoan visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta, laid bare the raw savagery and blatant disregard for decency and law that permeated the Jim Crow South. When Till’s mother insisted on an open casket funeral and Jet magazine published photos of his […]

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Identifying and preventing antisocial behavior

By Donald W. Black
For many years I have pondered the mental state and motivations of mass shooters. The tragic events in Newtown, CT this past week have brought this to the fore. Mass shootings have become everyday occurrences in the United States, and for that reason tend not to attract much attention unless the circumstances are especially heinous, such as this instance in which the victims were young children. We are all left wondering what can be done.

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Antisocial personality disorder: the hidden epidemic

By Donald W. Black, M.D.
It may be hard to believe, but one of the most common and problematic mental disorders is ignored by the public and media alike. People — and reporters — breathlessly talk about depression, substance abuse and autism, but no one ever talks about antisocial personality disorder. Why?

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Personality disorders in DSM-5

By Donald W. Black, M.D.
Those of us in the mental health professions anxiously await the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Others may wonder what the fuss is about, and may even wonder what the DSM-5 is. In short, it is psychiatry’s diagnostic Bible.

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US Independence Day author Q&A: part four

Happy Independence Day to our American readers! In honor of Independence Day in the United States, we asked some of our influential American history and politics VSI authors to ask each other some pointed questions related to significant matters in America. Their passionate responses inspired a four day series leading up to America’s 237th birthday today.

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Seeing complexity in U.S. public education

By Donald J. Peurach
Education reform is among the great American pastimes. This is activity that plays out continuously in public discourse everywhere from corner bars to capitol buildings, as well as in the day-to-day work of government agencies, university-based project teams, and private organizations. Current wrangling over the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Act will surely throw fuel on the fire.

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DSM-5 will be the last

By Edward Shorter
In assessing DSM-5, the fog of battle has covered the field. To go by media coverage, everything is wrong with the new DSM, from the way it classifies children with autism to its unremitting expansion of psychiatry into the reach of “normal.” What aspects should we really be concerned about?

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The classification of mental illness

By Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman
According to the UK Centre for Economic Performance, mental illness accounts for nearly half of all ill health in the under 65s. But this begs the question: what is mental illness? How can we judge whether our thoughts and feelings are healthy or harmful? What criteria should we use?

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American psychiatry is morally challenged

By Michael A. Taylor
The fundamental problem with American psychiatry is American psychiatrists. It seems every few months there’s fresh news about some well-known academic psychiatrist paid boatloads to endorse a new treatment that doesn’t work—or worse—causes harm. Among the 394 US physicians in 2010 who received over $100,000 from the pharmaceutical industry, 116 were psychiatrists, well out of proportion of the percentage of psychiatrists in medical practice.

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Clinician’s guide to DSM-5

By Joel Paris, MD
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a classification of all diagnoses given to patients by mental health professionals. Since the publication of the third edition in 1980, each edition has been a subject of intense interest to the general public. The current manual, DSM-5, is the first major revision since 1994.

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Oxford authors on Sandy Hook

On 14 December 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother before driving from his home to Sandy Hook Elementary School and opening fire on students and staff. Twenty children and six adults were murdered before the gunman committed suicide. Many Oxford University Press authors felt compelled to share their expertise to offer comfort, explanations, and understanding. Here’s a round-up of their recent articles on the tragedy.

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The Ku Klux Klan in history and today

Before discussing the most pressing questions people tend to have about the KKK, let me add some background for basic context. The Ku Klux Klan was first formed in 1866, through the efforts of a small band of Confederate veterans in Tennessee. Quickly expanding from a localized membership, the KKK has become perhaps the most resonant representation of white supremacy and racial terror in the U.S.

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