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51% #1593: A Sociologist Studies Horse Crazy Girls

On this week’s 51%, a sociologist takes us into the world of horse crazy girls. (**This interview contains sexually explicit content about 21 minutes in until 23:35.)

In “Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses,” horse crazy sociologist Jean O’ Malley Halley explores the meaning behind the love between girls and horses. Halley contends that this relationship and its cultural signifiers influence the manner in which young girls define their identity when it comes to gender. Halley examines how popular culture, including the “pony book” genre, uses horses to encourage conformity to gender norms but also insists that the loving relationship between a girl and a horse fundamentally challenges sexist and mainstream ideas of girlhood. I spoke with Halley about her latest book and what factors drove her to focus on the topic. 

Halley is a professor of sociology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has authored other books, including “The Parallel Lives of Women and Cows: Meat Markets;” and is co-author of “Seeing White: An Introduction to White Privilege and Race” along with “Seeing Straight: An Introduction to Gender and Sexual Privilege.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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