Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


As American as Apple Pie


Sociology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Social and Behavioral Sciences


This paper addresses the infantilizing techniques of political parties and corporations to create authoritarian social relations. This simplistic relationship of disempowerment keeps people emotionally and economically dependent on leaders and providers, where the individual plays the role of isolated consumer. We call this Infantile Authoritarianism (IA), which reduces the individual to binary emotional responses, contentment or rage. Unable to cope with larger complexities in life, this further reinforces dependence on hierarchical systems abstracted from practical function. Only the procedure matters, not the intent or the outcome. In this way, the IA perceived others merely as objects to be managed like all other objects and possessions. As it reinforces empty consumerism, it also neutralizes social critique and activism.

Conference Name

Area Specialty Meeting of the American Sociological Association

Conference Location

New York, NY

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