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Understanding Hookup Culture: What’s Really Happening on College Campuses

Distributed by Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060; 800-897-0089
Produced by Sut Jhally
Directed by Sut Jhally
DVD , color, 30 min.
College - General Adult
Anthropology, Gender Studies, Popular Culture, Sociology

Reviewed by Rue McKenzie, University of South Florida, Tampa

Not Recommended   
Date Entered: 2/7/2012

Paula England, currently a Professor of Sociology at New York University, is a widely published researcher focusing on gender in the workplace, occupational segregation, changing patterns in family life and emerging trends in human sexuality. The program Understanding Hookup Culture focuses on her recent work during her tenure at Stanford University. Dr. England’s lecture outlines the processes used and results found in order to provide a descriptive portrait of current sexual norms on college campuses. The findings are based on the responses of undergraduate heterosexuals from 18 public and private universities. Data was gathered by peer interview and survey methodologies. Issues touched upon include ‘hookups vs. relationships’, ‘men as initiators’ and the ‘gender double standard’. Concluding statements suggest that the hookup is a ‘new social form with old gendering’. The lecture is accompanied by standard illustrative slides.

Understanding Hookup Culture: What’s Really Happening on College Campuses does not provide the same level of quality and interest this reviewer is accustomed to when viewing programs from Media Education Foundation. The presentation is dry, at times the commentary with accompanying slides is more confusing than informative, and the audience often seems less than engaged. The research content itself is both timely and important, and could be useful for a variety of college course discussions. However, having the subject matter presented by this video does not offer added value.