Goldberg, Steven 1941–
Goldberg, Steven 1941–
PERSONAL: Born October 14, 1941, in New York, NY; son of I.J. and Claire Goldberg. Education: Ricker College, B.A., 1965; University of New Brunswick, M.A., 1968; Graduate Center, City University of New York, Ph.D, 1978. Religion: Jewish.
CAREER: Writer. City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, sociology teacher, 1970–2005, and past department head. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1963–69.
MEMBER: American Sociological Association.
The Inevitability of Patriarchy, Morrow (New York, NY), 1973.
When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False, Prometheus Books (Buffalo, NY), 1991.
Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance, Open Court (Chicago, IL), 1993.
Fads and Fallacies in the Social Sciences, Humanity Books (Amherst, NY), 2003.
Contributor to Chronicles, Gender Issues, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Journal of Recreational Mathematics, National Review, Society, Psychiatry, Ethics, Yale Review, and Saturday Review.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Simply Beautiful: Elegance in Mathematics.
SIDELIGHTS: In When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False, Steven Goldberg states that the discussions of highly emotional social topics "[tend] to rely on beliefs derived from emotions … rather than beliefs based on empirical study," according to Geoffrey Morris in the National Review. Daniel Seligman's Fortune review of the book noted that Goldberg attributes "a lot of validity" to stereotypes and "tells us stereotypes are 'statistical approximations,' not meant to be applicable to every last member of the class," and therefore should not be negated based on the existence of exceptions to the stereotypes.
In two different books, Goldberg argues that men, based on physiology, "are driven to attain 'dominance'" outside familial situations, and as such "they will invariably hold most of the top positions in the political and other hierarchies that set society's basic direction," reported Seligman in the National Review. Goldberg discusses this position in Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance, published in 1993, and The Inevitability of Patriarchy, published two decades earlier, after being rejected sixty-nine times (once a record in The Guinness Book of World Records.) Seligman noted in his review of Why Men Rule: "Although the earlier work is here substantially rewritten, its point remains the same: To explain why men, rather than women, have always run things and will continue to do so." Seligman cited the book for an unclear definition of dominance and for being "repetitious and disorganized, featuring innumerable digressions in which Mr. Goldberg hammers away at logical fallacies committed by critics of the earlier version, all of which might seem excessive to readers who don't have The Inevitability of Patriarchy committed to memory." However, Seligman summarized that it is a "one of a kind [book that is] … persuasive about most matters," and further stated: "Readers will instantly sense that they are in the hands of a writer who is brilliant, enormously interesting, and utterly maddening."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Commentary, December, 1973.
Fortune, September 7, 1992, Daniel Seligman, review of When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe Is False.
National Review, October 19, 1992, Geoffrey Morris, review of When Wish Replaces Thought; April 4, 1994, Daniel Seligman, review of Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance.