Rebels with a Cause: Reimagining Boys, Ourselves, and Our Culture (Hardcover)

Rebels with a Cause: Reimagining Boys, Ourselves, and Our Culture By Niobe Way Cover Image
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From NYU professor of developmental psychology Niobe Way,
an in-depth exploration about what boys and young men teach us about themselves, us, and the toxic culture we have created, one in which we value money over people, toys over human connection, and academic achievement over kindness. Based on her longitudinal and mixed-method research over thirty-five years, Rebels with a Cause is a true call to action to change the culture so that we stop the vicious cycle of violence and blame.
Dr. Niobe Way has spent her career researching social and emotional development and finds that boys and young men desperately want and need the same thing as everyone else: close friendships. Yet they and we grow up in a stereotyped “boy” culture, one that devalues and mocks those relationships, rather than recognizing that they’re necessary for human survival.
In Rebels with a Cause, Way takes her message one step beyond her previous book, Deep Secrets, which was the inspiration for an Oscar-nominated film Close, to reveal how these “rebels,” as she calls the boys and young men in her research and in her classrooms, teach us about their and our crisis of connection, evidence of which is visible in our soaring rates of depression, anxiety, loneliness, suicide, and mass violence. They also teach us about the solutions to the crisis, which is to care, to listen with curiosity, and to take individual and collective responsibility for the damage we have done to them, to ourselves, and to the world around us.
Way provides us not only with data-driven insight into the roots and consequences of this crisis of connection, but also offers us concrete and empirically tested strategies for creating a culture that better aligns with our human nature and our human needs. Her book reminds us that “it’s not the rebels who cause the troubles of the world, it’s the troubles that cause the rebels.” The time to listen to and act on what young rebels have been telling us for almost a century is now.

About the Author

Niobe Way is Professor of Developmental Psychology at NYU, the founder of the Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity (PACH;, creative advisor of agapi, and the Principal Investigator on the Listening Project. She was the President of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, her doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, and was an National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow at Yale University in the psychology department.

Her work focuses on social and emotional development and how cultural ideologies shape families and child development in the U.S. and China. She has been researching social and emotional development of adolescents for 35 years, and has authored or co-authored over one hundred peer reviewed journal articles and seven single authored, co-authored, or co-edited books. 
Her latest co-edited book is The Crisis of Connection: Its Roots, Consequences, and Solution (NYU Press). She has also co-edited with Judy Chu, Adolescents Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood (NYU Press). Her last single authored book is Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (Harvard University Press), which was the inspiration for "Close" a movie that won the Grand Prix Award at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film. She is regularly featured in mainsteam media speaking on the topics of boys, friendships, loneliness, teenagers, gender stereotypes, masculinity, and the roots of violence.

Praise For…

“Insightful… fascinating, particularly her extensive interviews with boys of color… much food for thought.” —Publishers Weekly

"A thoughtful, well-informed look at contemporary boy culture and its many inherent problems." —Kikus

"Rebels With a Cause
is a key intervention - as a developmental psychologist of immense experience, Niobe Way is uniquely positioned to unravel the very notions of (masculine) development that bind our society as a whole into structures of violence, exclusion, and isolation; in the often painful testimony of boys and teenagers, she also finds a compass to show us the way home." —David Wengrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

"Reading Niobe Way’s epic new book is one of those experiences that forever changes your understanding of the world you live in. In the mirror it holds up to society and ourselves, we see an urgent, dire need for greater connection, care, and most of all curiosity. The implications of her research create possibilities for dramatic transformation of how we live and how we raise and educate generations to come. Way combines rigorous reserach with compelling personal stories with inspiring examples of trajectory-changing projects and programs. This is a must-read for anyone who cares about our children, our society, and our future." —Jeff Wetzler, author of Ask: Tap Into the Hidden Wisdom of People Around You

Rebels with a Cause may just be the book we need to save America from itself. —Lisa Arrastia, founding director of The Ed Factory and Associate Professor of Education, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593184264
ISBN-10: 0593184262
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English