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Kevin Aho, pro­fessor of phi­losophy at Florida Gulf Coast Uni­versity, will be giving a lecture spon­sored by the soci­ology department on extrovert priv­ilege in America. Peter Blum | Courtesy

Hillsdale’s soci­ology program is part­nering with the phi­losophy and religion depart­ments to present a lecture by Kevin Aho, pro­fessor of phi­losophy from Florida Gulf Coast Uni­versity, on how the neg­ative treatment of shyness indi­rectly con­tributes to favoring the out­going per­son­ality.

The lecture will be held Monday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. in Lane 214. Aho, who spe­cializes in exis­ten­tialism, phe­nom­e­nology, and the medical human­ities, will be dis­cussing the social con­struction of the con­ception of self and how the view of shyness in psy­chiatry can con­tribute to the con­struction of self in diag­noses of mental illness. He will also be dis­cussing how the diag­nosis indi­rectly priv­i­leges assertive, out­going, and extro­verted per­son­al­ities – the ideal American char­ac­ter­istics.

“In America, he thinks we priv­ilege being an extrovert,” said Pro­fessor of Phi­losophy and Culture Peter Blum, who also serves as director of soci­ology and social thought. “And he thinks that that has had a pro­found effect on this ten­dency to more and more treat shyness as a kind of illness.”

Juniors Joanna McCool and Phoebe Crow said they are looking forward to the talk. For McCool, it relates to her per­sonally.

“I’m a soci­ology major, and I’m also a shy person myself,” she said. “I think it would be inter­esting to get a per­spective from a soci­o­logical stand­point.”

Crow said the topic is important to her as well.

“Espe­cially seeing as most of us are trying to find our places in the world as young adults, I think it’s important to under­stand some of the struc­tures of our society,” Crow said. “I think everyone stands to learn some­thing from this lecture.”