Niobe Way presents Rebels with a Cause: Reimagining Boys, Ourselves, and Our Culture, in conversation with Blair Miller

Book CoverTuesday
July 9th
McNally Jackson Seaport
4 Fulton St. 

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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. Rebels with a Cause is a true call to action to change the culture so we stop the vicious cycle of violence and blame.

"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

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.

Author HeadshotDr. Niobe Way is Professor of Developmental Psychology at NYU, the founder of the Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity, creative advisor of agapi, and the Principal Investigator on the Listening Project. She has been conducting mixed method and longitudinal research on social and emotional development among adolescents for nearly 40 years. Her groundbreaking book Deep Secrets, which explored the importance of friendship among boys and young men, was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film Close. Way is often called upon to speak about her groundbreaking research and topics including boys, teenagers, friendships, loneliness, mental health, gender stereotypes, masculinity, the roots of violence, and violence prevention.


Author HeadshotBlair Miller is a teacher at Yale and City College, an impact investor in the future of work, and an advisor to leading organizations on issues of talent, leadership, access and inclusion. She is the mother of two boys and deeply believes in the coming humanist renaissance.



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