Only children have long been regarded as loners who never experienced the great joys of getting pummeled into a dry-heaving hysteria by older siblings for no apparent reason or being accused for breaking any number of household appliances by their brace-faced flesh and blood. But it's a common misconception to think only children are maladjusted or at a disadvantage compared to their siblings-a-plenty peers. Take note because here's where you get to blame your brother for any unrealized dreams: studies have actually proven these loners have higher self-esteem and achieve more in life. But what I'd like to know is where do only children take out their aggression if not through loving physical assault? Do they disappear into fantasy novels or buy one-way tickets to schizophreniaville?
Ginia Bellafante, New York Times feature writer and cultural critic, will discuss the existence of single-children families as they relate to pop culture, covering everything from the indie films of David O. Russell to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. Listen as Bellafante dives into the Depression—a time when "onlies" were the norm—and attempts to explore the media's portrayal of only children who love them in return.
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Super Kids and Super Heroes: The Rise of Single-Child Families in Harry Potter's America with Ginia Bellafante at UC Irvine, University Club, 801 E. Peltason Dr., Irvine, (949) 824-3638; www.today.uci.edu/. Tues., 7 p.m. Free.