By Irene Taviss Thomson
"Irene Taviss Thomson supplies us a nuanced portrait of yank social politics that is helping clarify either why we're attracted to the belief of a 'culture struggle' and why that misrepresents what's really going on."---Rhys H. Williams, Professor and Chair, division of Sociology, Loyola college Chicago"An very important paintings showing---beneath floor conflict---a deep consensus on a couple of beliefs via social elites."---John H. Evans, division of Sociology, collage of California, San DiegoThe proposal of a tradition warfare, or wars, has existed in the USA because the 1960s---an underlying ideological schism in our state that's accountable for the polarizing debates on every thing from the separation of church and country, to abortion, to homosexual marriage, to affirmative motion. Irene Taviss Thomson explores this inspiration via interpreting countless numbers of articles addressing hot-button matters over 20 years from 4 magazines: nationwide evaluate, Time, the recent Republic, and The country, in addition to a big selection of different writings and statements from a considerable variety of public intellectuals.What Thomson reveals may possibly shock you: in keeping with her examine, there is not any unmarried cultural divide or cultural resource that could account for the positions which have been followed. whereas concerns reminiscent of faith, homosexuality, sexual behavior, and abortion have figured prominently in public dialogue, in reality there is not any unmarried thread that unifies responses to every of those cultural dilemmas for any of the writers.Irene Taviss Thomson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, having taught within the division of Social Sciences and historical past at Fairleigh Dickinson collage for greater than 30 years. formerly, she taught within the division of Sociology at Harvard college.
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Additional resources for Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas (Contemporary Political and Social Issues)
This sentiment echoes Tocqueville’s observation that in America, “those who do not believe conceal their incredulity,” whereas “those who believe display their faith” (1848/1961, 1:324). At the same time, supporters of religion claim that American society excludes “anyone who takes seriously religious belief or traditional moral norms” (Wagner 1986, 28). Though we tolerate all who treat their religion as if it were no different from any consumer preference, there is intolerance for those who take religion seriously; we tolerate only “people who don’t believe in anything” (Krauthammer 1998, 92).
Johnson’s 1965 address calling for a strong voting-rights act, which concluded, “God will not favor everything that we do. It is rather our duty to divine his will. I cannot help but believe that He truly understands and that He really favors the undertaking that we begin here tonight” (Bellah 1970, 181). Twenty years after this use of civil religious language to promote the cause of civil rights, noted theologian Martin E. Marty asserted that civil religion “has been transposed in public perception, from moderate and liberal contexts to conservative and nationalist ones” (1985, 16).
From this perspective, the contemporary American culture wars can be seen as an outgrowth of characteristically American culture patterns. ” Contentions regarding the abolition of slavery, the prohibition of alcohol, and the reading of the Bible in public schools, for example, were of major importance in earlier American politics. Like earlier cultural politics, the contemporary culture wars take place within the parameters of some enduring cultural patterns. These patterns are a matter not of stable values but rather of a series of dilemmas that are revisited as new issues or situations evoke them.
Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas (Contemporary Political and Social Issues) by Irene Taviss Thomson