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By Irene Taviss Thomson

"Irene Taviss Thomson offers us a nuanced portrait of yank social politics that is helping clarify either why we're attracted to the belief of a 'culture battle' and why that misrepresents what's truly 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 few beliefs via social elites."---John H. Evans, division of Sociology, collage of California, San DiegoThe suggestion of a tradition battle, or wars, has existed in the US because the 1960s---an underlying ideological schism in our kingdom that's answerable for the polarizing debates on every thing from the separation of church and kingdom, to abortion, to homosexual marriage, to affirmative motion. Irene Taviss Thomson explores this thought through studying hundreds of thousands of articles addressing hot-button matters over twenty years from 4 magazines: nationwide assessment, Time, the hot Republic, and The country, in addition to a wide range of different writings and statements from a considerable variety of public intellectuals.What Thomson reveals may shock you: in line with her study, there is not any unmarried cultural divide or cultural resource that may account for the positions which were followed. whereas matters similar to faith, homosexuality, sexual behavior, and abortion have figured prominently in public dialogue, actually 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 heritage at Fairleigh Dickinson college for greater than 30 years. formerly, she taught within the division of Sociology at Harvard college.

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Extra info for Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas (Contemporary Political and Social Issues)

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Evans 1995, 76). In the enduring American view, religion provides the basis of morality, moral behavior, and social values. Thus we are told that the rigid wall of separation between church and state mandated by recent Supreme Court decisions has helped to bring “deterioration in American life” (Buckley 1994, 86–87) and that “how the nation de‹nes itself spiritually will have much to do with its future political directions and with the strength of its moral foundations” (Ostling 1989, 94). “It is a mistake to assume that rejecting the lunacy of the far right means we must deny the value to society of a religious sensibility” (Krauthammer 1981, 25).

The result is that the church loses members to such alternatives as the gym, politics, and New Age movements (Klinghoffer 1996, 52). If the religion that is currently ›ourishing is “religion on our own terms,” then “secularization has triumphed after all,” since religion of this sort “is devoted to need-meeting rather than truth-telling” (Neuhaus 1989a, 20).

In this study, while both religious and political conservatives show more adherence to civil religion than do others, a majority of participants in liberal religions and more Democrats than Republicans and independents also support civil religion. But while support for civil religion is found across most social segments, those at or near the top of both social and religious hierarchies—“professionals, ministers, and of‹cials”—are not supporters (Christenson and Wimberley 1978). Bellah suggests that questions asking respondents whether political leaders or institutions have a religious or sacred quality do not tap civil religion.

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