writing about one historical and one current issue that divides Americans
Assignment 4: Culture Wars
Culture Wars is a phrase generally applied to the clash that began in the 1980s, a clash that encompassed politics,
entertainment, personal philosophies, and so much more. The term was originally applied to the eighties, but many of those same battles had been fought in the twentieth century; first in the 1920s, when modernists welcomed flappers and Freud and Darwin while others resented the changes brought by increased immigration and a new youth culture, fighting back with legislation and the newly revitalized Ku Klux Klan.
In the 1960s the new label was Generational Divide, and that divide included topics like the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and the old standby ‘drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll’.
Today we don’t have enough fingers to count the flash points–politics, religion, abortion, Critical Race Theory, sex education, Black Lives Matter, immigration reform–and the list goes on.
Read the sections I’ve linked in the book and watch the short videos; there are no documentaries/full-length films in this assignment.
For this assignment, pick one historical (1920s, 1960s, 1980s) topic that was contested; you only need to pick ONE time period and ONE issue from that time. Then pick ONE issue from today that’s causing a division. Then tell me a bit about the topics, roughly who was/is on each side of the debate–for example, Choose a contentious historical topic from the 1920s, 1960s, or 1980s to complete this task. Keep in mind that you only need to select ONE time period and ONE issue from that era. Then select ONE problem that exists in the present day that is causing division. Then enlighten me on a little bit about the subjects, such as roughly who was or is on each side of the argument—for instance,conservative/liberal, generational splits, immigrants/native born, etc.–and what each side chose as ‘weapons’. For example, boycotts, protest marches, supporting organizations like the KKK, social media, educational institutions, political parties.
So you’ll be writing about one historical and one current issue that divides Americans. Plan to spend about half of your paper writing about each of those two issues, so don’t write on paragraph about a historical issue and five about the modern one. Use information from the required readings and videos where they fit into your paper.
Consider areas like politics, entertainment, the environment, rights of different minority groups, taxes and spending, wars…there are plenty of choices.
You’ll probably be doing some outside research; if so, provide a link to the website, reading, or video.
Finally, I’m sure some of you are going to pick topics that are important to you, things that make you emotional…just a note to say that no, you cannot call other people names, compare them to animals, or otherwise disparage them. It’s an academic post, so you need to keep it professional. That said, feel free to write a post about how you feel, then delete that post and don’t put it here.
All of the research material that is included in this assignment #4