The Author’s View
The author believes that culture wars are non-existent in contemporary US society, as Americans are not divided into two camps. Thus, considering such a controversial issue as homosexuality and gay marriages, the author notes that people’s attitudes towards these problems are constantly changing, and there is no strong opposition to this or that standpoint.1 There can be certain opposition to some political decisions. More so, the results of numerous surveys show that people are becoming more tolerant when it comes to homosexuality. The researcher also makes an important point stating that people’s views on religion and morality are not polarized.
The researcher also stresses that US politics has become more focused on these issues.2 At the same time, economic issues are still dominant in US politics. However, it is still unclear whether people focusing on morality are more active voters.3 The author also notes that media have contributed greatly to the development of the idea of the polarization of the US society. The author concludes that US society is becoming more centric, and people tend to share similar views on major issues.
Critique of the Argument
The author provides a detailed analysis of Americans’ attitudes towards most burning issues. He also pays significant attention to political agendas and the development of politics in the USA. All the arguments are well-grounded, and the researcher provides certain statistical data delivered in a very concise form (graphs, tables). It is possible to state that the author does not provide any assumptions or unchecked data but analyzes facts and delivers important arguments that enable the reader to make conclusions.
I agree with the author, as I also think that the country is becoming more centric. Even when it comes to very controversial issues, Americans tend to be tolerant. The political sphere seems to be more polarized. However, I think that this polarization is artificial as the parties are simply trying to win more votes using certain policies and political decisions. Researchers note that political agendas are changing, and the cultural aspect plays an important role in this process as politicians often utilize cultural issues in their programs.4 At the same time, I do not think that this makes the US society polarized. Of course, the two political parties continue promoting certain values, and many people start sharing them. However, this does not mean that people are unprepared to compromise. Americans give their votes to their preferred parties, but they may have their own points of view on particular matters.
A Question and the Comment
What is the difference between people’s attitudes towards controversial issues and towards certain political or social events associated with these issues?
It is clear that people are quite tolerant (in the majority of cases) when it comes to such controversial issues as abortion or homosexuality. Various surveys show that society is not quite polarized when revealing their ideas on the issues. However, when some events occur, people tend to choose sides. Thus, a court decision or some demonstrations can evoke quite a strong reaction from the opponents of this or that issue. Thus, it is possible to note that people do not care much about the problem in general, but in specific situations, there may be significant opposition from the side of some groups that become very active.
Fiorina, Morris P. Culture Wars? The Myth of a Polarized America. New York: Pearson, 2011. Web.
Thomson, Irene Taviss. Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010. Web.
1. Morris P. Fiorina, Culture Wars? The Myth of a Polarized America (New York: Pearson, 2011), 112. Web.
2. Ibid., 128.
3. Ibid., 146.
4. Irene Taviss Thomson, Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010), 177. Web.