Democracy in America
-america compared to a baby: usa is how it is because of its past with england & it was born with a blank slate that makes it uniquely different (from other countries)
- origins of a country shape the opinions and policies of that country
(are we still striving for growth and stability?)
Enduring the Culture War
-fight between conservatives and progressives (leaves the inbtwn silenced)
-institutional conflicts stem from competing moral ideas of traditionalists and progressives.
-battle of gaston county & fight for income based education (+ creationism & intelligent design)
Power Elite
-2/300 giant corporations that are politically or internally connected
-Power elite is made up of military warlords, corporate chieftains, and political leaders
-Two groups of people: those who think the experts will handle everything and those who don't really care
-Those not in the power elite: impact is not being heard by the government
Diversity in the Power Elite
-whether the impact of the civil rights movement has resulted in a more diverse power elite... ultimately hasn't although it appears to (cornel west @ obama)
-power elite has become diversified to some extent but this has not generated changes in underlying class system
-Minorities and women have to fit the white man's world because they do not want to go out of their comfort zone.. can't be too anything
-golf= part of comfort zone
-title 9 + forced equality, elizabeth dole, fortune 500 company ceos, maternity leave
Race Matters
- racial problems affect all americans, and all americans must seek solutions... Don't look at the problem with black people but at the flaws of American society
- we are all in this together...we are slowly heading toward cultural chaos, economic downfall, and social turmoil
-historic inequality: white america has been historically weak-willed to make equality
- liberals (paralyzed liberals + lbj)/conservatives (self-help republicans) stop progress b/c cant agree
-What do we do... have to admit that we have a common history, maintain transportation and infrastructure, care about the quality of our lives, Public intervention (Government involvement in the issues present (ex. building houses when they are needed in an area)), Head Start programs for families living in poverty (education should start at 4 ;, should be food for students), new leaders (current leaders are trying to run again but are not focusing on issues)
People of Paradox
-incongruities exist within our own makeup
-liberty, individuality, and other things take away from equality... liberties and equalities compete {majority ; minority rights}
- federalism and centralization
-majority rules but we protect the minoritiy
-idealism vs materialism
-individualism vs team/community
-peace vs war
- want gov. to be common man and superman and pres to be relatable but also heroic
-paradoxes lead to tension and hypocrisy + puts politicians in odd positions
(overall ex: immigration)
Habits of the Heart
-politicians should be like cowboys (is able to save the day but cannot stay in the community because they are too individual)... paradox of individualism and the fulfillment of it
- individual can't exist without community
-struggle of supporting the individual but wants them to work towards the good of the community
-how success is measured makes a difference (ex: scandanavia)
-Ideology- a set of standards that we believe in as proper role of government
Alexis De Tocqueville
wrote democracy in america in 1831
James Davidson Hunter
wrote enduring the culture war
Cornel West
wrote race matters
Michael Kammen
wrote people of paradox
Robert Bellah
wrote habits of the heart
C. Wright Mills
wrote the power elite in 1956
Richard Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff
wrote diversity in the power elite