Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Growing Divisiveness: Culture Wars or a War of Words?

Alan S. Miller and John P. Hoffmann
Social Forces
Vol. 78, No. 2 (Dec., 1999), pp. 721-745
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005573
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005573
Page Count: 25
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Growing Divisiveness: Culture Wars or a War of Words?
Preview not available

Abstract

This study seeks to resolve a paradox. While a substantial amount of scholarly research and media discourse suggests a growing divisiveness among Americans on a variety of social and moral issues, empirical studies show that attitudinal differences among various groups on these issues have remained fairly stable over the past 25 years. Basing our study largely on social categorization theory and recent work on culture, structure, and cognition, we propose that several key historical events during the 1970s and 1980s increased the salience of many social and moral issues while concomitantly redefining the terms conservative and liberal. These events led members of orthodox religious denominations to increasingly categorize themselves as conservative and members of progressive religious denominations to categorize themselves as liberal despite a lack of attitudinal changes. They further developed a more negative opinion of out-group members. Data from the GSS provide qualified support for this perspective. Implications of this study are discussed.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[721]
    [721]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
722
    722
  • Thumbnail: Page 
723
    723
  • Thumbnail: Page 
724
    724
  • Thumbnail: Page 
725
    725
  • Thumbnail: Page 
726
    726
  • Thumbnail: Page 
727
    727
  • Thumbnail: Page 
728
    728
  • Thumbnail: Page 
729
    729
  • Thumbnail: Page 
730
    730
  • Thumbnail: Page 
731
    731
  • Thumbnail: Page 
732
    732
  • Thumbnail: Page 
733
    733
  • Thumbnail: Page 
734
    734
  • Thumbnail: Page 
735
    735
  • Thumbnail: Page 
736
    736
  • Thumbnail: Page 
737
    737
  • Thumbnail: Page 
738
    738
  • Thumbnail: Page 
739
    739
  • Thumbnail: Page 
740
    740
  • Thumbnail: Page 
741
    741
  • Thumbnail: Page 
742
    742
  • Thumbnail: Page 
743
    743
  • Thumbnail: Page 
744
    744
  • Thumbnail: Page 
745
    745