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Maps and Cityscapes
People and the Humanities

Introduction

© Andy Singer

This week we look at the contests over culture that began in the 1990s and are still being fought today. In the lecture Professor Mayer discusses the administration of Bush, Sr., the elections of the 1990s, as well as social, cultural economic issues.

Maps & Cityscapes maps the national distribution of AIDS, information on the phenomenon of “latte cities,” and the “graying” of America. Tribal Perspectives returns to the issue of Indian Education for All in the Montana school system.

People and the Humanities profiles the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop and Elouise Cobell who sued the federal government for revenue received from leased Indian lands. We also discuss the book Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks. The Research section presents our top reading and viewing picks for this topic, as well as recommended web resources.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • What happened to the Democratic Coalition? What does its demise mean to American politics today? Is the current election reviving it or creating a new coalition? If so, who makes up this coalition?
  • If the Democratic Coalition really is dead, what about the New Deal Consensus? Have mainstream values really abandoned those of the former consensus?
  • Does the red state/blue state dichotomy that we hear so much about have any meaning? If so, how can we explain California’s Republican Governor or Montana’s Democratic one? Does this dichotomy really reflect the way individuals across the country see themselves or their beliefs?
  • Is the country as divided as the news networks would have us believe? Is it more divided than it has been in the past? What are some other periods when the country seemed dangerously divided along party lines? Were concerns by culture critics over that split at the time justified? How concerned should we be over this one?
  • Considering that we have been dealing with issues of region vs. nation for three years now, how have regions been important in this period? Consider, in particular, the West and the role of the South, particularly in areas of religion and music.