Chapter 30

Chapter 30
Economic and Social Change in the Late 20th
A Changing People
 An Aging population
 Population growth slowing
 Median age of population rising
 Rise of the sunbelt
 South and West gained population
Rise of tourism
Proliferation of new retirement communities
Growth of high-tech industries
Population Shifts Towards the”Sunbelt”
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New Immigration
 Asia and Latin American largest sources
 Immigration Act of 1965
 Major impetus to new immigration
 Refugee Act of 1980
 Admission for political refugees
 Prohibition against those seeking merely economic
 Immigration Reform and Control Act, 1986
 Stiffened penalties for employers who hired illegal aliens
 Residency procedures for long-time alien workers
New Immigrants, 1970-1990
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Urbanization and Suburbanization
 Most Americans living in metropolitan areas by 1990
 Suburbs melted into “urban corridors”
 Central cities becoming financial, administrative, and
entertainment centers
 Declining tax revenues and deteriorating schools and
infrastructures plagued most urban centers
Economic Transformations
 New technologies
 Biotechnology, high-performance computing,
 Big Business
 Computers transformed the way business was done
Franchising and chain stores
E-commerce, automated teller machines, debit cards,
electronic banking
Standardized products throughout the nation (and even world)
Production facilities moved out of U.S. and into other
Foreign ownership of U.S. Companies became widespread
Economic Transformations (cont.)
 Postindustrial restructuring
 Corporate downsizing after 1970s
 Merger boom in 1980s and 1990s
 Loss of jobs in traditional manufacturing and extractive
 Proliferation of jobs in service, high technology, and
information and entertainment sectors
 Decline in union membership
The Environment
 Environmental activism
Improving people’s health and maintaining ecological balance
 Air, water, soil quality all in danger
 Government policy in 19770s
Environmental Protection Agency established
Resources Recovery act (19770)
Clean Air Act (1970)
Water Pollution act (1970)
Pesticides Control Act (1972)
Endangered Species (1973)
 Controversy over Love Canal, New York
The Environment (cont.)
Creation of Superfund
 Sagebrush Rebellion during 1980s
 Clinton administration environmental efforts
 Revelations of past government abuses
 Radiation experiments during 1940s and 1950s
 Focus on global ass well as national concerns
Energy Policy
 Environmental problems often caused by patterns of
energy use
 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
Exposed U.S. dependence on fossil fuels
 Department of Energy created, 1977
 Research and development on nuclear power
 Three Mile Island 1979
 Put brakes on nuclear power industry
Media and Culture: Television
 “Narrowcasting” targeted specific demographic
 Independent stations began to challenge the big
three networks
 VCR allowed viewers to take control
 Rise of cable television threatened traditional
networks’ position
Different programs for specific audiences
Further fragmented television viewing
Media and Culture:Changing
Media Environment
 Movie studios focused on churning out blockbusters
 Studios played it safe ands recycled story lines and special
effects that had made money in the past
 Intertwining of Hollywood and television, once big rivals
Proliferation of VCRs, DVDs, and cable movie channels
People able to transform televisions into home move theaters
 Changes in pop music industry
MTV aesthetic
 Introduction of CDs transformed nature of the music product and
the listening experience
 Internet and MP3 technology technology offered news medium for
listening to music
Media and Culture: The New
Mass Culture Debate
 Debate over “family programming”
 Cultural analysts elevated popular culture as
legitimate field of study
 New Filed of “Cultural studies”
How people reworked images from the mass media
Television programs as vehicles for discussing social and
political issues
Accompanied by “multiculturalism”
Legitimized works by women, political outsiders, and nonWestern writers and artists
Social Activism: Women’s Issues
 Old ideas of domesticity clashed with realities women
found themselves in
 Gender issues came to pervade civil rights and
antiwar movements
Women often found traditional sexism among male leaders
 “Consciousness raising” sessions during 1970s
 Intertwining of political and personal power issues
 Women’s movement became highly diverse
 Pursued variety of goals
 Utilized variety of strategies
Social Activism: Sexual Politics
 Gender/sexuality debates divided over issues
involving gays and lesbians
 Stonewall Inn, 1969
Turning point for gay rights movement
 AIDS crisis
 Medical and political issue’
 Early research was insignificant
 Gays in the military controversy, 1992
 “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy
African-American Activism
 Civil rights and black power struggles had fostered strong sense
of cultural identity
Stressed pride in African-American heritage
 Conflict among black women
Saw some male rap music ads misogynistic
 Clarence Thomas nominated to supreme Court
Flash point for concerns about sexism in African-American
community and about general racism in American society
 Racial profiling and unfair practices in legal system
 Retention of confederate flag by some Southern states and
 Congressional Black Caucus established 1970
American Indian Activism
 Both tribal-specific and pan-Indian concerns
 American Indian Movement
Occupation of Alcatraz 1969
 Pine Ridge confrontation 1973
 Indian Bill of Rights 1968
 Tribally Controlled College Assistance Act, 1978
 Native American Rights Fund
Pushed claims stemming from old treaties
Fishing and agricultural rights
Protection for religious ceremonies
Return of skeletal remains held/displayed by museums
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, 1990
 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 1988
Activism in Spanish-Speaking
 Spanish speakers are nation’s fast-growing ethnic
 Different opinions over labels
“Hispanic”, “Latino”, “Chicano”
 Mexican American Legal Defense and Education
Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS)
United Neighborhood Organization in Los Angeles
National Network of Hispanic Women
Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education fund
Asian American Activism
 Pan-Asian movement of immigrants of Chinese,
Japanese, Korean, and Filipino backgrounds
Asian Pacific Planning Council
Asian Law Caucus
Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence
National Asian Pacific American Network Council
 Broad approach did raise some questions of inclusion
and exclusion
Filipino and Hmong immigrants especially independent
about pursuing their own agenda
Dilemmas of Anti-discrimination
 Idea of “affirmative action”
 So that groups that had historically experienced
discrimination could begin to share in benefits
Representative number of people from different groups had
to have access, not just a few individuals
Group identity that was most important
Aroused ire of Republicans and conservatives in general
Jobs, public spending, educational programs
Considered it a dangerous form of interest-group politics
Smacked of racist quotas
Asserted that it would lead to “reverse discrimination”
California’s Proposition 209, 1996
The New Right
 Neo-Conservatives and new conservative institutions
American Enterprise Institute
 Heritage Foundation
 Committee on the Present Danger
 The New Religious Right
Fundamentalist and evangelical support
 The Conservative political agenda
National Conservative Political Action committee (NCPAC)
 Conservative caucus
 Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress
 Moral Majority
 The New Religious Right and the media
Cable television reached huge,receptive audiences