Tag Archives: cultural change

Having It All, They Promised…Right?

Unless you’ve recently opted for a blog/media/pop culture break this June, you most likely encountered Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic piece, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The author puts forth to her mind a pragmatic approach. Effectively: not everyone can be a superwoman (superman, which is less of a focus but sprinkled throughout) so we better get to ameliorating the situation by setting realistic individual goals and encourage changes in workplace policies, with a significant push for more women in the upper echelons of power. Slaughter’s article gained substantial traction. To use social media speak, it became a ‘trending article’ when a number of bloggers along with Facebook and Twitter users linked to it, in addition to many news and magazine outlets discussing ‘having it all’ at length. Continue reading

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From Controversial to Mundane; From Unusual to Routine

By Scott Barclay

In the politics of marriage equality, there are six important indicators that the tide has turned for lesbian and gay rights around this issue.

From Unusual to Routine Politics: At one point in time in the last twenty years in seventeen separate states (CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, NV, OR, RI, VT, and WA), either a state’s legislature successfully passed a bill through both legislatives houses in support of same sex marriage or civil unions OR a state’s highest court judicially ordered the establishment of same sex marriage and/or civil unions. Based on 2010 Census figures, one hundred and seventeen million residents – 38% of the US population – currently live in one of these seventeen states. Although simple math indicates that thirty-three states remain, seventeen states constitutes over one-third of all US states. The important point being that full or nearly full recognition by a state government for lesbian and gay couples in long-term, committed relationships is no longer aberrant or unusual. In fact, there is increasingly a sense of inevitability associated positively with the future prospects of the issue. The very presence of gubernatorial vetoes on this issue, such as in California in 2005 and 2007 or in New Jersey in 2012, and the new possibility of over-riding such vetoes evidences a politics as normal aspect that has become attached to the issue. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, LGBT Activism: Has the Tide Turned?

How will the Tea Party influence the Republican primaries?

By Richard Lloyd and Steven Tepper

In order to think about the influence of the Tea Party it is first important to understand the “essence” of the movement.  What is the nature of its supporters’ discontent? How coherent are their political and policy goals? Is it something new on the political landscape that is forcing a realignment within the Republican Party?

Research conducted with Andy Perrin, Neal Caren, Steven Tepper and Sally Morris, concludes that the Tea Party phenomena – from the perspective of public support – is a case of “old wine” in a “new bottle.”  Continue reading

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Who SHOULD be an activist? on Paula Deen & health advocacy

A few days ago, celebrity chef, mini-empire owner, and Smithfield ham spokeswoman Paula Deen simultaneously announced on the Today show on NBC that a) she’s had Type 2 diabetes for the last three years and b) she is promoting Victoza, a diabetes drug from Norvo Nordick, which costs about $500 a month.  My first reaction to the news was: umm, surprise?  Of course she has diabetes. What do you expect from someone involved for so long and to such a degree with such “yummy” food, like her infamous idea to use Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a hamburger ‘bun.’ Continue reading

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The Outcomes of the Occupy Movement: Which Lessons Can We Draw from the Social Movement Literature?

By Marco Giugni

According to Time magazine, which devoted the Man of the Year cover to The Protester, 2011 was a year of protest movements and collective mobilizations. Of course, the so-called Arab Spring has much to do with this choice, but other movements as well have flourished around the World. The Occupy Movement is surely one of them, along with the Indignados in Spain as well as in other countries. Now, at the dawn of a new year, I think that two main questions need to be addressed: Firstly, will the movement last? And secondly, what are its outcomes? Other people have addressed the first question. Here I deal with the second one. Continue reading


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The new conservative political opportunity in Canada and the Office of Religious Freedom

In a Dec 27th post (“Has the abortion issue been reopened in Canada and what does this mean for social movements?”), I wrote about a push on the part of some Canadian conservatives to reopen the issue of abortion – an issue that has otherwise lain fairly dormant. I suggested that with a Conservative majority government, a new political opportunity has opened for Conservative issues in Canada.  Not surprisingly, Lawrence Martin titled his Dec 27th Globe and Mail article “A banner year for the new conservative agenda” where he writes, “For core conservatives, those of the doctrinaire variety, nothing can compare to the success of the year now passing. In 2011, Canada took its sharpest turn right in its history.” Continue reading


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Cultural Outcomes of the Occupy Movement

By William Gamson

I must begin by acknowledging the extent to which the occupy movement has occupied my own life in the last several months, knowing no boundaries between work life and social, political, and personal life.  In my worklife, I was teaching a graduate seminar on social movements (“The Quest for Social Justice”) in which each participant chooses a case to study and to which they apply the various course readings. Two of the students chose to study the Occupy Movement and, in particular, its Occupy Boston branch; a third student took the highly similar Israeli Summer tent city movement. Continue reading


Filed under Essay Dialogues, Outcomes of OWS