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The big sort : why the clustering of like-minded America is tearing us apart / Bill Bishop ; with Robert G. Cushing.

By: Bishop, Bill, 1953-.
Contributor(s): Cushing, Robert G.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2008Description: viii, 370 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780618689354; 0618689354.Subject(s): Minorities -- United States | Political culture -- United States | Group identity -- Political aspects -- United States | Segregation -- Political aspects -- United States | Regionalism -- Political aspects -- United States | Polarization (Social sciences) -- United States | Social conflict -- United States | United States -- Politics and government -- 1989- | United States -- Social conditions -- 1980-
Contents:
The age of political segregation -- The politics of migration -- The psychology of the tribe -- Culture shift : the 1965 unraveling -- The beginning of division : beauty and salvation in 1974 -- The economics of the big sort : culture and growth in the 1990s -- Religion : the missionary and the megachurch -- Advertising : Grace Slick, Tricia Nixon, and you -- Lifestyle : "books, beer, bikes, and Birkenstocks" -- Choosing a side -- The big sort campaign -- To marry your enemies.
Summary: America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood--and church and news show--most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don't know and can't understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.--From publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E184 .A1 B5527 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001968627

Includes bibliographical references (p. [337]-349) and index.

America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood--and church and news show--most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don't know and can't understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.--From publisher description.

The age of political segregation -- The politics of migration -- The psychology of the tribe -- Culture shift : the 1965 unraveling -- The beginning of division : beauty and salvation in 1974 -- The economics of the big sort : culture and growth in the 1990s -- Religion : the missionary and the megachurch -- Advertising : Grace Slick, Tricia Nixon, and you -- Lifestyle : "books, beer, bikes, and Birkenstocks" -- Choosing a side -- The big sort campaign -- To marry your enemies.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Birds of a feather flock together, and that's not always a good thing, according to journalist and blogger Bishop in this timely, highly readable discussion of American neighborhoods and the implications of who lives in them. Writing with sociologist and statistician Cushing, Bishop looks at the "geodemographic segmentation" of America: like-minded people clumping together by age, income, education, religion, ethnicity, occupation, housing types, and family status in communities across the nation (e.g., Lubbock, TX, as opposed to Cambridge, MA), listening to and discussing only the news that suits them. This circumstance, Bishop says, accounts for the "landslide" effect (think Blue and Red states), by which candidates from either party win by enormous margins within counties owing to the "us vs. them" mentality that has taken over American politics in the last 30 years. This social polarization is, of course, only too evident in both houses of Congress; it is hard to imagine, from today's vantage point, that in 1965 half the Republicans in the Senate voted for President Lyndon Johnson's Medicare bill. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Ellen D. Gilbert, Princeton, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Americans seek others like themselves and form attachments to them. This occurs in residential choice and membership in voluntary groups such as churches. What Americans seemingly want are neighbors who think as they do on political and cultural matters, resulting in sharp divisions among citizens, which presumably mirror the polarization of legislative bodies. A cultural shift characterized by a "post-materialist" mentality occurred in the watershed year of 1965. Many people were affected more by cultural issues and less by economic concerns; they increasingly disaffiliated from the two political parties; and they expressed less confidence in leaders of government, churches, and schools. In 1974, citizens began to divide into two camps: those with strong fundamentalist religious beliefs allied themselves with conservative and Republican groups, while those who were less religious found liberal and Democratic groups more to their liking. All of this has resulted in the formation of small communities of people who share nearly identical political, cultural, and religious views. These are the claims of journalist Bishop, expressed in a somewhat disorganized way and abetted by a number of stories and a smattering of research results, none of it very convincing. Summing Up: Optional. General collections/public libraries. D. Harper University of Rochester

Author notes provided by Syndetics

BILL BISHOP was a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman when he began research on city growth and political polarization with the sociologist and statistician Robert Cushing. Bishop has worked as a columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, and, with his wife, owned and operated the Bastrop County Times, a weekly newspaper in Smithville, Texas. He lives in Austin.

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