Free Essay

Economic and Social Change in the Late 20th Century

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Hui1
Words 1011
Pages 5
Chapter 30: Economic and Social Change in the Late 20th Century

Economic, cultural, and social changes have affected America greatly in the late twentieth century.
The population since 1980 has become increasingly older, urban, diverse, southern, and western.
Declining birth rates and rising life expectancy combined to produce an aging population.
Between 1970 and 1990 most American financial and industrial growth occurred in the South and West, the Sunbelt.
The Sunbelt also proved attractive to large numbers of new immigrants from Latin America and Asia.
Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Immigration Act laid the basis for an increased volume and diversity of immigrants.
Modern legislation has attempted to limit immigration to political refugees, and also to curb illegal immigration, while raising the number of immigrants with specific skills.
Continued flight of businesses and individuals to the suburbs brought transformation and crisis in the nation's urban areas, but the 1990s witnessed a revival and renewal in some major cities.
Technological change has ushered in amazing economic transformations.
The most noteworthy new technologies are those in biotechnology, high-performance computing, and communications systems.
Innovations in credit, electronic banking, franchising, and globalization, especially through the widespread use of computers, have affected business.
Employment in traditional manufacturing areas declined while unions saw their membership and political power dissipate, as America entered an occasionally turbulent period of postindustrial restructuring.
Emerging from the conservation and preservation movements of the early twentieth century, a movement to protect the environment gained momentum in the 1970s.
Environmental activism arose in the 1970s in response to concerns over air and water pollution, fears of nuclear radiation and toxic chemicals, and a general concern for ecology.
Legislation increased markedly in the 1970s, to include the establishment of an Environmental Protection Agency and the creation of a Superfund to pay costs associated with cleaning up contaminated living areas.
Following a backlash during the Reagan years against environmental activism, the Clinton administration sought to regain public support for environmental protection measures.
In recent years, the movement has increasingly focused on international ecological dangers.
Despite the energy crunch of the 1970s, little progress has been made in breaking American dependence on fossil fuels as our main energy source.
Innovations in electronic technologies diversified media and transformed American culture.
Video monitors are everywhere, from museums to sports bars to airline terminals.
During the 1970s, a video revolution occurred as the television industry shifted programming priorities in an effort to attract specific audiences.
CBS began to target younger viewers and address various social issues, and ABC concentrated on programs for high school and college-age viewers.
The networks faced increasing competition from independent networks and cable companies, and viewing audiences of the major networks fell across the board.
A new media environment has dramatically altered American mass culture.
Movies and TV became intertwined, as TV hits became movies and various technologies such as VCRs and DVD made home movie viewing possible.
MTV has forged a new aesthetic between music and visual images.
CD players and the Internet have combined to revolutionize the way people listen to music.
A new mass culture debate arose, spearheaded by those who argued for scholarly contemplation of popular culture and often merging with controversies over multicultural education.
While social activism did not disappear with the 1960s, it did fragment, and mass demonstrations lost their ability to attract media coverage.
The new women's movement began to move beyond the agenda set by middle-class feminists in the 1960s.
Feminism grew into a highly diverse movement, with varied agendas ranging from economics to health care to the proliferation of "women's studies."
Sexual harassment remained a highly charged issue, evidenced by the Clarence Thomas and Tailhook cases.
Debates over sexuality remained divisive.
Following the Stonewall riots of 1969, gay and lesbian activism increased markedly.
The controversy over AIDS has spurred further activism on the part of homosexual people, as has the issue of homosexuals in the military.
Multiculturalism became a major issue within American society at the end of the century.
Debates within African American culture raged between those who supported pride in racial identity (known as Afrocentrism) and others who sought more integration into broader American culture.
Controversies over gender issues underscored divisions within the African American community.
Reactions to the O.J. Simpson trial, racial profiling, and the Confederate flag, meanwhile, indicated sharp polarization between black and white communities.
Many Native American tribes have used the courts to secure increased rights, in areas ranging from repatriation of remains to the establishment of gambling establishments on tribal lands.
The Spanish speaking community comprises a wide diversity of groups that, collectively, makes up America's fastest-growing minority, and one of its most vocal groups.
While some Asian Americans have sought to increase ethnic consciousness, they too are deeply divided along ethnic and socioeconomic lines.
The debate over Affirmative Action is arguably the most contentious of dilemmas surrounding "ethnic identity."
Many people who supported antidiscrimination efforts based on individual rights have come to oppose those based on ethnic-group interests, citing resultant "reverse discrimination" as just as insidious as the original.
A rise in intermarriage between racial groups poses a challenge to racial identity, and may, in time, change the entire basis of discussion about equality, with more and more people identifying themselves as members of a "mixed race."
Several different constituencies espousing militant conservatism comprise the New Right, an increasingly powerful force in American culture and politics.
Neoconservatives joined the New Right movement, working to reinvigorate the nation's anticommunist foreign policy and to celebrate capitalism.
Spurred by the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade on abortion rights, fundamentalists and evangelicals have formed the core of the new religious right and assumed an activist political role.
The politics of the New Right, often phrased in terms of defending family values, are focused on strengthening a conservative social agenda through highly visible media exposure.
Conclusion: During the last quarter century, the United States has experienced sweeping changes in demographics, economics, culture and society. Multiculturalists celebrate the diversity therein, while the New Right questions its potential divisiveness.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

I Am the Sociology Man

...United Kingdom since 1900 The birthrate in the UK has been in a long-term state of decline since 1900. In 1900 the birthrate in England and wales was 28.7, but by 2007 it had fallen to an estimated 10.7. However there have been three fluctuations in the birthrate of the UK, these are know as the three ‘baby booms’ in the 20th century. The First two came after the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-45), as returning service men and their partners started families that they postponed during the war. There was a third baby boom in the 1960s before sharply declining again in the 1970s. The rate then rose in the 1980s and fell in the 1990s, it has recently increased since 2001. There were major changes in the position of women in the 20th century. In the 20th century women gained legal equality with men including the right to vote. Women now also have increased educational opportunities and girls now do better at school than boys. There are now more women in paid employment, plus laws outlawing unequal pay and sex discrimination. As well as changes in attitudes to family life and women’s role and an easier access to divorce. As a result of these changes, women now see other opportunities in life apart from the traditional role of the house wife mother. Many are choosing to delay childbearing, or not have children at all in pursuit of a career. For example in 2006 on in five women were childless at age 45, double the number of twenty years earlier. IMR measures the number...

Words: 1107 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Women's Rights

...over another? This is the question that women have been asking for over the last one hundred years or longer. America was a very different place 100 years ago, from the way that people interacted with each other to the rights and perception that some individuals had on other persons place in society. In the early 20th century women were to be seen and not heard, they were unable to vote, work, or even own land in many parts of the country. Many of the different movements for women came from the abolitionism, the early fight for social justice. For social movements, human rights are simultaneously a system of law, a set of values, and a vision of good governance. Each of these dimensions of human rights offers resources for grassroots social movements, but in quite different ways. (Merry, Levitt, Rosen, & Yoon, 2010) Understanding that rights for everyone is ethically and morally right was even hard for some of the most prominent men of history. It was a very hard tradition to break to give women the same rights and privileges as men, especially when leading political and cultural figures had pressing opinions. Despite the rise in women’s importance on the economic, social, and political scene, many men still did not see them as strong, productive, or politically active members of society. A leading politician of these two decades, Theodore Roosevelt, on more than one occasion belittled the woman’s standing in society. Many men who might have believed that a woman’s only......

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...An economy or economic system consists of the production, distribution or trade, and consumption of limited goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location. The economic agents can be individuals, businesses, organizations, or governments. Transactions occur when two parties agree to the value or price of the transacted good or service, commonly expressed in a certain currency. In the past, economic activity was theorized to be bounded by natural resources, labor, and capital. This view ignores the value of technology (automation, accelerator of process, reduction of cost functions), and innovation (new products, services, processes, new markets, expands markets, diversification of markets, niche markets, increases revenue functions), especially that which produces intellectual property. A given economy is the result of a set of processes that involves its culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure and legal systems, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions. The largest national economy in the Americas is the United States,[1] Germany in Europe,[2] Nigeria in Africa[3] and China in Asia.[4] A market-based economy is where goods and services are produced without obstruction or interference, and exchanged according to demand and supply between......

Words: 1696 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Economic, Social and Political Change in 19th Century

...The profound economic change that occurred in the early 1900’s was largely influenced and formed by the industrial revolution, in particular the second wave that occurred in the late 1800’s. The revolution as a whole resulted in the change from economies based on agriculture and farming, to industry based profits. This second wave of the revolution not only refined and improved the prior inventions of iron and coal, but brought with it new highly developed technologies such as steel, electricity, oil and chemicals that lead to the creation of new industries that had not existed prior. The introduction of large scale steel and iron production, as well as advanced railway systems and the opening of the Suez Canal, allowed countries to export vast amounts of resources easily, therefore boosting economies.  The introduction of electricity into society during this time also had a profound impact on the economic situation of many countries and individuals by allowing possible work hours to be increased dramatically. In 1914, Britain, Germany, France and the US owned 72% of the world’s manufacturing output, having a profound impact on the economies of the countries but also creating a climate of competition between the strong industrial powers. To a certain extent, this economic change throughout the world had a significant impact, and acted as a catalyst for increasing social and political change. Political change was evident during the early 20th century given that dynastic......

Words: 957 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...become very popular books and the basis of the Middletown studies. The named the town “Middletown” to guise the actual town that they were working on. "The city will be called Middletown. A community as small as thirty-odd thousand...[in which] the field staff was enabled to concentrate on cultural change...the interplay of a relatively constant...American stock and its changing environment" (1929: p. 8). The word "Middletown" was meant to suggest the average or typical American small city. While there are many places in the U.S. actually named Middletown, the Lynds were mostly interested in an idealized conceptual American type, and concealed the identity of the city by referring to it by this term. Sometime after publication, however, the residents of Muncie began to guess that their town had been the sole subject of the book. They wanted to research over a long period of time, and to check up on how a town might change. They wanted a typical, small American city, and Muncie, Indiana presented itself as the perfect environment for them to conduct their research. The amazing part of the Middletown Studies is the presence it brought both into sociology and understanding social changes. It is also impressive that the study has been going on since the 1920’s. The Lynds and a group of researchers conducted an in-depth field research study of a small...

Words: 1150 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Single Most Important Policy Goal Across the World

...Executive Summary For the last five decades the pursuit of economic growth has been the single most important policy goal across the world. The global economy is almost five times the size it was half a century ago (Tim Jackson, Published by the Sustainable Development Commission © March 2009, P1). Economic growth is supposed to deliver prosperity. Better investment return could indicate excellent corporation development, and higher incomes should mean better choices, richer lives, and an improved quality of life for us all. However, the banking crisis of 2008 forced us to confront our inability to manage the financial sustainability of the global economy and the ecological sustainability as well. In addition, led the world to the brink of financial disaster and shook the dominant economic model based on economic growth to its foundations. The aim of this report is to define sustainable economy in terms of six themes: ecology and sustainability; population and demographics; science and technology; economy; geopolitics and security; society and culture. Also, analyze the effects of issues of sustainable economy on management’s governance of the Colourful Corporation. Based on these analyses, this report will provides recommendations about future vision and strategy top management could consider for a sustainable Colourful Corporation. Based on these analyses, the following recommended visions and strategis will be given for Management to keep the Colourful Corporation’s......

Words: 1141 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Role of the Concept of Need and Inequality Social Policy

...From the inauguration of state organised welfare the concepts of ‘need’ and inequality have been at the centre of discussions and debates on social policy. Since the 19th century it has widely been accepted that the state has some responsibility towards attempting to fulfil some of civil society’s needs and the needs of those most at risk. Changing definitions and attitudes surround the concepts of need and inequality; this means any discussion of these instantly encapsulates the political and ideological debates which affect all aspects of social policy. Titmuss (ed. 1987) writes that ‘collectively provided services are deliberately designed to meet certain socially recognized ‘needs’; they are manifestations’ this means any changes within these are interrelated with those in society. Miller (1987) draws from Titmuss’s work explaining that the inequality which creates need is formed from the very nature of an advanced industrial society as ‘the costs of economic growth and stability are not evenly distributed’ he describes the welfare state as ‘compensation for the vulnerable who pay the prices of ‘progress’ (1987). This essay seeks to examine the concept of need within social policy by looking at how it became recognised in the 19th century and how it was defined in the 20th century. This will include looking at what social legislation has been borne out of its recognition. I will also look at the changing attitudes towards inequality and the left/right political and......

Words: 1517 - Pages: 7

Free Essay


... As the world grows more connected, people in all nations achieve a far greater level of interdependence in activities such as trade, communications, travel, and political policy. It’s easy to assume that globalization is an entirely modern phenomenon driven by inventions like the telegraph or the Internet. In many ways, globalization has been taking place for centuries. From the Silk Road, which spanned from Europe all the way to East Asia, to the invention of steamships and railroads, humans have engaged in cultural exchange and international trade for centuries. In the 20th century, this international exchange and trade was made far easier by the invention of airlines and road vehicles. What was once a slow process, became a far simpler one in a very short period of time. In the late 20th century, the invention of digital communications tools like the Internet made modern globalization a reality. While globalization covers a wide range of topics, ranging from cultural values and information to economics and international trade, most modern discussion of the pros and cons of globalization is focused on economics and culture. There are advantages and disadvantages to globalization. Firstly, globalization is good for certain countries more, such as those in the First World. Rich countries like the USA, UK, and Germany etc. can sell more products and goods to new markets in the Global South or poorer countries. Think of McDonald's and Starbucks and other big American......

Words: 835 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Particular Context/Socio-Economic Situation in Which Modern Marketing Emerged and Thrived

...the histories of marketing, the changes that have occured and the changes in the future concerning marketing discipline. Concerning the conception of what we call modern marketing we need to observe the end of 19th centuries North America where thanks to several factors including both the first and second Industrial Revolutions the basics of consumer market has changed from sellers to buyers. At the beginning of the 20th century a new concern helped the extension of marketing theories: literature. Bartel (1976) belives that „The emergence of marketing research was itself the result of growing pressure to produce and apply accurate knowledge to the field and to bring the methods of science to the field of marketing”(Egan, 2008: pg 7). During the period of conceptualization (Bartel, 1976), which durated from 1910 to 1920, the word ’marketing’ gained new meanings. It wasn’t necessarily referred to commerce anymore, then Ralph Starr Butler (1882-1971), a pioneer in marketing, taught that ’’marketing was all about coordination, planning and the management of complex relationships”(Butler cited in Egan 2008: pg 7). The effects of the 1929 crisis were critical, nevertheless, instead of coming up with new theories in the decade between 1930-40 the development of existing concepts was the mainstream idea. (Egan, 2008:pg 8). However, despite the development of these theories and the increasing attention on the customers viewpoint,the US economic system was about...

Words: 1495 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Gender Roles Past & Present

...Roles Past & Present Both Fences and Trifles are plays concerning the difficulties of interactions between men and women. Glaspell's Trifles uses a murder mystery to portray a soured relationship between a husband and wife. One of the difficulties is that men and women have different interests and therefore take significance from different things. "While the men importantly bumble about trying to discover a motive, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale solve the case right under their dull noses.” (3) Throughout Trifles you are shown how little things add up to big things when small unnoticed facts slip by the Sheriff, the County Attorney and Mr. Hale. Meanwhile the women discover critical evidence. They determine that Minnie Wright, after social abandonment and a silent death, was likely provoked to kill her husband. Although Mrs. Wright says she was asleep at the time of her husband's death, the women find clues in the way that she kept her kitchen and are able to follow her thinking and conclude otherwise. The men only note that it the house is not well kept. The lack of communication and great difference in areas of concern show the men and women of Trifles completely different views of the matter at hand. In the kitchen pantry, the women can remember what it was like for themselves to have picked and preserved their fruit; and understood why Mrs. Wright may be worried. The men show a certain disdain for this mishap and are simply inconvenienced by the mess of the......

Words: 1686 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Human Resources Management: Introduction H1KP 34 Class: Business Management Experiment 2 Jiang, Shang Hong Explain the development of human resources management and how to it differs from personnel management. What is Human Resources Management? Human Resource Management (HRM) according economics and people orienteer’s ideology to manage employees and accomplish organization goals. It is can make people in the organisation work very hard and improve employees’ working skills. Also reserve talents for company in long term. Human Resource Management emphasise humanistic care. It is distinct from personnel management and more suited to the modern business environment. What is Personnel Management? Personnel Management(PM) is through mandatory plan to control employees. It includes conducting job analyses, planning personnel needs and recruitment, determining and managing wages and salaries, providing benefits and incentives, appraising performance, resolving disputes, and communicating with all employees at all levels. It is Human Resource Management early stages of development. PM | HRM | Shorter-term | Longer-term | Focused on specialist/professional | Ling management | Mechanistic | Organize | Centralized | Resource-cantered | Focus on work | Focus on employees | The different between HRM and PM in organization. The HRM is longer-term. Because HRM have long-term plan to reserve of talents for organization. It includes training......

Words: 731 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Gender Roles

...Gender roles in the 21st century Introduction Gender roles are a set of social and behavioral norms that are generally considered appropriate for men or women in a social or interpersonal relationship. We are not sure when this practice started but pink and blue begins this lifelong process in the 21st century (Lindsey, 2005). As my research evolves, I plan to examine gender roles in various aspects of 21st century life: workplace, relationships, parenting, voting, consumer behavior, etc. Since this is such a broad topic, my research will likely lead to a paper with a more narrow focus. For now, I've chosen references which are established articles on this broader topic. This research will likely become more focused as I develop the paper. Origin of Gender Roles The gender roles have evolved a great deal from the onset of the human civilization which started as hunter gathers. The males were primarily responsible to provide food, shelter and protection while the women looked after the offspring and took care of the tribe. The Functionalist perspective explains this fairly non-overlapping segregation of gender roles in the pre-industrial society. Evolution of Gender Roles For a considerable period of time there was little or no interaction between the different civilizations and therefore each society developed its own distinct culture and the socialization process. The local socio-economic factors, religious beliefs, legal and political factors had huge impact of......

Words: 1510 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Persian Literature

...Persian literature (Persian: ادبیات فارسی‎) is one of the world's oldest literatures. It spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within Greater Iran including present-day Iran, Irap and the Caucasus, as well as regions of Central Asia wherethe Persian Language has historically been the national language. For instance, Molana (Rumi), one of Iran's best-loved poets, born in Balkh or Vakhsh (in what is now Afganistan or Tajikistan), wrote in Persian, and lived in Konya, then the capital of the Seljuks. The Ghaznavids conquered large territories in Central and South asia and adopted Persian as their court language. There is thus Persian literature from Iran, Mesopotamia, Azerbaijan, the wider Caucasus,Turkey, western parts of Pakistan, Tajikistan and other parts of Central Asia. Not all this literature is written in Persian, as some consider works written by ethnic Persians in other languages, such as Greek and Arabic, to be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians. Particularly, Turkic, Caucasian, and Indic poets and writers have also used the Persian language in the environment of Persianate cultures. Described as one of the great literatures of mankind, Persian literature has its roots in surviving works of Middle Persian and Old Persian, the latter of which date back as far as 522 BCE (the date of the earliest surviving Achaemenid inscription...

Words: 1585 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Girl Power Research Paper

...The representation of woman throughout the centuries has mainly been based on their feminine characteristics. The first thought that comes to mind is the “emotional woman” Historically women have been or believed to be vulnerable and known for their benevolence, whereas the beauty of women has been discussed for centuries and they are wittily referred to as the “fairer sex” On the socio-economical side, they have been playing a supportive role rather than a leading role at home, in the community and in the workplace. But the physical attributes of women i.e. beauty, were misconstrued, even abused. In some societies woman were subjected to oppressive relationships dominated by a patriarchal system. In many levels of society woman are still seen as the “lesser” gender. They are enslaved by Psychological and Economic oppression. In modern civilisation women are “used” to...

Words: 826 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...sometimes used in reference to the anthropological and biological phenomena of people purchasing goods and consuming materials in excess of their basic needs, which would make it recognizable in any society including ancient civilizations (e.g. Ancient Egypt, Babylon and Ancient Rome). However, the concept of consumerism is typically used to refer to the historically specific set of relations of production and exchange that emerge from the particular social, political, cultural and technological context of late 19th and early 20th century capitalism with more visible roots in the social transformations of 16th, 17th and 18th century Europe. The consumer society emerged in the late seventeenth century and intensified throughout the eighteenth century. While some[who?] claim that change was propelled by the growing middle-class who embraced new ideas about luxury consumption and the growing importance of fashion as an arbiter for purchasing rather than necessity, many critics[who?] argue that consumerism was a political and economic necessity for the reproduction of capitalist competition for markets and profits, while others point to the increasing political strength of international working class organizations during a rapid increase in technological productivity and decline in necessary scarcity as a catalyst to develop a consumer culture based on therapeutic entertainments, home ownership and debt. The more positive, middle-class view argues that this revolution encompassed......

Words: 947 - Pages: 4