- Explain the broad changes in American
economic and social development since 1975. The emphasis might be on the severe
difficulties caused by the new vulnerability of the United States in the world
economy, as well as innovations in technology and business management. Consider
the way economic change has altered American society, including family transformations
and population migrations.
REFERENCE: Paul Boyer, Promises
to Keep: The United States Since World War II (1995).
- Analyze the impact of the feminist movement
on women, men, and U.S. culture and society as a whole. Examine not only the
structural changes in womens economic and political roles, but the
transformation in values, images, and perceptions in the last two decades.
Consider the real gains women have made, as well as the issues and concerns
REFERENCES: Rosalind Rosenberg, Divided
Lives (1992); William Chafe, The Paradox of Change:
American Women in the Twentieth Century (1991).
- Examine the new immigration
to America in the 1980s and 1990s, including its impact on the American economy
and society. Perhaps compare late twentieth century immigration to earlier
waves of immigrationincluding some of the reactions of native-born
REFERENCE: David Reimers, Still
the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America (1986).
- Look at the transformations of American
culture and literature, especially the challenges to traditional
views of proper culture and education. Consider whether the culture
wars of the 1990s represented a real change from the American past,
or whether the influence of new female and minority writers and artists was
actually a revitalization of traditional American values of individualism,
democracy, and equality.
REFERENCE: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Loose
Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (1993).