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The Brief American Pageant , Sixth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Mel Piehl, Valparaiso University
Suggested Lecture Topics
Chapter 42
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • 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 women's 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 that remain.

    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 immigration-including some of the reactions of native-born Americans.

    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).



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