Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord

By Myron A. Marty | Go to book overview

20
The Peoples of America

The initial successes of the civil rights movement persuaded many Americans that working together with others in their racial or ethnic group held promise of improving their lot. Further, if all racial and ethnic minorities, women, and others in groups sometimes referred to as "marginal" could achieve a sense of common purpose, sweeping changes in America's social structure might be possible. Legislation and court decisions over several decades had worked in their favor, but the potential of a backlash remained considerable.

The civil rights movement on behalf of African Americans in the mid to late 1970s contrasted sharply with what it had been a decade earlier. During the latter period, there were few organized protests, as civil rights leaders reexamined their strategies in the face of strengthened opposition. An extension of the Voting Rights Act that abolished literacy requirements was the only civil rights law enacted during these years. In 1977 the Supreme Court upheld the use of racial quotas in reapportioning legislative districts, but by then there were signs that court actions favoring the cause of African Americans were less promising.

African Americans

In a case that attracted national attention, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by Allan Bakke, a white man who contended that his denial of admission to the medical school at the University of California at Davis was unconstitutional. A quota plan, he claimed, allowed the admission of less-qualified blacks and Hispanics, resulting in his exclusion. Many observers believed this to be the Court's most important civil rights case since its unanimous ruling in Brown v.Board of Education

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Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in the Greenwood Press "Daily Life through History" Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Introduction xix
  • Part I - Modern Times Flourish and Fade: 1960-1966 1
  • 1 - Family Life 3
  • 2 - Changing Population Patterns 11
  • 3 - Private and Public Lives 25
  • 4 - Consumers in the Material World 35
  • 5 - The Other America 43
  • 6 - Mind and Spirit 51
  • 7 - Technology in Daily Life 57
  • 8 - Cultural Transformations 65
  • Part II - Troubled Times: 1967-1974 77
  • 9 - Changing Families 79
  • 10 - Civil Rights and Group Identities 87
  • 11 - Securities Shaken 99
  • 12 - Cultural Reflections/Cultural Influences 115
  • 13 - Material Aspects of Life 127
  • 14 - Environmental and Consumer Protection 141
  • 15 - Technology's Small Steps and Giant Leaps 149
  • 16 - Hard Knocks for Schools 159
  • 17 - Spiritual Matters 169
  • 18 - Not Ready for New Times 175
  • Part III - Times of Adjustment, 1975-1980 179
  • 19 - Family Changes Continue 181
  • 20 - The Peoples of America 187
  • 21 - Security Concerns 195
  • 22 - Television, Movies, and More 205
  • 23 - Cares of Daily Life 215
  • 24 - Arenas of Discord 225
  • 25 - Pulling Together 239
  • Part IV - Crossing the Postmodern Divide: 1981-1990 245
  • 26 - Family Variations 247
  • 27 - People at the Margins 255
  • 28 - Security Concerns Continue 265
  • 29 - Diversions 277
  • 30 - Concerns of Daily Life 291
  • 31 - Technology 303
  • 32 - More Discord 309
  • 33 - Prospects 331
  • Selected Bibliography 337
  • Index 353
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