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The 1970sA New Global History from Civil Rights to Economic Inequality$
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Thomas Borstelmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141565

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141565.001.0001

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More and Less Equal since the 1970s

More and Less Equal since the 1970s

(p.278) Chapter 6 More and Less Equal since the 1970s
The 1970s

Thomas Borstelmann

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at how greater inclusiveness and formal equality were accompanied by growing distrust of government and the rise of market values in the post-1970s world. Over more than three decades, the result was a more diverse public culture in the realm of employment, entertainment, and politics, on the one hand, and a more economically differentiated society, on the other. Class differences widened, as measured by the distribution of income and wealth. But Americans had long been loath to talk about class divisions, something associated for the past century with Marxist analysis. Rather than addressing growing economic inequality, Americans tended instead to celebrate racial and ethnic diversity. Here, cultural liberalism and economic conservatism had come to form a de facto alliance. It had become the contemporary American condition, the ground on which the vaunted American middle class continued to shrink.

Keywords:   inequalities, inclusiveness, formal equality, market values, diverse public culture, class differences, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, cultural liberalism, economic conservatism

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