One purpose of this paper is to review the nature and extent of fragmentation in the contemporary America society between 1920 through 1970.we consider fragmentation as widening the breaches of American society in so many ways. These include demographic traits, core beliefs, tastes or habits or by social ties. The paper will dwell mostly on race and culture wars.
The term culture war in America is used specifically to refer to two groups of people who are considered traditionalists or conservatives and the other group refer to as progressives or liberals. This particular term originated back in 1920 when the Americans who were living in rural and urban had conflict about American values. (James, D. 77). This was brought a bout by several people migrating into the city by 1920s.it was also because of shifting culture and allowing for modernization. Definitely, there were different in opinions and views between people who migrated to the cities of America including the foreigners and the aliens. This brings out clearly the fragmentation in America by 1920.
There was a culture war that was especially captured with the arrivals of immigrants of scholars and pundits. The image of America was conspicuously dived between two antagonistic groups. This was defined by the what was known as the turmoil of the 1960s (Hunter 1991).one of the groups were religious believers who had faith in moral values as well as the way people viewed and interoperated the family life traditionally. They also paid great attention to sexuality and gender role among different societies. (Lessonde, S.188). The other group of people did not have religious believe or less orthodox and moral relativists. They believed or promoted what as per now referred to as immoral behaviors. These behaviors were premature sex; they tolerated gender equality and favored cohabitation together with homosexuality.
It was argued that these two groups of people in America had some inflictions in some other world issues and they even went further in defining the politics of America. The core of the conflict which brought a bout the fragmentation was majorly on abortion and homosexuality.
Those who were engaged in politics in America between 1920 and 1970 were practicing partisan politics and they also had cultural disputes. ( Castells, M. 123). The contrary issue here is that their intentions did not polarize the whole country since they were public figures. The most known issues which tend to tear American apart by that time were mainly within traditional sociological inquiry.
The segregation between the social class and education achievement was very significant. The culture of educated and no-educated was being recognized with the illiterate filling left out in most of the development agendas. (Lessonde, S.159).It was quite ironical in the sense that even the people who considered themselves literate were still segregated by culture. This is to say that despite their educational like minded people, they still could forget a bout culture wars.
In 1920 through 1970, there were many groups of Americans who did not want to accept changes which were going on in the country. Some of these people were determined to enforce changes in the America and purify the country so that it could show the face of a unified nation. The groups divided themselves into two. One called themselves White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASPs) and the other called Ku Klux. ( Castells, M. 423).The former started a legal campaign to stop the immigrants who were not white from entering America. The people who were not white were mainly Protestants or those who came from Western Europe. By successfully convincing the congress to pass a series of quota lows, the tremendous reduced immigration to America for those who came from china and Eastern Europe. The other group which was known as the Ku Klux struggled too much to stop what the WASPs were up to. They struggled so much to remove child labor from the market.”The removal of child’s labor from the marketplace in some instances forced the manufacturers to change the way that work was organized and persuaded them to invest in technological improvement that allow them to operate without the benefit of child labor”(Lessonde, S. 190).
The national advisory commission on civil disorders which was appointed by president Johnson in 1968 mandated to find out a bout the violence which took place at the ghetto in 1960s came out with the findings and finally wrote “This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal”.(James, D 89). This points out clearly that there was fragmentation between the white and the black. In this context, the blacks were looked down upon because of their skin color.
Just to point out the truth of the last paragraph, the largest ethnic-racial differences in America remains strong even today.Race is the most single factor which determined where to live or to be treated in America during the period in question. It was an irony in America in the sense that the elite did not want to mingle the illiterates. Instead of maintaining their status quo, they still went a head and separate themselves in terms of races. The above explanation depicts that there exists fragmentation in terms of race in America during the year 1920 to 1970.
Fragmentation however has been a great concern to America since 1920. (Bean, F. & Stevens, G. 67).Nonetheless; it is now being fought against by all means possible. The two areas discussed above still remain contentious issues in America as far as fragmentation is concerned. Many immigrants of late are allowed to enter USA even though the rules still remains strict. Fortunately, everybody is being treated equally in terms of issuing of visas. The period between the two mentioned years especially in 1920s there emerged several fragmentation elements. As mentioned above, culture war was originated in 1920s.As it has been pointed out, some of the people who were for the fragmentation like the politicians of that time, did not want to show it out to the entire public in the name of keeping their names clean and for public a peal. The issue of fragmentation in America is currently being reduced mostly through assimilation. This is done majorly intermarriage between Americans and other tribes. They also employed the use of education. Lessonde wrote “The relationship between schooling and immigrants’ assimilation is more complicated and interesting than the historians have attempted to assume.”(Lessonde, S.154).
Alba, R.& Nee, V. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.2003.print.
Baker W. America's Crisis of Values: Reality and Perception. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.2005.Print.
Bean, F. & Stevens, G. America's Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity. New York: Russell Sage Found. 2003. Print.
Borjas G. Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.199.Print.
Castells M. The Power of Identity: The Information Age. New York: Blackwell.1997.Print.
Coontz S. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. New York: Basic Books.1990.Print.
Lassonde, S. Learning to Forget: Schooling and Family Life in New Haven's Working Class. Yale University Press. 2007.Print.