Chapter 30: Economic and Social Change in the Late 20th Century
Economic, cultural, and social changes have affected America greatly in the late twentieth century.
The population since 1980 has become increasingly older, urban, diverse, southern, and western.
Declining birth rates and rising life expectancy combined to produce an aging population.
Between 1970 and 1990 most American financial and industrial growth occurred in the South and West, the Sunbelt.
The Sunbelt also proved attractive to large numbers of new immigrants from Latin America and Asia.
Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Immigration Act laid the basis for an increased volume and diversity of immigrants.
Modern legislation has ...view middle of the document...
Legislation increased markedly in the 1970s, to include the establishment of an Environmental Protection Agency and the creation of a Superfund to pay costs associated with cleaning up contaminated living areas.
Following a backlash during the Reagan years against environmental activism, the Clinton administration sought to regain public support for environmental protection measures.
In recent years, the movement has increasingly focused on international ecological dangers.
Despite the energy crunch of the 1970s, little progress has been made in breaking American dependence on fossil fuels as our main energy source.
Innovations in electronic technologies diversified media and transformed American culture.
Video monitors are everywhere, from museums to sports bars to airline terminals.
During the 1970s, a video revolution occurred as the television industry shifted programming priorities in an effort to attract specific audiences.
CBS began to target younger viewers and address various social issues, and ABC concentrated on programs for high school and college-age viewers.
The networks faced increasing competition from independent networks and cable companies, and viewing audiences of the major networks fell across the board.
A new media environment has dramatically altered American mass culture.
Movies and TV became intertwined, as TV hits became movies and various technologies such as VCRs and DVD made home movie viewing possible.
MTV has forged a new aesthetic between music and visual images.
CD players and the Internet have combined to revolutionize the way people listen to music.
A new mass culture debate arose, spearheaded by those who argued for scholarly contemplation of popular culture and often merging with controversies over multicultural education.
While social activism did not disappear with the 1960s, it did fragment, and mass demonstrations lost their ability to attract media coverage.
The new women's movement began to move beyond the agenda set by middle-class feminists in the 1960s.
Feminism grew into a highly diverse movement, with varied agendas ranging from economics to health care to the proliferation of "women's studies."
Sexual harassment remained a highly charged issue, evidenced by the Clarence Thomas and Tailhook cases.
Debates over sexuality remained divisive.
Following the Stonewall riots of 1969, gay and lesbian activism increased markedly.
The controversy over AIDS has spurred further activism on the part of homosexual people, as has the issue of homosexuals...