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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

After the Culture War? Shifts and Continuities in the Obama Era and Beyond

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John Dombrink, University of California, Irvine
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road

This presentation will discuss certain key enduring and shifting elements of the American culture war as it moves forward: the broadening and moderating of the role of religion; the drop in salience of certain wedge issues, such as same sex marriage; continued ambivalence surrounding abortion and reproductive rights; and the rise of a new/old culture war resistance (“You Lie,” “birthers,” “tea parties”) that makes the predictions of realignment and hopes for post-partisanship weaker. Together, the elements suggest a reconfiguring of the culture war.

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John Dombrink is a professor in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine. He is the co-author of  The Last Resort: Success and Failure in Campaigns for Casinos (1990); Dying Right: The Death With Dignity Movement (2001); and Sin No More: From Abortion to Stem Cells -- Understanding Crime, Law and Morality in America (2007). His ongoing research examines “morality contests” in American culture, assesses the status of American laws and attitudes toward the sphere of personal morality, and addresses the issues of “values voters,” polarization, religion, ambivalence, and framing strategies.