Claude Fischer: The immigrants viewed farming as a family duty; the interests of wives and children were secondary to the imperative that everyone work hard to expand and pass on the farm from generation to generation.
Claude Fischer: Religious Americans are not less knowledgeable about or supportive of science generally, “but may choose to interpret events in a religious light.”
Claude Fischer: Ronald Reagan, a B-movie actor and an experienced rubber chicken circuit speaker before he became a candidate for office, had remarkable skills in telling amusing, heart-warming, patriotic, and politically-pointed stories.
Claude Fischer: The pay gap remains even though women now get more education than men and have long been covered by anti-discrimination laws.
Claude Fischer: For years, political divisions over the environment have had the seemingly odd feature that Americans farthest from the open country have tended to be most supportive of protecting the environment, while those nearest to it — farmers and other rural residents — have been most resistant.
Claude Fischer: Two radical notions in the early 1970s, having a black president and permitting homosexual marriage, have pretty much come to pass – in terms of public opinion and public policy.
Urban Legends: And then there are “urban legends” that are passed around even by (gasp!) academics. Folktales of the policy elites.
Public Housing — When the U.S. does public provisioning of basic needs, it does so halfheartedly, perhaps thereby promoting its failure.
American Dream Fading — Because many Americans have experienced briefly being poor, sympathy for the chronically poor may be that much harder to come by.
Loafers and Food Stamps — Maybe we care because able-bodied people who choose not to work and take food stamps are ripping off the rest us.
Claude Fischer: Today’s environmentalists see the squirrel’s move to the bright lights as a big mistake. We can see it as another case of Americans’ repeated reshaping of the natural environment — here not for the usual economic reasons, but for moral uplift.
Claude Fischer: A global effort, perhaps tongue in cheek, landed in the U.S. to provide “Sunday Assemblies” with the music and the community of churches, leaving out the God of churches
Claude Fischer: That American parents are increasingly stretching their time and their budgets to help their adult children testifies that family ties continue to bind; that the need to help has grown testifies to the tight bind that young adults face in the 21st century.