PART 1. Culture and Values ISSUE 1. Is America in Moral Decline? YES: Gertrude Himmelfarb, from The De-Moralization of Society:From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values NO: David Whitman, from The Optimism Gap: The I''m OK--They''reNot Syndrome and the Myth of American Decline Gertrude Himmelfarb, a professor emeritus of history,details some of the increasing moral problems in America andinterprets them as being part of a larger pattern, which she calls"the de-moralization of society". Writer David Whitman empiricallytests the moral decline thesis and finds that, according to theindicators that he employs, it is a myth. ISSUE 2. Does Television Violence Make Children SignificantlyMore Violent? YES: W. James Potter, from On Media Violence NO: Jib Fowles, from The Case for TelevisionViolence Professor of communication W. James Potter reviews theharmful influences of media violence and explains some of themechanisms that cause these influences. Professor of communication JibFowles argues that the evidence on the negative influences of themedia on children is weak and does not prove that television violencemakes children significantly more violent. ISSUE 3. Is Third World Immigration a Threat to America''s Way ofLife? YES: Patrick Buchanan, from "Shields Up!" The AmericanEnterprise NO: Ben Wattenberg, from "Immigration Is Good", TheAmerican Enterprise Political analyst Patrick Buchanan asserts that the largeinflux of legal and illegal immigrants, especially from Mexico,threatens to undermine the cultural foundations of American unity. BenWattenberg, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, arguesthat the United States needs a constant flow of immigrants to avoidpopulation decline and also to avoid the diminishment of power andinfluence. PART 2. Sex Roles, Gender, and the Family ISSUE 4. Do the New Sex Roles Burden Women More Than Men? YES: Jeff Grabmeier, from "The Burden Women Bear: Why They SufferMore Distress Than Men", USA Today Magazine NO: Susan Faludi, from Stiffed: The Betrayal of the AmericanMan Editor and author Jeff Grabmeier presents evidence showingthat women experience more stress than men and then analyzes why.Author Susan Faludi argues that men have been socialized into a sexrole that cannot be successfully fulfilled due to currentconditions. ISSUE 5. Are Communication Problems Between Men and Women LargelyDue to Radically Different Conversation Styles? YES: Philip Yancey, from "Do Men and Women Speak the SameLanguage?" Marriage Partnership NO: Mary Crawford, from Talking Difference: On Gender andLanguage Author Philip Yancey argues that men and women havestrikingly different communication styles because they grow up indifferent cultures. A man is usually concerned about enhancing ormaintaining status as he communicates, while a woman will usuallycommunicate in ways that gain or maintain closeness. Professor ofpsychology Mary Crawford contends that the thesis that men and womenhave radically different communication styles is greatly exaggeratedin the media and is based on simplistic stereotypes. ISSUE 6. Should Same-Sex Marriages Be Legally Recognized? YES: Andrew Sullivan, from Virtually Normal: An Argument AboutHomosexuality NO: James Q. Wilson, from "Against Homosexual Marriage", Commentary Editor and author Andrew Sullivan argues that the secularliberal state must grant the right of same-sex partners to marry. Tonot do so would be blatant discrimination. Professor of management andpublic policy James Q. Wilson presents arguments against legallyrecognizing same-sex marriages. ISSUE 7. Is the Decline of the Traditional Family a NationalCrisis? YES: David Popenoe, from "The American Family Crisis", National Forum: The Phi Kappa Phi Journal NO: Stephanie Coontz, from "The American Family", Life Sociologist David Popenoe contends that families playimportant roles in society but how the traditional family functions inthese roles has declined dramatically in the last several decades,with very adverse effects on children. Family historian StephanieCoontz argues that current discussion of family decline includes afalse idealization of the traditional family of the past andmisleading interpretations of current data on families. She finds thatthe trends are both positive and negative. PART 3. Stratification and Inequality ISSUE 8. Is Increasing Economic Inequality a Serious Problem? YES: Christopher Jencks, from "Does Inequality Matter?" Daedalus NO: Christopher C. DeMuth, from "The New Wealth of Nations", Commentary Christopher Jencks, professor of social policy at theKennedy School at Harvard University, presents data on how large theincome inequality is in the United States and describes theconsequences of this inequality. Christopher C. DeMuth, president ofthe American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, arguesthat the "recent increase in income inequality... is a very small tickin the massive and unprecedented leveling of material circumstancesthat has been proceeding now for almost three centuries and in thiscentury has accelerated dramatically". ISSUE 9. Is the Underclass the Major Threat to AmericanIdeals? YES: Charles Murray, from "And Now for the Bad News", Society NO: Barry Schwartz, from "Capitalism, the Market, the'Underclass,'' and the Future", Society Author Charles Murray describes destructive behavior amongthe underclass. Murray asserts that this type of behavior will resultin serious trouble for society even though, according to statistics,the number of crimes committed has decreased. Psychology professorBarry Schwartz states that the underclass is not the major threat toAmerican ideals. He counters that "the theory and practice offree-market economics have done more to undermine traditional moralvalues than any other social force". ISSUE 10. Has Affirmative Action Outlived Its Usefulness? YES: Walter E. Williams, from "Affirmative Action Can''t BeMended", Cato Journal NO: Wilbert Jenkins, from "Why We Must Retain Affirmative Action", USA Today Magazine Professor of economics Walter E. Williams asserts that"the civil rights struggle for blacks is over and won", so affirmativeaction policies are unjust and adversely affect society. Historyprofessor Wilbert Jenkins dismisses the arguments against affirmativeaction as founded on the false logic that since the promised land hasbeen reached, continuing affirmative action would be reversediscrimination. Jenkins maintains that an honest look at the factsreveals that affirmative action is still needed. PART 4. Political Economy and Institutions ISSUE 11. Is Government Dominated by Big Business? YES: G. William Domhoff, from Who Rules America? Power andPolitics in the Year 2000, 3rd ed. NO: Jeffrey M. Berry, from "Citizen Groups and the Changing Natureof Interest Group Politics in America", The Annals of the AmericanAcademy of Political and Social Science Political sociologist G. William Domhoff argues that the"owners and top-level managers in large income-producing propertiesare far and away the dominant power figures in the United States" andthat they have inordinate influence in the federal government. JeffreyM. Berry, a professor of political science, contends that publicinterest pressure groups that haFinsterbusch, Kurt is the author of 'Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Social Issues' with ISBN 9780072822786 and ISBN 0072822783.