How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Web

Sunday, January 10, 2010: 8:50 AM
Elizabeth Ballroom G (Hyatt)
Diane Winston , University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
The culture wars, according to sociologists like Alan Wolfe, engage only a small group of American elites with a "mushy middle" caught in-between the two sides.  Progressives, overrepresented in academia and the media, have enjoyed a lock on disseminating and circulating their perspectives, but the Web offers Americans who don't subscribe to the New York Times or attend Ivy League universities direct access to issues, ideas, and information about the world today as well as how and why things came to be this way. How might new media affect religious debates and the "culture wars?" Are scholars more concerned about the sanctity of the academic guild than the good of society? And what insights about access and professionalization might the "legacy" news media offer scholars?