“A study by Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell and Brittany Gentile found that between 1960 and 2008 individualistic words and phrases increasingly overshadowed communal words and phrases.
That is to say, over those 48 years, words and phrases like “personalized,” “self,” “standout,” “unique,” “I come first” and “I can do it myself” were used more frequently. Communal words and phrases like “community,” “collective,” “tribe,” “share,” “united,” “band together” and “common good” receded.”
But the GOP hates the 60′s they love family values but they also all love Greed which ok they won’t admit they love greed in public now instead they use code phrases like ”tax cuts to the rich create jobs” and “class warfare”. They all love to considered self made men Mitt ,Cheney, Bush, Ron and Rand Paul.
Logically just how can you be a self made man and still talk about family values? They hate the phrase “you did not build that ” the hate the phrase “crony capitalism” They hate giving Washington “Our tax money” the unspoken phrase that follows is “Washington then gives our money to black people who will just use the money to buy drugs”. Personally I can’t think of anything Obama has done to give money to anyone he just wants to cut SS aid to the poor etc all to pay for the Bush tax cuts and more war. But when has truth ever stopped the GOP from using a good PR line?
“The second element of the story is demoralization. A study by Pelin Kesebir and Selin Kesebir found that general moral terms like “virtue,” “decency” and “conscience” were used less frequently over the course of the 20th century. Words associated with moral excellence, like “honesty,” “patience” and “compassion” were used much less frequently.”
“Conservatives sometimes argue that if we could just reduce government to the size it was back in, say, the 1950s, then America would be vibrant and free again. But the underlying sociology and moral culture is just not there anymore. Government could be smaller when the social fabric was more tightly knit, but small government will have different and more cataclysmic effects today when it is not.”
Words reflect culture but the culture of the Right is anti moral, anti family.
While the Left has made words like preferences more popular Sexual Preference comes to mind we have dropped the ball on helping the family as we let wages drop thus making it harder to start a family.
Bobo seems confused about the link he points out between words, culture and morals.
What is interesting is that the words changed before Reagan made living standards drop for the average worker. Yes the negative changes for the American worker were starting in the 60′s and 70′s but they were full blown in the 80′s and noticed in the 80′s. Rising crime rates, Divorce, rates rising everything Reagan ran against were huge issues in the 80′s the decline of the American worker wages and living standard was ignored because we had a Shock Doctrine event of the economy collapsing. Cutting back on workers wages was the cure just as today cutting taxes for the rich is the cure. Cutting living standards for workers was the big goal then now its cutting government spending for the poor, education anything not War or tax cut for the rich related.
Words use in a sense pre staged the coming changes in culture and morals before the change was noticed in society.
A decline in family life does seems to pre stage a drop in morals. After all lower wages for workers makes it harder to start a family. Lower Wages for workers does force people into lives of crime. Just look at crime in America vs the EU nations that help the poor the most.
I would have to do allot more research on the 60-70′s to confirm this but just think of the implications!
Word use predicts change in society. At what level does word use have to increase before change in society becomes a given?
Given the internet has changed things we can all write now but not that many people read? The internet might have as an example a 1,000 blog posts about National Healthcare read by 100,000 people ( I am just making up numbers) but these posts don’t carry the weight of a few mentions on the 10 o clock news and 50 newspaper mentions in the 60′s due to the tv news’s and newspaper’s bigger audience back then. But those 1,000 blog posts would increase the word usage count more than the word usage count in the 60′s.
Trying to factor the real word usage count pre internet and post internet is way beyond my abilities.
- “Liberals sometimes argue that our main problems come from the top: a self-dealing elite, the oligarchic bankers. But the evidence suggests that individualism and demoralization are pervasive up and down society, and may be even more pervasive at the bottom. Liberals also sometimes talk as if our problems are fundamentally economic, and can be addressed politically, through redistribution. But maybe the root of the problem is also cultural. The social and moral trends swamp the proposed redistributive remedies.”
Us liberals were too busy fighting for Women, Minority and Gay Rights battles we still have not won but we are certainly better than we were in the 60′s. However we neglected helping the average worker who’s standard of living has declined.
The GOP it seems have won over the White voters most effected by this change by playing divide and conquer games.
It seems from the data that we must help the average worker’s standard of living again.
Not because we want to win more elections because by helping the average worker more we certainly can win more elections.
We are already wining elections with more Women Minority and Gay voters and demographic changes suggest we will only win more elections if we continue as we are.
Nope we need to work more helping workers raise their standard of living because its the right thing to do.
Not that we neglect Women, Minority and Gay rights instead we need to work more and link helping everyone to helping Women, Minorities and Gays.
As far as morals are concerned people who have good paying jobs tend to steal less. People who are moral can afford to get married and raise a family. We can’t expect people who don’t have enough money to raise a family to just give up sex. The book ” A Modest Proposal ” shows that even in 100% Catholic Ireland with people starving people did not give up having sex. They just abandoned their babies on the roadside because they could not take care of their babies.
We can point out that if you are rich enough not too worry about the law its easy to steal, look at Enron look at the bank collapse how many of them are even doing Prison time?
The possibility of unlimited wealth and the protection from the law it buys attracts psychopaths like moths to a flame so remove the flame. Redistribute the wealth.
Look at Rush, Newt, Senator Vitter, Mark Sanford unlimited wealth makes it easier to leave your wife and or family.
Its one thing if you don’t get married because you can’t support a family and you can’t control your sexual urges. It can be argued that people who work low wage jobs and are Very not likely to ever be able to afford a family have no incentive to wait.
But psychopaths who already have a wife and family and a very comfortable life just what is their excuse?
Even before the banking crisis money not cheating was the biggest cause for arguments in a marriage.
Cheaters are not all psychopaths far from it and sometimes two people just make a mistake and get married but they are not cheaters or psychopaths.
Its the lack of money that is the biggest reason married people argue. So if you want a more moral society we need a more just society. We will always have cheaters and psychopaths we do not want a society that makes it easier to be a cheater or psychopath.