Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Can blogs help scientific research? Probably, but I’m sure to have found one that helps me in my own research. The research I’m currently working on is on attitudes towards induced abortion, and especially the polarisation of these attitudes in America.

The body of literature on this subject is vast and has interesting titles as ‘Culture Wars’, and ‘Before the Shooting Begins’. The Culture Wars hypothesis, proffered by Hunter, basically states that Americans’ attitudes have increasingly been formed by two diverging fundaments. One important aspect of the Culture Wars is the (strong) impact of religious doctrine on many Americans’ life.

To get a good feeling of what is going on in these ‘Culture Wars’, I try to read more than just academic literature. Besides newspapers and, of course, what the U.S. Presidential candidates state about abortion, I recently discovered a blog named ‘Dispatches from the Culture Wars’.

Some interesting posts (or would Ed Brayton (the author) refer to them as ‘dispatches’) are to be found there. For instance, Brayton mentions a school that is . I find it interesting to read what people have to say about that, and this blog quotes quite a few. Also, do read the comments: it’s Culture Wars all over again (especially pay attention to the comment of ‘mroberts’ and the reactions to that).

Other contributions are evenly interesting: Apparently, in America you can get forced to go to rehab that works on religious principles, even when you’re not religious. Texas schools are encouraged to use aunconstitutional religious curriculum, for which some schools already have been sued. On this blog, I found a link to an organisation called Americans for Truth”. And there is much more to be found.

Sure, the author of ‘Dispatcher from the Culture Wars’ has taken his own stand in the debate, and for academic purposes it will not make sense to accept all for truth. But that’s not the point: this blog is a very interesting read if you’re interested in the formation of Americans’ opinions and the impact that religion has on that.

Just hours after writing this blog, Ed Brayton updated his blog with a short article on Sarah Palin not being able to state Supreme Court rulings on induced abortion, other than Row vs. Wade I’ve added the movie here as well, so please let me know what you think about it.

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