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Society and Culture

Beginning of a Decade TIPSHEET – Politics and Government

Dec. 14, 2009—As you consider year-in-review stories and look ahead to the trends of 2010, Vanderbilt University faculty are available to offer perspective on these and other topics.

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Clashing worldviews a key to understanding voter polarization, VU professor says

Nov. 18, 2009—The recent vote in Congress on health care reform – with only one Republican lawmaker voting yes – provides more evidence of the growing polarization between the parties and the fundamentally different understandings of right and wrong that continue to pull the two major political parties further apart, according to Vanderbilt University political scientist Marc Hetherington.

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Vanderbilt professor takes on media bias

Nov. 13, 2009—A little respect could go a long way to preserving democracy in America, says Vanderbilt professor Bob Talisse in his new book.

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Terrorist warnings affect political attitudes, says Vanderbilt researcher

Sep. 1, 2009—When citizens in the United States and Mexico are confronted by terrorist threats, they cope in ways that can put significant stresses on the nations' democracies, according to research by political scientists at Vanderbilt and Claremont.

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Obama’s appointees: some strong, some not, Vanderbilt expert finds

Aug. 25, 2009—A Vanderbilt University political scientist's study of President Obama's appointments during his first six months in office finds some agencies are receiving significantly more qualified presidential appointees than others.

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Why Obama’s birth certificate issue won’t go away: Vanderbilt expert

Jul. 30, 2009—The controversy over President Obama's birth certificate will not go away as long as he refuses to release sealed records, including the original birth certificate, according to Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.

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VU sociologists analyze American music forms and their changes over time

May. 28, 2009—Vanderbilt sociologists Jennifer Lena and Richard Peterson analyzed 60 samples of American music and found that each one --over time -- took on forms that were roughly comparable during their developmental sequences. The professors call these four distinct genre types Avant-garde, Scene-based, Industry-based and Traditionalist. "Classification as Culture: Types and Trajectories of Music Genres" has been published in the American Sociological Review.

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Conventional views on liberalism and Black Power challenged by VU professor

May. 22, 2009—Black Power's complex relationship with liberalism during the civil rights era and the surprising consequences of that interaction are explored in Devin Fergus' book Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965-1980.

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New generation of African American scholars seek leadership roles

May. 12, 2009—A new generation of African American theology scholars are striving to define their place at the intersections of religion, social causes and education. Next month, more than 40 of them from across the country will gather at Vanderbilt University to discuss the challenges on this formidable road.

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Will a bad economy hurt democracy?

May. 1, 2009—Results from the latest AmericasBarometer Survey showing what the impact of worldwide economic decline might mean for democratic consolidation in Latin America will be presented on May 8 at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. The presentation by Vanderbilt University political scientists Mitchell Seligson and Elizabeth Zechmeister is titled "Economic Shocks and Democratic Vulnerabilities: Evidence from the AmericasBarometer Survey."

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Black church participation up in urban areas; family programs, economics and real-world sermons drive attendance

Apr. 1, 2009—Churches with predominantly black congregations are thriving in urban and suburban areas, and the most successful churches employ a variety of sophisticated marketing and programming strategies to draw members, a new study by Vanderbilt University researcher Sandra Barnes finds. The research offers insights into what successful black churches have in common today, when parishioners have more choices and expect more from their churches than they have in the past.

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President’s cabinet secretaries control the pork, Vanderbilt research finds

Mar. 17, 2009—While many people associate the word "pork" with lawmakers' wasteful spending for pet projects, new Vanderbilt research demonstrates the importance of cabinet secretaries and their political ideology in the distribution of lucrative federal grants.

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