News Archive

Sociologist Speaks on Families in the Cross-Hairs of Culture Wars

Ann Swidler on campus March 31

3/25/2005 2:44:12 PM


LYNCHBURG – Ann Swidler, a renowned sociologist, spoke on March 31 at 4 p.m. at R-MWC. Her lecture, “Can God Save the American Family? Family in the Cross-Hairs of the Culture Wars,” was free and open to the public and was held in the Wimberly Recital Hall of Presser Building.

Swidler, whose work on American culture and on cultural explanation has been widely influential, is a sociology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her co-authored books Habits of the Heart and The Good Society have prompted public debate about conflicts between individualism and community in American society. Her latest book, Talk of Love: How Culture Matters examines middle school Americans and how their culture affects their experiences with love.

In this book, 88 middle-class Americans from California talk about love, marriage and relationships with candor. There is tension, she says, between romantic fantasies brought about by media images and the hard work required in a relationship. Our culture shapes how we deal with love and relationships.

Swidler received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She taught at Harvard and Stanford before returning to Berkeley. She has written numerous books and often speaks around the nation. Swidler was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship among other honors and was elected to the Sociological Research Association. She has also been the Associate Editor and Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Review as well as serving frequently on review panels for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, please contact Brenda Edson, strategic communications manager, at 947-8142.

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