Culture Wars

The phrase culture war is a translation from the German Kulturkampf and was first used in the second half of the 19th century to refer to the power struggle between the Roman Catholic Church and the German government under Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. The concept is now used more generally to refer to the struggle between conflicting cultural values within a society. With his theory of cultural hegemony, Italian Marxist journalist, philosopher and politician Antonio Gramsci stated in the 1920s how a culturally diverse society is dominated by the group that controls the mass media, education and other major institutions. In the early 1990s, sociologist James Davison Hunter introduced the concept of culture war to the US, to describe the polarisation of society along ideological lines, between ‘conservatives’ and ‘progressives’. The so-called School Wars (schoolstrijd, guerre scolaire) in the 19th and 20th centuries, which were crises over the issue of religion in education, and of subsidies from the state, are seen as examples of culture war in Belgium.

Cultural Relativism
Identity Politics
Key Exhibitions in New York
American Context
Belgian Context 

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