Director, Bob Graham Center for Public Service at The University of Florida
Bill Bishop, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, blogged on Texas politics for the Austin American-Statesman where his posts grew into a series of articles, written in collaboration with sociologist and statistician Robert Cushing, called "'The Great Divide."' The series received a great deal of national attention and was the genesis for "'The Big Sort"'. Bishop worked at the "'Mountain Eagle"', a weekly paper in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and taught at Duke University. He and his wife, Julie Ardery, owned and operated the "'Bastrop Country Times"', a weekly newspaper in Smithville, Texas. They now co-edit The Daily Yonder , a web-based publication covering rural America.
Click on picture below for details on how to win dinner tickets:
Would you like to watch the Big Sort panel discussion? Click HERE.
Want to meet Bill Bishop but can't join us for dinner on Tuesday the 8th? Bill will also be speaking on Monday, February 7th, at 7:00 PM as part of the FSU College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Laird B. Anderson and Florence H. Ashby Lectureship on Public Policy Journalism. Learn more about the series HERE. The lecture will take place at the Globe Auditorium in the Center for Global Engagement located at 110 S. Woodward Avenue on FSU's campus. This event is co-sponsored by the FSU Center for Leadership and Civic Education, Uphold the Garnet and Gold and The Village Square. There is no charge for admission and no requirement to RSVP. For a map to The Globe and parking information, click HERE.
From The Big Sort: "In 1976, less than a quarter of Americans lived in places where the presidential election was a landslide. By 2004, nearly half of all voters lived in landslide counties... unnoticed, people had been reshaping the way they lived. Americans were forming tribes, not only in their neighborhoods but also in churches and volunteer groups. That's not the way people would describe what they were doing, but in every comer of society, people were creating new, more homogeneous relations. Churches were filled with people who looked alike and, more important, thought alike. So were clubs, civic organizations, and volunteer groups. Social psychologists had studied like-minded groups and could predict how people living and worshiping in homogeneous groups would react: As people heard their beliefs reflected and amplified, they would become more extreme in their thinking. What had happened over three decades wasn't a simple increase in political partisanship, but a more fundamental kind of self-perpetuating, self-reinforcing social division. The like-minded neighborhood supported the like-minded church, and both confirmed the image and beliefs of the tribe that lived and worshiped there. Americans were busy creating social resonators, and the hum that filled the air was the reverberated and amplified sound of their own voices and beliefs."