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Guest Column by five Penn Law professors | Notions of 'bourgeois' cultural superiority are based on bad history

(08/20/17 11:24pm)

In the recent opinion article “Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture,” published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, law professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander lament the loss of the “bourgeois cultural hegemony” of the 1950s. They claim that erosion of commitment to marriage, hard work, patriotism, civic-mindedness and respect for authority has produced low male labor force participation, high rates of nonmarital childbearing, subpar educational attainment, an underqualified workforce, substance abuse and rampant urban violence. The downward spiral started in the late 1960s, they argue, with “identity politics” and “multicultural grievance polemics.”