Wayne E. Baker. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. 328p.
Wayne Baker's America's
Perception offers a recent addition to a growing literature in
political science that examines the perception and, perhaps, reality of
the polarization of American politics around cultural and moral issues. In
this book, Baker sets out to provide an empirical examination of three
aspects of America's perceived crisis of values. The first of these
is the trend hypothesis: In recent decades, America has experienced a
significant decline in its commitment to traditional moral values. The
second is the comparison hypothesis: Moral values in the United States
have declined relative to most other nations. Third and finally is the
distribution hypothesis: Americans have become increasingly polarized in
their commitment to traditional moral values.