News from Princeton University
Rockefeller Grant to Princeton Center Will
Support New Research on Cultural Conflict in America
Date: July 6, 2000
Princeton, N.J. – The Rockefeller Foundation has recently awarded
a $286,670 grant to Princeton University's Center for Arts and
Cultural Policy Studies to support research related to on cultural
conflict in the contemporary U.S. The 18 month grant will fund
a program of research, convening and dissemination designed to
advance knowledge and add balance and nuance to the public debate
about conflicts over art, cultural expression and social values
in American society.
Joan Shigekawa, Associate Director for Creativity & Culture
at the Rockefeller Foundation, stated, "The Princeton Center has
a track record of excellent empirical research on issues related
to cultural controversies and the arts. We are pleased to offer
support for this next stage of research, which we believe will
move the discussion of cultural conflict toward a more informed,
deliberate and policy-relevant debate."
The Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy
Studies was created to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication
of discourse about the nation's artistic and cultural life. Its
programs and activities are designed to create an infrastructure
of well-trained scholars who have access to regularly collected
information about cultural organizations, activities and providers
and who produce timely research and analysis on key topics in
arts and cultural policy.
"We are delighted," said Center Director Stan Katz, " that the
Rockefeller Foundation is joining the Pew Charitable Trusts and
the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of our work in cultural
The Rockefeller grant will support three areas of research. First,
it will allow scholars to analyze recent social surveys in order
to determine trends in public attitudes toward the arts as well
as a variety of other "hot button" issues related to race, gender,
sexual behavior and school prayer, with a particular focus on
whether polarization of opinion is has become more or less pronounced.
Second, the Center will investigate hundreds of actual cases
of public quarrels and controversies in communities across America
in order to learn how the incidence and content of such disagreements
has changed between the 1960s and the present. Such an investigation
will also illuminate why the frequency and intensity of such conflicts
appears to vary so much from place to place and from time to time.
Finally, the Center will undertake research that seeks to understand
how the press has covered—and shaped—cultural conflict in the
United States since 1985. This study will identify the major "frame"
or points of view that journalists have used in discussing moral
disputation, and will try to understand when and why the press
calls attention to value dimensions of public policy issues.
In addition to producing new empirical research on cultural conflict,
the project will also yield a book, a national conference and
new data resources that will be available to other scholars who
are interested in analyzing both incidents of public controversy
as well as media depictions of controversy.
"The strength of this project will be its ability to draw on
the mutual implications of research on public opinion, community-level
disputes, and portrayals of conflict in the news-media in order
to produce coherent arguments about the origins, nature, and effects
of cultural conflict in the contemporary United States" said Paul
DiMaggio, research coordinator for the Center and principal investigator
of the project.
For more information, please contact:
Associate Director of the Princeton University Center for Arts
and Cultural Policy Studies