The Divide Within

Intersections of Realities, Facts, Theories, and Practices

Edited by:
Tina L. Heafner, UNC Charlotte
Laura K. Handler, UNC Charlotte
Tracy C. Rock, UNC Charlotte

A volume in the series: Social Science Education Consortium Book Series. Editor(s): Whitney G. Blankenship, San Antonio College. Matthew T. Missias, Grand Valley State University. Anne Aydinian-Perry, University of Wyoming. Dean P. Vesperman, University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Published 2021

Globalization, modernization, and technologization have brought rapid social and economic change while also increasing diversity of democratic societies. Plurality of democracy, once viewed as a progressive ideology, has been met by the movement of identity politics to the margins of society. Although social movements demanding recognition on the part of groups that were once invisible to mainstream society have brought attention to systemic inequities, prejudice, and discriminatory policies, other groups feeling a loss of status and a sense of displacement have pushed back with counterclaims and protests. These conflicting narratives have fractured society and segmented the populace along narrowly defined identities, creating a new era of democracy and isolationism.

Today in the United States we see the troubling effects of increasingly polarized political discourse: amplified gridlock within government, the politicization and fragmentation of economic and social life, and the suppression of the spread of information across ideological lines. The socio-political climate in America is characterized by skepticism, hostility, distrust, claims of fake news, and unwavering opposition. The divide within our nation has shifted the narrative of democracy from promoting the common good to protecting the interests of likeminded factions and the preservation of power and privilege.

In recent decades, researchers focused attention on studying the social, geographic, political, and technological polarization in the United States. Trends manifest in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life, and expose the divergence between urban and rural communities. These inquiries also suggest that causes and effects of identity politics and polarization are too complex to be studied within the confines of a single discipline. Its exploration, therefore, requires participation and collaboration from scholars in many different fields, particularly those working in the social sciences. In this edited volume, we seek to leverage this research capacity to engage the reader in studies and instruction concerning the divide within and the intersections of realities, facts, theories, and practices in social science education.

Download a sample article:

Teaching to a Statue
Wade H. Morris, Georgia State University
Chara Haessler Bohan, Georgia State University

Introduction, Tina L. Heafner, Laura K. Handler, Tracy C. Rock. Exacerbating Existing Divides: Fake News, Desire, and Partisanship, Wayne Journell. The NC ACCESS Program: Remediating or Deepening Divisions in Public Education? Laura K. Handler and Tracy C. Rock. Socioeconomic Disparities: A Case Study Addressing the Urban/Rural Divide Using a World Cafe, Daniel A. Yonto. A Quantitative Comparison of Rural and Urban School Teacher Characteristics, Jessica Norwood, Tina L. Heafner, and Paul Fitchett. Discipline Disparities: An Analysis of School Discipline Practices in a North Carolina High School, Yvonna Hines-McCoy, Tina L. Heafner, and Jeanneine Jones. Primary Contradictions: Qualitative Transformations of White Social Studies Teacher Identity, Dean P. Vesperman and Jill Leet-Otley. Teaching to a Statue: John B. Gordon, History Textbooks, and the Creation of a Lost Cause Hero, Wade H. Morris and Chara Haeussler Bohan. Bridging the Gap: One School’s Attempt to Build Community Through Service Learning, Amy Allen. Evaluating the Effects of Discipline Literacy Versus General Literacy in Adolescent Readers, Antoinette M. L. Rochester, Tina L. Heafner, and Kristen Beach. Responding to an Era of Globalization with Multicultural Education, Amanda R. Casto and Greg Wiggan. Promoting Student Achievement: Arts Integration in Urban Schools in the United States and Canada, Portia M. York and Greg Wiggan. Understanding United States Economic Inequality and the Strain on Our Democracy, James E. Davis. Bridging the Divide between Data and Solutions: A Closer look at a Restorative Framework for School Discipline, Bettie Ray Butler.