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Researching The Rise of Conservative Influence in Public Policy in the 1970s

Page history last edited by Allie 3 years ago


About The Project:




Earlham was one of three schools in 2014 to receive a grant from the GLCA Library of Congress Research Initiative to fund a faculty-student collaborative research project. This grant facilitated a ten day trip to DC during which the researchers worked with a librarian from the Library of Congress. Our group began by identifying a gap in published research on the conservative influence in public policy in the 1970s. We recognized that there are two literatures on what historian Donald Critchlow and many others have called the ‚Äúconservative resurgence‚ÄĚ of the 1970s.  On the one hand, scholars have widely documented a rise in pro-business politics, those aimed at reducing taxes, trimming government regulations, and reducing the power of unions.  On the other hand, the decade witnessed rapid advances by evangelical Christians and other cultural conservatives mobilizing against abortion, LGBT rights, and feminism.  Although scholars have thoroughly analyzed these fiscal and social conservatisms, the Earlham research team believes that not enough work has been done to connect these two currents in conservative thought and activism. 


To fill in this gap in the literature, our group identified five areas for research where we believed we might uncover connections between pro-business and pro-family activism in the 1970s.  Ryan Murphy worked on debates about non-traditional families in the 1970s, while Allison Eykholt worked on the politicization of crime, Mollie Goldblum worked on sex education, Sarah Medlin worked on religious critiques of lesbian and gay liberation, and Micky Myers worked on corporate anti-union consulting.  Each of those narrow topics allowed the individual researchers an avenue into the expansive collection of the Library of Congress.


This annotated bibliography allows students to both share and process some of the information they found at the Library of Congress.

Mountain View

Earlham GLCA Library of Congress trip 2014



Meet the Researchers:



Visiting the Library of Congress:


Family Values
Prison Industrial Complex
Union Busting


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