The Harold Hodgkinson Lecture



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The Hodgkinson Lecture was established by the Kettering Foundation in 2017 in honor of Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson, renowned lecturer, writer, and analyst of demographics and education. The first Hodgkinson Lecturer was journalist and public intellectual Bill Bishop, who coauthored (with Robert G. Cushing) the 2008 book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. He delivered the talk to a group gathered at the foundation for Dayton Days in June 2017. Serving as responder was community and economic development consultant J. Mac Holladay, founder and CEO of Market Street Services in Atlanta. 

This working paper contains lightly edited versions of both speakers’ remarks, as well as highlights of the ensuing discussion. Recent trends, such as growing digital divides, social enclaving, and media polarization are undermining the capacities of citizens to understand each other and work together across differences. Bishop speaks about what he’s learned about the social and psychological roots of these trends and what we’ve seen since publication of his book. In response, Holladay talks about ways that these trends could be, and are being, reversed. 

Kettering program officer Amy Lee caught up with Bill after the research session for some closing thoughts. You can watch those below and learn more about Bill Bishop’s work.

Learn more about The Big Sort.


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Civil Society