Miller Center

The Politics of High Tech Societies

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Lily Geismer
April 10, 2015
12:30PM - 2:00PM (EDT)

Lily Geismer
Lily Geismer

Since World War II, U.S. metropolitan areas have been transformed by the emergence of a high-tech economy. From Silicon Valley to Massachusetts’s Route 128 corridor, these changes have reshaped the political identity and behavior of the communities that form the core of the new knowledge-based economy. Connected as much by professional identity and national and global networks as by commitment to place, the knowledge workers who occupy these high-tech spaces have become increasingly significant for American politics. On Friday, April 10 at 12:30 pm, the Miller Center’s GREAT ISSUES program will explore these issues through a discussion of Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party by former Miller Center National Fellow LILY GEISMER. Don’t Blame Us explores how knowledge workers in the high-tech spaces of the Route 128 corridor helped reorient the Democratic Party towards a new suburban liberalism during the 1970s and 1980s. Geismer argues that rather than being an exception, these high-tech Massachusetts liberals were representative of trends in metropolitan areas around the country that have shaped American politics ever since.

LILY GEISMER is an assistant professor of History at Claremont McKenna College and a former Miller Center National Fellow. Geismer's teaching and research focuses on the intersections of political realignment, public policy, grassroots social movements and metropolitan history since World War II. She is the author of Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. She is currently beginning work on a new project that will examine the privatization of public policy, and the increasing promotion of market-based and individualist ideology to address social inequality by both political parties since the 1960s.

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Great Issues: Our Great Issues programming provides scholarly expertise on a wide range of policy issues for the public, the media, and the policy community, with an aim towards increasing public discourse about national and global challenges.

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