Toleration and Free Speech Grant

Grants and Contracts Details


Bill Bishop, in his 2008 book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart, chronicles political divides that subsequently came to define the 2016 election. Bishop details how Americans choose to live, eat, work, grocery shop, and attend church according to political preferences. The proposed project uses works such as Bill Bishop’s as a starting point to understand the divides that permeate our country and surface on college campuses. The research project is dedicated to using oral histories to chronicle the stories of University of Kentucky (UK) students who come from rural and urban communities and to reveal commonalities among them. One important such commonality is the demands of managing the high cost of a college education. The goal of revealing these commonalities, moreover, is to make students aware of them and to help achieve a campus climate where students do not remain stuck in identity silos that reproduce wider cultural divides. The mechanism for the research will be a year-long course, SOC 435 Special Topics, in the UK Sociology Department. The proposed project takes student needs as the theoretical and methodological heart of the work, focused on collecting students’ insights and stories to enact change. The interviews/stories will be exhibited in the new campus facility with an opening panel discussion to spark a campus-wide conversation about where students come from and to see what develops, as far as overcoming differences, when the narratives and students are all brought together.
Effective start/end date1/1/1912/31/20


  • Charles Koch Foundation: $50,100.00


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