Can “everyone win” in the culture wars now fought in a fragmented pop culture landscape?

One writer suggests the fragmented pop culture of today allows opportunities for culture warriors of all sides to find their niche:

Now we are in the midst of a new culture war, in which fans and creators battle each other and sometimes themselves. It is being waged over whether or not culture is political, and if so, what its politics ought to be and how they might be expressed. That conflict has also diffused beyond the academic, religious and political institutions who were major players in earlier convulsions. Today it is wildly fragmented in a way that suggests vigorous and ongoing debates rather than an easy resolution.

The fierce arguments of today often center on whether culture is changing fast enough, and whether change means chucking out old ideas, storytelling tropes and character types...

Many of the flash points in the new culture wars are the same issues of identity politics that roiled universities in earlier decades. But rather than slugging it out in academic presses through works like Martin Bernal’s “Black Athena,” which situated classical civilization’s roots in Africa, or polemics like Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind,” the battlefields are low culture and the combatants are consumers, mass media critics and creators…

But for those who are fighting for a culture in which all stories have a chance to be told, though, the prospects are decidedly sweeter…

As we consume and discuss everything that is available to us now, we might not settle our big questions about art and politics and which values are best and how best to present them. The wonderful thing about this moment of technological and economic evolution and cultural proliferation is that we do not actually have to. The present culture war is the rare conflict in which almost everyone has a chance to win.

As noted, fragmentation is good if the goal is a lot of options and everyone getting a chance to present their perspectives. Yet, if the goal is one side or the other “winning” or even some measure of moral consensus, fragmentation is not so good.

At the same time, the idea that the culture wars are now playing out in pop culture also suggests that the average consumer is paying attention to these issues. Maybe they are moreso than in the past. However, I would guess there are still a lot of media consumers who aren’t thinking about these flashpoints as they consume. With an average consumption of 11 hours of media a day, layering the culture wars on top of that is a whole new ballgame.

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