Americans seem to be hopelessly divided. We just can’t stop arguing. But now, based on new research at the University of Michigan, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker shows us that a broad common ground still exists in America. In his new book, Dr. Baker shows how we are united by Ten Core Values, which we have held for a long time—despite our differences in age, race, income or political leaning. Let’s use this common ground to start a whole new nationwide dialogue!
- SEE ALL OF OUR DISCUSSION GUIDES: Download any of these free guides to United America, including the new TASTE OF HOME and FAMILY TREASURES guides that show you how to organize lively experiences for your class or small group.
- THE PHOTO GALLERY: Enjoy our inspiring gallery: Images of America, including a free Discussion Guide for using these images in your group.
- Honest Abe! What would Abe Lincoln say about these 10 values?
- Brian McLaren: Read the Preface to United America written by best-selling author Brian D. McLaren.
What do you think of when you think of freedom? Do you believe all people deserve respect? These might seem like obvious core values, but take a moment to consider that many of these values are so ingrained in American society that what may be obvious for one culture may not reflect similarly in another.
What do you value most in life? Do you want to accomplish things and grow, get ahead? What would you trade for assured security? If you’ve found yourself asking these questions in your daily life, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans grapple with value issues. In United America, Dr. Baker provides the answers: what millions of Americans actually think, value and prioritize in regards to their most core beliefs.
United America is suitable for any setting. Every section ends with several discussion questions, either for self-reflection or to provoke a discussion in your book club, organization, congregation or classroom.
An Accessible Read
“There are two kinds of numbers in the book,” Dr. Baker likes to say, “Page numbers and once in a while, I’ll give you some percentages.” These percentages come from several years of rigorous research Dr. Baker conducted at the University of Michigan’s prestigious Institute for Social Research. But, this book is not written for academics. In this book, Dr. Baker strips away the technical jargon involved in this ground-breaking research to hand you the facts you need to understand the depth and breadth of these core values. In this book, Dr. Baker hands you the tools you need to understand just how many Americans agree with you on your favorite issues. Dr. Baker explains each Core America Value through a combination of history, current events and personal anecdotes.
About the research
United America is unique. It’s different than the many manifestos published by political activists, because United America is based on years of scientific research at one of the nation’s leading universities. Dr. Wayne Baker’s finding that 10 core values unite the vast majority of Americans is a startling conclusion, drawn from rigorous nationwide research. These ten core values were identified from data collected in four nationally representative surveys administered over a two-year period by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR), the world’s premier survey research organization. The surveys were funded in part by the ISR and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dr. Baker and his team designed their survey questionnaire after in-depth analysis of past research methods, followed by extensive pre-survey research with focus groups, cognitive interviews, and pilot tests. The data was analyzed with a battery of statistical techniques to ensure the validity and reliability of the results.
Join the ongoing conversation
Dr. Baker writes daily on his blog, OurValues.org. Join the nationwide dialogue about values, ethics and tough issues in contemporary American society. Founded in 2008, OurValues.org covers a wide range of topics and draws readers from around the world.
Contact Dr. Baker
Dr. Baker is available for interviews, talks, keynote addresses, and seminars. Contact him at [email protected].
Order custom copies of United America
Group orders of United America can be customized to add your group’s logo. Additional pages can be added, welcoming your readers and explaining your organization’s mission. For more information on this option, email [email protected].
Why is talking about values important?
What were your first thoughts when you learned that Americans are united by ten core values? Which one stands out to you? Or maybe you’re skeptical. Let us know! Just turn on your webcam, create a video and send us the YouTube link at [email protected]. We’ll host it here, at UnitedAmericaBook.com.