culture war

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From culture + war, originally as a calque of German Kulturkampf.


culture war ‎(plural culture wars)

  1. (rare) A political struggle for control over cultural institutions.
  2. Conflict between different ideological groups, especially political conflict for cultural dominance between liberals and conservatives in the United States.
    • 2015, Chris Lehmann, ‘The Candidates’, London Review of Books, vol. 37 no. 12:
      Bush’s other accomplishments in office include […] prolonging the life of the severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo in a cynical bid to burnish his culture wars résumé.

Usage notes[edit]

Often used in the plural, as “the culture wars”. Mostly used to refer to conflict in the 1980s onward, with the 1960s referred to as a different generation.