Interpret this statement: The focus of many Americans in the country turned from emphasis on public policy to personal fulfillment in the 1970s. 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This statement is a reference to the increasing emphasis on the individual that emerged in the late 1970s. Some scholars (most recently Daniel Rodgers in his recent book Age of Fracture) have argued that this is the result of the hegemony of free market thinking in a variety of aspects of thought. Others point to the uniquely self-obsessed nature of American culture during the 1970s. Where the national discourse during the 1960s was dominated by major social issues, the focus of the 70s was on self-fulfillment in a number of different ways, including fad diets, exercise, and a number of household luxury items that became increasingly mainstream. Many critics on the right and the left criticized a society they saw as increasingly egoistic and lacking in depth and substance. 

Source: Daniel T. Rodgers, Age of Fracture (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011).

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