A friend and I had a friendly disagreement about whether society as a whole has changed significantly since the 1980s. Can you help me bolster my side?
This morning, me and a friend-- a German blogger/writer-- were discussing my new book which is coming out at the end of the year, a time travel story about a woman who goes back to 1989. He said it sounded interesting, but the problem he had with it was the same problem he had with all time travel stories set in the '80s and '90s-- he doesn't see that much difference in terms of culture. He said, "It's why Back to the Future
worked so well, there was a wide chasm between 1955 and 1985, more so than 1985 to 2015. Know what I mean?"
When I said that I felt the differences from the 1980s to the 2010s were huge, he replied that we might have new tech, like cell phones and computers and the internet, but culturally we're not that different from twenty-five years ago. I can see what he's getting at, but I still think there are huge differences. These are mainly caused by the tech, but I think there are also big cultural shifts in how we view women, gay people, black people, etc. For example, it's hard to imagine a new Leisure Suit Larry type franchise being invented in today's climate, or how in 1987 no one thought to question why no women authors were interviewed by the L. Ron Hubbard writers of the future contest.
And then there's the fact we live in a somewhat dystopian present, something of a proto-Minority Report type society with "Homeland Security" and swat teams in every town.
Anyway, what do you guys think? Do you think there has or hasn't been a huge cultural shift from the 1980s? And why? Super detailed and nerdy answers are especially welcome!