Eric Kaufmann's writing on how academia became more left-wing over time likely has relevant information for your "structure vs chance" section. One of the most startling facts from his work is the sheer speed with which TV became a household phenomena:

"The growth of television was even more dramatic: from 9% penetration in American homes in 1950 to 93% per cent by 1965. ....The New York, Hollywood and campus-based nodes in this network allowed liberal sensibilities to spread from a small coterie of aficionados to a wider public. "

from his book "Whiteshift"

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Yes, I'd say TV was important, and the resulting replacement of one set of cultural elites by another. But that story belongs to a later period, I think.

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