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Politics and the Class Divide

Politics and the Class Divide by David R. Croteau, ISBN: 9781566392556
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ISBN: 9781566392556
Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
Published: 28 December, 1994
Format: Paperback
Links Australian Libraries (Trove)

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Politics and the Class Divide

People don't believe they have a say anymore, so they've given up." That's the cynical conclusion of one worker in this study of the relationships between working people and the middle-class left. This rare accessible book on class differences in American life examines the impact of class status on an individual's participation or non-participation in the political process. Focusing on the relative absence of white working-class involvement in many contemporary U.S. liberal and left social movements, David Croteau goes straight to the source: members of the working class and activists in the environmental, peace, women's, and other social movements. Croteau rejects standard assumptions that apathy or simple conservatism explain working-class nonparticipation. Instead, he highlights the role of class-based resources and explores how varying cultural "tools" developed in different classes are more or less helpful in navigating and influencing the existing political environment.Commonly, he finds, the result is a middle-class sense of power and entitlement and a working-class sense of powerlessness and fatalism. Contemplating the future of social movements, he explores how lack of diversity hurts the effectiveness of what have become isolated middle-class movements, and proposes solutions that would increase the future political participation of working people in social movements. David Croteau, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, is co-author

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