Diversity in Contemporary American Politics and Government

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Diversity in Contemporary American Politics and Government

David A. Dulio Erin E. O'Brien John S. Klemanski

Organized to follow the structure of a standard introduction to American politics text, this unique reader highlights the role of diversity in U.S. politics through exploration of important, contemporary political issues.

Based on the thesis that demographic diversity in America plays a significant role in political outcomes and policy processes, this reader covers a wide range of today's issues and encompasses a myriad of group cleavages. Carefully selected readings from both academic and popular sources–wedded to helpful introductions by the editors and end-of-chapter resources–present complex issues in an accessible, engaging way.


  • Coverage of contemporary issues, such as the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, racial/ethnic profiling, school vouchers, gay marriage, welfare reform, gender discrimination, and immigration policy, helps stimulate student interest the course material.
  • The mix of journalistic and abridged scholarly pieces presents complex subjects in an accessible way, allowing students of all skill levels to engage in real dialogue on these important topics.
  • Four readings in each section offer an array of perspectives on each issue, allowing instructors to compare and contrast them.
  • Discussion questions at the end of each section are designed to stimulate critical thinking skills and classroom interaction.
  • An “Additional Resource” list at the end of each section provides selected web-based and video sources that explore diversity, allowing students to examine the issues further and in additional contexts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205550364
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David A. Dulio is the author of The Mechanics of State Legislative Campaigns (with John S. Klemanski, Wadsworth 2006), Vital Signs: Perspectives on the Health of American Campaigning (with Candace J. Nelson, Brookings Institution Press 2005), For Better or Worse? How Political Consultants are Changing Election in the United States (State University of New York Press 2004), and is the editor of Crowded Airwaves: Campaign Advertising in Elections (with James A. Thurber and Candice J. Nelson, Brookings Institutions Press 2000), and Shades of Gray: Perspectives on Campaign Ethics (with Candace J. Nelson and Stephen K. Medvic, Brookings Institutions Press 2002). In 2002, Dulio served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference under the direction of then-Rep. J.C. Watts, Jr. (OK).

Erin E. O’Brien is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her teaching and research interests are in the politics of poverty and diversity and public policy. Dr. O’Brien’s recent publications include The Politics of Identity: Solidarity Building among America’s Working Poor (SUNY Press 2008). Her work also appears in The American Journal of Political Science, Women & Politics, and in various book chapters.

John S. Klemanski is Professor of Political Science at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan. He is the author of over 20 books and articles. His previous books include The Mechanics of State Legislative Campaigns (with David A. Dulio, Wadsworth 2006), and Power and City Governance, (with Alan DiGaetano, University of Minnesota Press 1999).

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Table of Contents

Alternative Contents: Demographic Groupings ix

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Editors xix

Introduction 1

Section 1 The Constitution and Contested Notions of Equality 7

Reading 1 "Equal Rights Redux: The Three-State Solution," Jonathan Turley 9

Reading 2 "Whatever Happened to the ERA?" Jane Mansbridge 12

Reading 3 "Supreme Confusion," Terry Eastland 17

Reading 4 "Unsound Constitution," George P. Fletcher 20

Section 2 Federalism: Governmental Competition or Cooperation? 27

Reading 1 "When Government Fails-Katrina's Aftermath" The Economist 29

Reading 2 "Judge Rejects Hazleton Law on Immigrants; A City Cannot Take Such a National Issue into Its Own Hands, He Says" David G. Savage Nicole Gaouette 34

Reading 3 "A Ban We Don't (Yet) Need" Charles Krauthammer 37

Reading 4 "Welfare Policy Choices in the States: Does the Hard Line Follow the Color Line?" Joe Soss Sanford F. Schram Thomas P. Vartanian Erin E. O'Brien 39

Section 3 American Political Culture: Notions and Boundaries 48

Reading 1 "What Is the American Dream?" Jennifer Hochschild 50

Reading 2 "Poverty Weaves Through the Lives of Many Americans" Jean Hopfensperger 63

Reading 3 "Racial Discrimination Still at Work" David Wessel 66

Reading 4 "The End of Multiculturalism" Lawrence E. Harrison 69

Section 4 Public Opinion: Many Voices? 74

Reading 1 "The Male Perspective" Roberta Sigel 76

Reading 2 "Race, Income, and Perceptions of the U.S. Court System" Richard R.W. Brooks Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter 84

Reading 3 "Religion and Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage" Laura R. Olson Wendy Cadge James T. Harrison 88

Reading 4 "Support for Vouchers" Terry Moe 97

Section 5Political Participation: Definitions, Patterns, and Consequences 108

Reading 1 "American Democracy in an Age of Rising Inequality" American Political Science Association Task Force 110

Reading 2 "The Double-Edged Sword of Women's Organizing: Poverty and the Emergence of Racial and Class Differences in Women's Policy Priorities" Erin E. O'Brien 119

Reading 3 "Mass Imprisonment and the Disappearing Voters" Marc Mauer 128

Reading 4 "Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio" Michael Powell Peter Slevin 132

Section 6 Political Parties: Who Gets Invited? 138

Reading 1 "Party Coalitions and Party Change" Marjorie Randon Hershey 139

Reading 2 "The American Debate: GOP Drops the Ball on Hispanic Vote" Dick Polman 150

Reading 3 "How Gay Republican Strategies Can Advance the Gay Equality Movement" Richard Tafel 153

Reading 4 "Can Women Enter the 'Big Tents'? National Party Structures and Presidential Nominations" Melissa Haussman 160

Section 7 Organized Interest Groups: What Are Interests and Who Organizes Them? 169

Reading 1 "EMILY's List: A Force for 20 Years" Margaret Talev 171

Reading 2 "Injecting a Woman's Voice: Conservative Women's Organizations, Gender Consciousness, and the Expression of Women's Policy Preferences" Ronnee Schreiber 173

Reading 3 "African-Americans, Latinos Seek to Build Coalition" Janita Poe 188

Reading 4 "Number of Black Lobbyists Shockingly Low" Jeffrey H. Birnbaum 191

Section 8 Media Sources and the Politics of Use and Representation 195

Reading 1 "Who's Talking Now: A Follow-Up Analysis of Guest Appearances by Women on Sunday Morning Talk Shows" The White House Project 197

Reading 2 "Correlational Framing: Media Portrayals of Race and Poverty" Martin Gilens 207

Reading 3 "American Women and Politics in the Media: A Review Essay" Stephanie Greco Larson 213

Reading 4 "The Access Divide" Karen Mossberger Caroline J. Tolbert Mary Stansbury Ramona McNeal 217

Section 9 Campaigns and Elections: Searching for Voters 228

Reading 1 "Looking for Voters in All the New Places: Hispanic Immigrants Are Settling in Unexpected Spots, and Pols Scramble to Enlist Their Support" Ari Pinkus 230

Reading 2 "The Man from New Mexico; The Candidates: Bill Richardson and the Latino Vote" The Economist 232

Reading 3 "The Rules for Female Candidates" Libby Copeland 235

Reading 4 "Who Voted?" Paul R. Abramson John H. Aldrich David W. Rohde 238

Section 10 The Legislative Branch: How Representative Is It? 249

Reading 1 "Hill Demographic Goes Slightly More Female" Lois Romano 251

Reading 2 "The Representation of Black Interests in Congress" Carol Swain 253

Reading 3 "Representing Women's Interests in the U.S. House of Representatives" Debra L. Dodson 257

Reading 4 "In the Eye of the Overhaul Storm" Martin Kady II 268

Section 11 The Executive Branch: More Than a One-Man Show 275

Reading 1 "Is America Too Racist for Barack? Too Sexist for Hillary?" Benjamin Wallace-Wells 277

Reading 2 "Presidential Leadership: Governance from a Woman's Perspective" Lori Cox Han 281

Reading 3 "Bush Is Opening Doors with a Diverse Cabinet" Susan Page 292

Reading 4 "Political Appointees in the United States: Does Gender Make a Difference?" Julie Dolan 295

Section 12 The Courts: Symbolic and Substantive Representation 304

Reading 1 "Some Disappointed Nominee Won't Add Diversity to Court" Dan Blaz Darryl Fears 306

Reading 2 "The First Latino Supreme Court Justice?" Kevin R. Johnson 309

Reading 3 "A Diversity of Minds, Not Biology" Cass R. Sunstein 312

Reading 4 "Representative Decision Making on the Federal Bench: Clinton's District Court Appointees" Jennifer A. Segal 314

Section 13 Civil Rights and Civil Liberaties: Protecting Everyone's Rights in a Democracy 323

Reading 1 "An Ode to Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.: The Supreme Court Approves the Consideration of Race as a Factor in Admissions by Public Institutions of Higher Education" James E. Coleman, Jr. 325

Reading 2 "Wal-Mart Values" Liza Featherstone 328

Reading 3 "Flying while Arab: Lessons from the Racial Profiling Controversy" David Harris 333

Reading 4 "Similar Struggles: Gay Rights and Civil Rights" Eric Deggans 339

Photo Credits 346

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