Farewell to the Leftist Working Class

Farewell to the Leftist Working Class

by Dick Houtman, Peter Achterberg, Anton Derks
     
 

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Social conflicts and voting patterns in Western nations indicate a gradual erosion of working-class support for the left, a process that class theory itself cannot adequately explain. Farewell to the Leftist Working Class aims to fill this gap by developing, testing, and confirming an alternative explanation of rightist tendencies among the underprivileged.

Overview

Social conflicts and voting patterns in Western nations indicate a gradual erosion of working-class support for the left, a process that class theory itself cannot adequately explain. Farewell to the Leftist Working Class aims to fill this gap by developing, testing, and confirming an alternative explanation of rightist tendencies among the underprivileged. The authors argue that cultural issues revolving around individual liberty and maintenance of social order have become much more significant since World War II.

The obligation to work and strict notions of deservingness have become central to the debate about the welfare state. Indeed, although economic egalitarianism is more typically found among the working class, it is only firmly connected to a universalistic and inclusionary progressive political ideology among the middle class.

Farewell to the Leftist Working Class reports cutting-edge research into the withering away of working-class support for the left and the welfare state, drawing mostly on survey data collected in Western Europe, the United States, and other Western countries.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Farewell to the Leftist Working Class is a quantitative study of primarily working class voting patterns based on survey data largely from Western Europe and some from the United States… [It] examine[s] the class theory of politics and seek[s] to determine whether the theory is still relevant when explaining working class politics in particular, and if not, to suggest an alternative explanation for working class voting patterns… The authors conclude that the decline of leftist voting patterns and the rise of voting on the part of the working classes of Western capitalist countries does not necessarily disprove a class theory of politics but rather confirms a cultural theory of politics.” —Rhonda F. Levine, Contemporary Sociology “[H]ighly interesting. The general idea pursued is intriguing and constitutes an important contribution to the debate about the electoral importance not only of class, but also of social structure altogether. The authors make good use of a wide variety of data sources and arrive at highly relevant substantial conclusions.” —Rune Stubager, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412849531
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
09/20/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

Meet the Author

Dick Houtman is professor of cultural sociology at the Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology at Erasmus University. His most recent work is Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality. Peter Achterberg is associate professor of sociology and member of the Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology at Erasmus University. He is the co-editor of The Transformation of Controversial Solidarity.

Anton Derks is a visiting professor at the department of sociology at the Free University of Brussels. His works have appeared in Public Opinion Quarterly, World Political Science Review, and the European Journal of Political Research.

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