In this Book

summary
Rising income inequality is highlighted as one of the largest challenges facing the United States, affecting civic participation and political representation. Although the wealthy often can and do exert more political influence, this is not always the case. To fix political inequality, it is important to understand exactly how class divisions manifest themselves in political outcomes, and what factors serve to enhance, or depress, inequalities in political voice.

Christopher Ellis argues citizens’—and legislators’—views of class politics are driven by lived experience in particular communities. While some experience is formally political, on an informal basis citizens learn a great deal about their position in the broader socioeconomic spectrum and the social norms governing how class intersects with day-to-day life. These factors are important for policymakers, since most legislators do not represent “the public” at large, but specific constituencies.

Focusing on U.S. congressional districts as the contextual unit of interest, Ellis argues individuals’ political behavior cannot be separated from their environment, and shows how income’s role in political processes is affected by the contexts in which citizens and legislators interact. Political inequality exists in the aggregate, but it does not exist everywhere. It is, rather, a function of specific arrangements that depress the political influence of the poor. Identifying and understanding these factors is a crucial step in thinking about what reforms might be especially helpful in enhancing equality of political voice.


 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. One. Thinking about Political Inequality
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Two. Context and Inequality in American Politics
  2. pp. 11-34
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  1. Three. Context and Political Participation
  2. pp. 35-56
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  1. Four. Class Politics and American Public Opinion
  2. pp. 57-92
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  1. Five. Political Inequality in the United States
  2. pp. 93-122
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  1. Six. Understanding Economic Biases in Representation
  2. pp. 123-144
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  1. Seven. Political Inequality over Time
  2. pp. 145-174
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  1. Eight. Putting Inequality in Context
  2. pp. 175-190
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 191-204
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  1. References
  2. pp. 205-222
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 223-226
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780472123124
Related ISBN
9780472130498
MARC Record
OCLC
994807536
Pages
240
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-09
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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