Political Science

09.24.12

Nobody Cares About the Working Class

Or so John Sides contends in a blogpost at the political science website, The Monkey Cage:

In my experience, the white working class gets a ton of attention, especially when elections come around. It probably gets more attention that it deserves—particularly since its diversity means it’s that hardly a monolithic voting bloc and since there are lots of ways to build a winning electoral coalition in American politics with varying degrees of support from the white working class.

But when we discuss the white working class during elections, another fact rarely raises its head: the enormous inequalities in political voice that arguably marginalize the white working class when it comes to policy-making. These inequalities are evident in Martin Gilens’ research, as well as the important new book The Unheavenly Chorus, by Kay Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry Brady. Political participation remains highly stratified by social class and, moreover, only the views of the upper class appear to affect whether policies are enacted in law.