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Split [electronic resource] : class and cultural divides in American politics /
Mark D. Brewer, Jeffrey M. Stonecash.
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2007.
xvi, 224 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
0872892980, 9780872892989 (alk. paper)
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added author
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2007.
9780872892989 (alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-211) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-07-01:
Currently, the impact of liberal and conservative culture on voting is hotly debated, with prominent political scientists disagreeing on whether or not ideology deeply divides the electorate. The authors, among the most prolific scholars of voting behavior, suggest that socioeconomic class and culture both matter in American politics. The volume examines a number of factors: trends in income and wealth inequality; the positions of the Democratic and Republican parties on issues such as taxes and Social Security; the electorate's identification of class and party; the emergence of cultural issues (religion, sex education, abortion, the role of women in the family and American society, and gay rights) as political issues in the last two generations. They suggest that class and culture both matter in American politics, and that the most significant development in the last 20 years has been that these issues matter more than in the past. They suggest that each party has distinct positions on these issues, which attract voters based on their own personal situation. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, upper division undergraduates, and graduate students. J. F. Kraus Wagner College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2007
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Main Description
Talk of politics in the United States today is abuzz with warring red and blue factions. The message is that Americans are split due to deeply-held beliefs&BAD:-over abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research, prayer in public schools. Is this cultural divide a myth, the product of elite partisans? Or is the split real?Yes, argue authors Mark Brewer and Jeffrey Stonecash&BAD:-the cultural divisions are real. Yet they tell only half the story. Differences in income and economic opportunity also fuel division&BAD:-a split along class lines. Cultural issues have not displaced class issues, as many believe. Split shows that both divisions coexist meaning that levels of taxation and the quality of healthcare matter just as much as the debate over the right to life versus the right to choose.The authors offer balanced, objective analysis, complete with a wealth of data-rich figures and tables, to explain the social trends underlying these class and cultural divides and then explore the response of the parties and voters. Offering solid empirical evidence, the authors show that how politicians, the media, and interest groups perceive citizen preferences&BAD:-be they cultural or class based&BAD:-determines whether or not the public gets what it wants. Simply put, each set of issues creates political conflict and debate that produce very different policies and laws. With a lively and highly readable narrative, students at every level will appreciate the brevity and punch of Split and come away with a more nuanced understanding of the divisions that drive the current American polity.

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