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The Unheavenly ChorusUnequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy$
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Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154848

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154848.001.0001

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The Context: Growing Economic Inequality and Weakening Unions

The Context: Growing Economic Inequality and Weakening Unions

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 The Context: Growing Economic Inequality and Weakening Unions
Source:
The Unheavenly Chorus
Author(s):

Kay Lehman Schlozman

Sidney Verba

Henry E. Brady

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154848.003.0003

This chapter reviews evidence about two complex trends: the increase in economic inequality and the decrease in union membership. In two fundamental ways, class inequalities underlie this inquiry into both the roots and the consequences of inequalities of political voice. Inequalities of political participation are, first, grounded in disparities in income, occupation, and especially education. As this chapter demonstrates, social class has multiple consequences for differences in individual and collective political participation. Second, inequalities on the basis of class shape the content of political conflict. That is, class differences are an important source of political division. Although the list of contentious political issues in contemporary America is long and varied, there can be no doubt that matters associated with differences in income and material well-being are critically important in generating political conflict.

Keywords:   economic inequality, union membership, class inequalities, social class, political conflict, class differences, political division, material well-being

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