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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 Persistence of Unequal Voice

The Persistence of Unequal Voice

(p.147) 6 The Persistence of Unequal Voice
The Unheavenly Chorus

Kay Lehman Schlozman

Sidney Verba

Henry E. Brady

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates the differential voice of the advantaged and the disadvantaged. It first considers whether the participatory advantage of those who are high in socio-economic status (SES) persists over time and, in particular, whether the widely noted increase in economic inequality since the late 1970s has been matched by increasing socio-economic stratification of political voice. Then the chapter uses three-wave panel surveys to ask whether ongoing inequalities of political voice reflect not just continuing activity by the same kinds of people but persistent activity by the same individuals. It shows not only that political voice is characterized on an ongoing basis by bias in the direction of the well-educated and affluent but also that, among those who are politically active at any particular time, high-SES political activists are more likely than activists who are lower on the socio-economic ladder to continue to take part politically in the future.

Keywords:   differential voice, participatory advantage, socio-economic status, economic inequality, socio-economic stratification, advantaged, disadvantaged

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