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American InsecurityWhy Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction$
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Adam Seth Levine

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162966

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162966.001.0001

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Self-Undermining Rhetoric in the Past and Present

Self-Undermining Rhetoric in the Past and Present

(p.193) 7 Self-Undermining Rhetoric in the Past and Present
American Insecurity

Adam Seth Levine

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the prospects for political change in the face of communicative barriers to collective action. It begins to address this question by identifying several of the most well-known historical and recent moments in which there was large-scale mobilization on some economic insecurity issues. This discussion, in concert with the empirical findings in this book, helps clarify the prospects for political action (and policy change) on these issues. The chapter then uses the findings from the book to identify three types of people that are most likely to become active. It also talks about the implications of having this (narrower) set of people active as opposed to the full range of people that find the issues to be important. It concludes by reiterating how self-undermining rhetoric is a broad concept that can apply in many different situations beyond those considered herein.

Keywords:   political change, collective action, political mobilization, economic insecurity, political action, political participation

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