Spencer Piston

Class Attitudes in American Politics

Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications

Cambridge University Press 2018

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network September 12, 2018 Stephen Pimpare

It has long been a truism that Americans’ disdain for poor people–our collective sense that if they only worked harder or behaved more responsibly...

It has long been a truism that Americans’ disdain for poor people–our collective sense that if they only worked harder or behaved more responsibly they would do well in this land of opportunity–explains, at least in part, why it is we have such a weak and limited public welfare state. But what if that very premise is false? What if, to the contrary, a majority of Americans have sympathy for poor people and disdain for the wealthy? And what if those feelings have demonstrable policy effects? Join us as we speak with Spencer Piston about a provocative new book Class Attitudes in American Politics: Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2018), a work that unsettles some long-held assumptions about American class attitudes.