Class is not dead - It has been buried alive: Class voting and cultural voting in postwar western societies (1956-1990)

Jeroen Van Der Waal*, Peter Achterberg, Dick Houtman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

By means of a reanalysis of the most relevant data source-the International Social Mobility and Politics File-this article criticizes the newly grown consensus in political sociology that class voting has declined since World War II. An increase in crosscutting cultural voting, rooted in educational differences rather than a decline in class voting, proves responsible,for the decline of traditional class-party alignments. Moreover, income differences have not become less but more consequential for voting behavior during this period. It is concluded that the new consensus has been built on quicksand. Class is not dead-it has been buried alive under the increasing weight of cultural voting, systematically misinterpreted as a decline in class voting because of the widespread application of the so-called Alford index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-426
Number of pages24
JournalPolitics & society
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • death of class debate
  • old versus new politics
  • political change
  • class analysis
  • realignment versus dealignment
  • WORKING-CLASS AUTHORITARIANISM
  • POLITICS
  • VALUES
  • PARTICIPATION
  • DEMOCRACIES
  • TOLERANCE
  • EDUCATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • ELITES
  • US

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