The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Paperback)
  • The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Paperback)

The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Paperback)

Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 17/11/2016
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It wasn't so long ago that the white working class occupied the middle of British and American societies. But today members of the same demographic, feeling silenced and ignored by mainstream parties, have moved to the political margins. In the United States and the United Kingdom, economic disenfranchisement, nativist sentiments and fear of the unknown among this group have even inspired the creation of new right-wing parties and resulted in a remarkable level of support for fringe political candidates, most notably Donald Trump. Answers to the question of how to rebuild centrist coalitions in both the U.S. and U.K. have become increasingly elusive. How did a group of people synonymous with Middle Britain and Middle America drift to the ends of the political spectrum? What drives their emerging radicalism? And what could possibly lead a group with such enduring numerical power to, in many instances, consider themselves a "minority" in the countries they once defined? In The New Minority, Justin Gest speaks to people living in once thriving working class cities-Youngstown, Ohio and Dagenham, England-to arrive at a nuanced understanding of their political attitudes and behaviors. In this daring and compelling book, he makes the case that tension between the vestiges of white working class power and its perceived loss have produced the unique phenomenon of white working class radicalization.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190632557
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 236 x 157 x 15 mm

The New Minority is an important contribution to postelection and post-Brexit analyses and to literature on the social and political effects of economic restructuring more broadly. * Claudine Pied, University of Wisconsin Platteville, American Journal of Sociology *
In The New Minority, Justin Gest transcends the usual arguments about the defensiveness and disaffection of the working class to develop a schema for understanding multiple forms of white working class political expression. Based on a fascinating set of interviews with working class residents of London and Youngstown, Ohio, Gest deftly connects their voices of frustration and resignation to their political beliefs and behavior. The result is an important analysis of an increasingly vocal and visible group in American and British politics. * Monica McDermott, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign *
An incredibly timely book. White working class dynamics explain the populist right surge and centre-Left slump in Europe. They underpin rising white suicide rates and Trump support in America. Justin Gest asks poor whites the penetrating questions that help us understand. * Eric Kaufmann, University of London, author of Changing Places: The White British Response to Ethnic Change *
With both sympathy and objectivity, Justin Gest explains the tragedy beneath the anger of the white working class. They have not only lost good jobs and incomes, but also their middle class social status and the respect and gratitude of the larger society. Political elites pretend to be surprised and bewildered by them. Yet it is those same governing elites who engineered this great injury to working people. This will be illuminating reading for anyone who seeks to understand the motivations and the possible impact of this new minority, particularly in light of the upcoming presidential election. * Bill Greider, national correspondent for The Nation, and author of On World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism *
Justin Gest brings to his craft a rare combination of scientific rigor and journalistic storytelling, which is why The New Minority stands out. Its a deeply revealing account of whats happened in our communities and in our politics. * Matt Bai, national political columnist for Yahoo News, and author of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid *
White working-class resistance movements are convulsing politics in the U.S. and Europe Donald Trump, neo-fascism, anti-immigrant backlash, white identity politics. Whats driving it? Gests book gets to the core of the matter: the experience of marginalization and the sense of loss. He gets there, not just by analyzing data, but by actually talking to working class people and grasping the texture of their lives. * Bill Schneider, veteran political journalist, and Visiting Professor of Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles *

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