The Politics of Resentment
Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (Chicago Studies in American Politics)
Other Editions of This Title:
With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.
The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.
Praise For The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (Chicago Studies in American Politics)…
“The Politics of Resentment is a breath of fresh air in the study of American public opinion. Intense partisan polarization has reached down into the ranks of everyday citizens’ perceptions of one another. Wisconsin is on the extreme end of this intense polarization that cuts along the lines of metropolitan liberals and non-metropolitan resentful conservatives, but these fault lines run deep across the nation. Cramer adds new dimensions of evidence and analysis to this dynamic. Her book will be widely read and debated, and it will help to reset the questions we ask about political worldviews in America.”
— Theda Skocpol, Harvard University, director of the Scholars Strategy Network
“Cramer spent years carefully listening to ‘ordinary’ people talking about politics and power, then used their words to produce an indelible portrait of the mind and heart of contemporary populism. The Politics of Resentment is the smartest, richest, and most humane work of political science I have read in a very long time.”
— Larry M. Bartels, Vanderbilt University
“Cramer develops a new theory and uses it to show how identity-based rural resentments animate much public opinion in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker’s success in cutting government and weakening unions makes Cramer’s study of Badger state politics especially important. This is pathbreaking work.”
— John Zaller, University of California, Los Angeles
"The Politics of Resentment is eye-opening. It has taught me more about my country than any other book or article I have read in many years."
— Journal of Communication
"The Politics of Resentment is an important contribution to the literature on contemporary American politics. Both methodologically and substantively, it breaks new ground."
— Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
"One wishes more scholars followed Cramer’s lead. . . . this is a well-written and theoretically rich
book. Given recent events, it provides a much-needed corrective to the more journalistic accounts of white working-class voters, ones bereft of the rigor Cramer deploys. The Politics of Resentment, to my mind, is required reading to understand rural support for Scott Walker in Wisconsin; and also what might motivate Trump supporters more generally. Cramer’s book deserves all of the attention it’s received thus far."
— Public Opinion Quarterly
University of Chicago Press, 9780226349084, 256pp.
Publication Date: March 23, 2016