Chapter

Walking the Boundaries

JEFFREY C. AlEXANDER

in The Performance of Politics

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744466
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944163 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744466.003.0007
Walking the Boundaries

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This chapter explores a strategy that seemed to offer Republicans an alternative pathway to victory. Rather than working the binaries, John McCain could walk the boundaries. If he had difficulty navigating ideals inside the civil sphere, perhaps he could focus on themes outside it, evoking noncivil ideals to make a difference, to sacralize himself, and to label Barack Obama in a negative way. The Republican candidate has long focused on the foreign policy environment of civil society, suggesting that Obama should not be elected because he cannot lead the state's military struggle against dangerous anti-American forces outside. The civil sphere is bounded not only by the state, however. It is also surrounded by spheres that focus on religion, family, ethnicity, race, economics, and gender. Walking these boundaries is a delicate task, but it must and will be tried.

Keywords: Republicans; John McCain; boundaries; civil sphere; Barack Obama; foreign policy; civil society; state; religion; family

Chapter.  22845 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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