Journal Article

Race versus Class? Racial Composition and Class Voting, 1936–1992*

David L. Weakliem

in Social Forces

Published on behalf of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Department of Sociology

Volume 75, issue 3, pages 939-956
Published in print March 1997 | ISSN: 0037-7732
Published online March 1997 | e-ISSN: 1534-7605 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sf/75.3.939
Race versus Class? Racial Composition and Class Voting, 1936–1992*

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It is often suggested that racial divisions reduce the political importance of class. This article examines this hypothesis by modeling the strength of class voting in a state as a function of the state's racial composition, using data on presidential elections from 1936 to 1992. Class voting among whites is found to be smaller where the black share of the population is larger. Because the relation is nonlinear, changes in the distribution of the black population explain a significant part of the decline in class voting from the 1930s through the 1970s. However, the effect of racial composition on class voting has declined in recent years, suggesting that the competition between race and class divisions is becoming less pronounced.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Sciences

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