The Politics Of Resentment: Rural Consciousness In Wisconsin And The Rise Of Scott Walker

Paperback | March 23, 2016

byKatherine J. Cramer

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Since the election of Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been seen as ground zero for debates about the appropriate role of government in the wake of the Great Recession. In a time of rising inequality, Walker not only survived a bitterly contested recall that brought thousands of protesters to Capitol Square, he was subsequently reelected. How could this happen? How is it that the very people who stand to benefit from strong government services not only vote against the candidates who support those services but are vehemently against the very idea of big government?
           
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.

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Since the election of Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been seen as ground zero for debates about the appropriate role of government in the wake of the Great Recession. In a time of rising inequality, Walker not only survived a bitterly contested recall that brought thousands of protesters to Capitol Square, he was subsequently reelected. H...

Katherine J. Cramer is professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she is also director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and an affiliate faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, t...

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Kobo ebook|Feb 25 2014

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:March 23, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022634911X

ISBN - 13:9780226349114

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Making Sense of Politics through Resentment
Chapter 2. A Method of Listening
Chapter 3. The Contours of Rural Consciousness
Chapter 4. The Context of Rural Consciousness
Chapter 5. Attitudes toward Public Institutions and Public Employees
Chapter 6. Support for Small Government
Chapter 7. Reactions to the Ruckus
Chapter 8. We Teach These Things to Each Other

Appendix A: County Map of Wisconsin
Appendix B: Descriptions of Groups Observed and Municipalities in Which They Met
Appendix C: Questions Used during Observations

Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“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.”