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Publication Detail
Explaining the Relationship Between Class Position and Political Preferences: A Long-Term Panel Analysis of Intra-Generational Class Mobility
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Langsæther PE, Evans G, O'Grady T
  • Publisher:
    Cambridge University Press (CUP)
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    1, 10
  • Journal:
    British Journal of Political Science
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
Abstract Past findings on the connection between class position and political preferences are overwhelmingly derived from cross-sectional studies, which provided a limited basis for inferring causality. This study uses long-term panel data on thousands of British respondents to measure the impact of intra-generational class mobility across a range of political identities and preferences. Upward class mobility leads to small increases in economic conservatism, but party choice, class identity and attitudes to non-economic issues do not change. This updating of economic values is much smaller than cross-sectional differences between classes. These results are consistent with the short-run effects of class mobility operating primarily through a limited economic self-interest mechanism. Beliefs that are plausibly unconnected to economics are unaffected. The overall association between class and a range of identities, opinions and preferences is therefore more likely to be caused by early life experiences and longer-term socialization than by the immediate material interests associated with jobs.
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