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The Immutability of Categories and the Reshaping of Southern Politics

Kousser, J. Morgan (2010) The Immutability of Categories and the Reshaping of Southern Politics. Annual Review of Political Science, 13 . pp. 365-383. ISSN 1094-2939.

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How did the no-party, extremely-low-turnout, fragmented political system that V.O. Key, Jr. described in his 1949 book Southern Politics get transformed into the Republican-dominant, average-turnout, highly-organized political structure that propelled Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich into the House Speakership in 1995? After a long series of analytical narratives that focused on racial explanations for the shifts in white voting behavior, several of the most recent works have emphasized class and economic development. I suggest that both explanations are misleading because they treat race, class, and party as stable phenomena, when it is the changes in these phenomena and in their interactions that ought to be the focus of explanations for the reshaping of southern politics. A comprehensive successor to Key's masterwork will have to blend religion and ideology (which have also undergone dramatic changes in the six decades of southern history since Key wrote) with race and class, and it will have to describe and explain changes in governance, as well.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Annual Reviews. First published online as a Review in Advance on February 1, 2010. The author is not aware of any affiliations, memberships, funding, or financial holdings that might be perceived as affecting the objectivity of this review.
Subject Keywords:South, race, class, Republican Party, V.O. Key, Jr., realignment, unfacts
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161021-154537245
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Official Citation:The Immutability of Categories and the Reshaping of Southern Politics J. Morgan Kousser Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 13: 365 -383 (Volume publication date June 2010)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:71370
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:21 Oct 2016 23:11
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:06

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