Once at the middle of British and American societies, today white working class people have drifted to the margins and are transforming their countries’ politics. How did this happen? And what could possibly lead a group with such enduring numerical power to, in many instances, consider themselves a “minority” in the countries they once defined? In The New Minority, Justin Gest reports findings from original surveys and full-immersion fieldwork among the white working class people of once thriving industrial cities to draw impactful conclusions about their political behavior. In this daring and compelling book, he makes the case that tension between the vestiges of white working class power and its perceived loss have produced the unique phenomenon of their radicalization.
To check out the book's Preface, click here.
Reprinted from The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality by Justin Gest, with permission from Oxford University Press. Copyright (C) 2016 by Oxford University Press.
Justin Gest is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, and the co-founder and deputy director of the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His teaching and research interests include comparative politics, immigration, and demographic change. He is also the author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in Times of Demographic Change (Cambridge University Press 2018). Previously, he was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where he won the 2014 Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, Harvard’s highest award for teaching. In 2013, he received the Star Family Prize for Student Advising, Harvard’s highest award for student advising.
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Politico: Two Kinds of Trump Voters
The Guardian: Labour is moving close to disaster. How can it reconnect with its roots?
The American Prospect: Can the Democratic Party be White Working Class, Too?
The Guardian: Trump, White Working Class Avatar
BBC World: Interview on World News
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Reuters: Strange Bedfellows: Donald Trump and the White Working Class
Reuters: Dispatch from Deep in the Heart of Trump Country
Politico: Why Trumpism Will Outlast Donald Trump
The Nation: Interview with Bill Greider
KABC: Interview on The Doug McIntyre Show
ABC News Australia: Interview on Australian Radio
“Justin Gest brings to his craft a rare combination of scientific rigor and journalistic storytelling, which is why The New Minority stands out. It’s a deeply revealing account of what’s happened in our communities and in our politics.” —Matt Bai, national political columnist for Yahoo News
“A must-read to understand the brutal reality at the center of the 2016 election. With both sympathy and objectivity, Gest explains the tragedy beneath the anger expressed by the white working class.” —Bill Greider, national correspondent for The Nation
“If you want to understand the populist right surge and centre-Left slump in Europe, rising white suicide rates and Trump support in America, read this incredibly timely book.” —Eric Kaufmann, University of London
“Gest transcends the usual arguments about the defensiveness and disaffection of working class white people to develop a schema for understanding them. The result is a powerfully persuasive analysis of the most controversial group in American and British politics. —Monica McDermott, University of Illinois
“The New Minority gets to the core of what is driving white working-class politics in the U.S. and Europe: the experience of marginalization and the sense of loss. Gest gets there, not just by analyzing data, but by actually talking to working class people and grasping the texture of their lives.” —Bill Schneider, contributing columnist for Reuters, former senior political analyst for CNN
In the interest of research transparency, formal interview data is available at the following links for ethnographic studies of Youngstown, Ohio and East London, England. Note that this databank features only formally recorded interview content from non-attributable (aliases) and attributable sources (prominent public figures). It does not include passive observations, the recording of real events, off-the-record interviews, archival and secondary research, and conclusions that were drawn from full-immersion fieldwork. Replication files for The New Minority and the Comparative Political Studies article "Roots of the Radical Right: Nostalgic Deprivation in the United States and Britain" can be downloaded here.