The political meanings of social class inequality

Leslie McCall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Research on a wide range of topics related to rising economic inequality is flourishing throughout the social sciences. One topic that is gaining fresh attention is the politics of inequality. We know very little, however, about how Americans define and perceive inequality or how they express and enact their political desires for more or less of it. In the absence of such knowledge, and under the influence of powerful theoretical models that depict how Americans ought to respond politically to rising inequality (but appear not to be), we are apt to resort to common sense notions of American indifference. This article examines the record of new empirical research on this subject to determine whether such notions are justified. Drawing from and building on this research, I then offer a methodological and theoretical framework for future studies of the political meanings of social class inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Currents
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Class
  • Gender
  • Inequality
  • Political sociology
  • Poverty and mobility
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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