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Daniel LAURISON (Swarthmore College) – “Producing politics. Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us”

September 8 @ 3:00 pm

Sociology Seminar: Thursdays

Time: 3:00 pm 
Date: 08th of September 2022
Place: Zoom

Daniel LAURISON (Swarthmore College) – “Producing politics. Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us”

Abstract :

Producing politics
The actions of campaigns define US democracy. In just the 2020 cycle, campaigns spent over 14 billion dollars and bought 9.3 million television advertisements. Political communications try to convince us that we should be hopeful or fearful, that government can help solve problems or that it creates them, that politicians are on our side or that they are out-of-touch elites. The professionals who run campaigns decide which potential voters should be contacted and what messages we should receive; they even influence how politicians govern once they get into office. But, aside from their own accounts in campaign tell-alls and media appearances, we know very little about who does this kind of work, how they get into it, or how they understand it. Drawing on 84 semi-structured interviews and an original dataset of over 2000 campaign staff and consultants’ careers, I explain who campaign professionals are, and describe the approaches behind the decisions, strategies, and public messaging of US politics.

Daniel Laurison is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College. He is also a 2021-2023 Carnegie Fellow and the acting editor of the British Journal of Sociology. His research is on issues of class and social mobility, and class and racial inequality in US politics. He is the author of Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us (Beacon, 2022) and The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to Be Privileged (Polity Press 2019, co-authored with Sam Friedman). His current project, funded through the Carnegie Fellowship, is an examination of the ways poor and working-class people, in all racial-ethnic groups, engage with and disengage from electoral politics.

Organizers :
Sofian EL ATIFI, Etienne OLLION, Patrick PRÄG (Pôle de Sociologie du CREST)
Sponsors :
CREST