Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics


May 5, 2020
16 line illustrations, 33 tables
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Political scientists and social choice theorists often assume that economic diversification within a group produces divergent political beliefs and behaviors. Michael Dawson demonstrates, however, that the growth of a black middle class has left race as the dominant influence on African- American politics. Why have African Americans remained so united in most of their political attitudes? To account for this phenomenon, Dawson develops a new theory of group interests that emphasizes perceptions of “linked fates” and black economic subordination.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 1995 Outstanding Book Award, National Conference of Black Political Scientists