How do Underprivileged People Think About Politics? Research Perspectives Between France and the United States.

Charlotte Dolez
Home Organization
Sciences Po Paris, Paris
Visiting Organization
Department of Political Science, Stanford University
Charlotte Dolez

My project aims to examine underprivileged people’s relationship to politics, in the current context of economic crisis and rise in inequalities, from a twofold perspective. The first raises the following question: since underprivileged people are often said to be deprived from resources to discuss politics, how do they manage to make up their opinions and representations about the political and social fields? Here, I also seek to understand the ways they think with respect to politics and their modes of political reasoning. The second aspect of my research project examines the relationship of underprivileged people to public action, since they are likely to interact with welfare services and public administration on a regular basis. To what extent does this contact contribute to their representation of public action? Can it favor a good or a bad perception of the works of politicians? My research project is based on a comparison between France and the United States since both countries differ with respect to welfare services and social organization. It looks into the political implications induced by poverty and socially precarious situations, and how these categories of population can be mobilized.

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