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Explaining the Relationship Between Class Position and Political Preferences: A Long-Term Panel Analysis of Intra-Generational Class Mobility

Langsæther, PE; Evans, G; O'Grady, T; (2021) Explaining the Relationship Between Class Position and Political Preferences: A Long-Term Panel Analysis of Intra-Generational Class Mobility. British Journal of Political Science 10.1017/s0007123420000599. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Abstract: Past findings on the connection between class position and political preferences are overwhelmingly derived from cross-sectional studies, which provided a limited basis for inferring causality. This study uses long-term panel data on thousands of British respondents to measure the impact of intra-generational class mobility across a range of political identities and preferences. Upward class mobility leads to small increases in economic conservatism, but party choice, class identity and attitudes to non-economic issues do not change. This updating of economic values is much smaller than cross-sectional differences between classes. These results are consistent with the short-run effects of class mobility operating primarily through a limited economic self-interest mechanism. Beliefs that are plausibly unconnected to economics are unaffected. The overall association between class and a range of identities, opinions and preferences is therefore more likely to be caused by early life experiences and longer-term socialization than by the immediate material interests associated with jobs.

Type: Article
Title: Explaining the Relationship Between Class Position and Political Preferences: A Long-Term Panel Analysis of Intra-Generational Class Mobility
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/s0007123420000599
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007123420000599
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: class mobility, economic values, identity, social conservatism, party choice, self-interest, political socialization
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120139
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