Class voting is supposedly in severe decline in advanced industrial democracies. However, this conventional wisdom derives from research using problematic methods and measures and an overly simple model of political change. This chapter overviews past and current comparative research into changes in and explanations of class-based political behavior and argues for the continued significance of class voting and, by extension, class politics in contemporary democracies. I particularly emphasize the importance of using more appropriate methods and the application and testing of theories that integrate developments in this area with those in studies of voting behavior more generally. This translates into a need for the systematic testing of bottom-up/top-down interactions in the relations between social structure and political preferences and the precise specification and measurement of explanatory mechanisms that can account for the association between class position and voting.

Keyword(s): measurementmethodtheory

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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