chapter  3
13 Pages

Party Images and the Class Cleavage

Social class. The concept has generated a fair amount of attention over the years among those interested in American government and politics. Some, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, have argued that the United States is largely a classless society, and that as such class-related concerns are usually not terribly prevalent in American politics.1 Others, such as V.O. Key, are skeptical of such claims and therefore assign a much greater importance to class in American political life. As Key put it, “Politics generally comes down, over the long run, to a conflict between those who have and those who have less.”2