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Author Southworth, Caleb
Source CiteSeerX
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Abstract How do class and geography intersect? Many studies find that weak class identities among American workers in the 20th century are the result of a geographic separation between home and work. Political identities forged in the workplace remain isolated within the firm. At home, workers orient toward family, religion, and ethnic com-munities. This study examines that hypothesis using novel geographic data from a traffic study of post-war Detroit. The sample contains information on where people work and where they live. These data can be matched with data on census tracts (neighborhoods) and precinct-level election results. Our analysis centers on employees in the left-wing union, United Automobile Workers ’ Local 600, at Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge plant. We use geographic information system techniques to model the effect of workers from this large automotive factory on neighborhood politics. The analysis shows that both Democratic and Progressive Party voting are positively related to concentrations of Ford Rouge workers. The politics of the factory alter voting in tracts beyond the workers them-selves voting for the party in question. Ford workers influenced people in adjoining communities to engage in left-voting. This has implications for theories of class which seek to decompose occupational and authority catego-ries: geographic segregation appears to be an important factor shaping the potential for class-based identity. Recent theorizing on social classes has centered on several problems, each of which potentially links class and geographic location. Researchers have debated the nature of exploi-
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study