The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Justin Gest is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. He is also the author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West.


"The New Minority is an important contribution to postelection and post-Brexit analyses and to literature on the social and political effects of economic restructuring more broadly." -- Claudine Pied, University of Wisconsin Platteville, American Journal of Sociology

"The New Minority is a considered piece of research. [Gest's] study turns a valuable spotlight on what media and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have begun to call "the left behind"."
--Times Higher Education

"Justin Gest brings to his craft a rare combination of scientific rigor and journalistic storytelling, which is why The New Minority stands out. It's a deeply revealing account of what's happened in our communities and in our politics."
--Matt Bai, national political columnist for Yahoo News, and author of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

"With both sympathy and objectivity, Justin Gest explains the tragedy beneath the anger of the white working class. They have not only lost good jobs and incomes, but also their middle class social status and the respect-and gratitude-of the larger society. Political elites pretend to be surprised and bewildered by them. Yet it is those same governing elites who engineered this great injury to working people. This will be illuminating reading for anyone who seeks to understand the motivations and the possible impact of this 'new minority, ' particularly in light of the upcoming presidential election."
--Bill Greider, national correspondent for The Nation, and author of One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism

"An incredibly timely book. White working class dynamics explain the populist right surge and centre-Left slump in Europe. They underpin rising white suicide rates and Trump support in America. Justin Gest asks poor whites the penetrating questions that help us understand."
--Eric Kaufmann, University of London, author of Changing Places: The White British Response to Ethnic Change

"In The New Minority, Justin Gest transcends the usual arguments about the defensiveness and disaffection of the working class to develop a schema for understanding multiple forms of white working class political expression. Based on a fascinating set of interviews with working class residents of London and Youngstown, Ohio, Gest deftly connects their voices of frustration and resignation to their political beliefs and behavior. The result is an important analysis of an increasingly vocal and visible group in American and British politics."
--Monica McDermott, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"White working-class resistance movements are convulsing politics in the U.S. and Europe- Donald Trump, neo-fascism, anti-immigrant backlash, white identity politics. What's driving it? Gest's book gets to the core of the matter: the experience of marginalization and the sense of loss. He gets there, not just by analyzing data, but by actually talking to working class people and grasping the texture of their lives."
--Bill Schneider, veteran political journalist, and Visiting Professor of Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

"The New Minority blends historical, sociological, and ethnographic analysis into a comparative study of working-class politics in two declining industrial towns: East London, England, and Youngstown, Ohio. The comparative nature of his study enables Gest to depict a transatlantic workingclass political culture with similar dynamics despite the regional differences. For Youngstown and the American side, The New Minority adds ballast to the picture of the social and cultural consequences of deindustrialization."
--The Nation