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Boundaries of Obligation in American Politics
Geographic, National, and Racial Communities

$26.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511717697

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  • This book shows how ordinary Americans imagine their communities and the extent to which their communities' boundaries determine who they believe should benefit from the government's resources via redistributive policies. By contributing extensive empirical analyses to a largely theoretical discussion, it highlights the subjective nature of communities while confronting the elusive task of pinning down 'pictures in people's heads'. A deeper understanding of people's definitions of their communities and how they affect feelings of duties and obligations provides a new lens through which to look at diverse societies and the potential for both civic solidarity and humanitarian aid. This book analyzes three different types of communities and more than eight national surveys. Wong finds that the decision to help only those within certain borders and ignore the needs of those outside rests, to a certain extent, on whether and how people translate their sense of community into obligations.

    • It focuses on local, national, and racial communities, which are usually treated separately in other books
    • In a discussion that is largely theoretical, it provides evidence of what ordinary Americans actually think about obligations and their communities
    • In an age of identity politics, it takes seriously the idea that people choose their identities and communities
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511717697
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Community and special obligations
    2. The boundaries of imagined communities
    3. Community and geography
    4. Restricting national boundaries
    5. Blurring the color line
    Appendices.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Immigration and Integration Policy
    • Racialization and Citzenship
  • Author

    Cara J. Wong, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Cara Wong is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She holds a PhD in political science from University of California, Berkeley, and has taught previously at the University of Michigan and Harvard University, Massachusetts. Her research interests include American government and politics, political psychology, and race, ethnicity, and politics. She has published numerous articles on racial and ethnic politics, voting behavior, citizenship, social capital, and multiculturalism in edited volumes and in the following journals: the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, and the Du Bois Review.

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