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Cody R. Melcher – The Political Economy of ‘White Identity Politics: Economic Self-Interest and Perceptions of Immigration

Cody R. Melcher published an article titled “ The Political Economy of ‘White Identity Politics: Economic Self-Interest and Perceptions of Immigration” in Ethnic and Racial Studies (February 25, 2020)

This article challenges the prevailing contention that economic self-interest does not affect public attitudes toward immigration. Through an in-depth re-analysis of the data and findings of Ashley Jardina’s White Identity Politics (2019), it is argued, first, that a number of variables that are characterized as status-based or sociotropic can plausibly be interpreted as measuring economic self-interest. Second, and more importantly, it is argued that the variables that are often used to measure economic self-interest do not follow from the theoretical claims that are meant to inform their interpretation. Third, it is shown that limiting one’s analysis to white respondents – a trend which has become typical, especially since the 2016 US presidential election – severely limits one’s capacity to make convincing explanatory claims. I conclude by arguing that a more appropriate measure of economic self-interest is a measure of perceived job (in)security and a more nuanced measure of employment status.

Cody also published
Melcher, Cody R. 2019. “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: WEB Du Bois, Left-Wing Radicalism, and the Problem of Interracial Unionism.Critical Sociology 
Melcher, Cody R. & Michael Goldfield. 2019. “The Failure of Labor Unionism in the US South.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
Melcher, Cody R. & Michael Goldfield. 2019. “The Myth of Section 7(a): Worker Militancy, Progressive Labor Legislation, and the Coal Miners.” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History 14.4: 49-66.