By means of a reanalysis of the most relevant data source—the International Social Mobility and Politics File—this article criticizes the newly grown consensus in political sociology that class voting has declined since World War II. An increase in crosscutting cultural voting, rooted in educational differences rather than a decline in class voting, proves responsible for the decline of traditional class-party alignments. Moreover, income differences have not become less but more consequential for voting behavior during this period. It is concluded that the new consensus has been built on quicksand. Class is not dead—it has been buried alive under the increasing weight of cultural voting, systematically misinterpreted as a decline in class voting because of the widespread application of the so-called Alford index.

class analysis, death of class debate, old versus new politics, political change, realignment versus dealignment, social change, social cohesion, sociology
Sociology of Economics (jel A14)
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0032329207304314, hdl.handle.net/1765/12184
Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS)
Politics and Society
Department of Sociology

Achterberg, P.H.J, Houtman, D, & van der Waal, J. (2007). Class Is Not Dead! It Has Been Buried Alive. Politics and Society, 35(3), 403–426. doi:10.1177/0032329207304314