Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Corporations Good, Government Bad: The New Heroes of the Working Class




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Based on various recent studies, the paper argues that the contemporary wage earning working class and lower middle class holds increasingly unfavorable views of corporations, as well as towards the federal government, especially among white males. This corresponds to rising authoritarianism, which itself results from declining economic opportunity and loss of status. Consequently, white males are searching for a leader to set things right and herald renewed white working man privilege. However, the simultaneous rejection of the established institutions of power suggests a generalized nihilism rather than any particular political commitment. Should frustration escalate and economic conditions deteriorate further, the paper predicts a generalized and randomized authoritarian destructiveness, rather than a coherent political movement.

Conference Name

Annual Meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society

Conference Location

St. Louis, MO

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