Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-mzfmx Total loading time: 0.345 Render date: 2022-08-13T06:36:17.061Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

“The Big Sort” That Wasn't: A Skeptical Reexamination

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2012

Samuel J. Abrams
Affiliation:
Sarah Lawrence College
Morris P. Fiorina
Affiliation:
Stanford University

Extract

In 2008 journalist Bill Bishop achieved the kind of notice that authors dream about. His book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, was mentioned regularly during the presidential campaign; most notably, former president Bill Clinton urged audiences to read the book. Bishop's thesis is that Americans increasingly are choosing to live in neighborhoods populated with people just like themselves. In turn, these residential choices have produced a significant increase in geographic political polarization. Bishop does not contend that people consciously decide to live with fellow Democrats or Republicans; rather political segregation is a byproduct of the correlations between political views and the various demographic and life-style indicators people consider when making residential decisions. Whatever the cause, Bishop contends that the resulting geographic polarization is a troubling and dangerous development.

Type
Special to PS
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Beatley, Timothy. 2004. Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
Bellah, Robert Neely. 1985. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Bishop, Bill, and Cushing, Robert. 2004. “Response to Philip A. Klinkner's ‘Red and Blue Scare: The Continuing Diversity of the American Electoral Landscape.’The Forum. http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol2/iss2/art8/.Google Scholar
Bishop, Bill, Cushing, with Robert G.. 2008. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Bishop, Bill, Cushing, with Robert G.. 2009. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, with a New Afterword. Boston: Mariner Books.Google Scholar
Clapson, Mark. 2003. Suburban Century: Social Change and Urban Growth in England and the United States. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
Duncan, James S., and Lambert, David R.. 2002. “Landscape, Aesthetics, and Power” in American Space/American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States, eds. Agnew, John A. and Smith, Jonathan M.. 264–91. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Duncan, Nancy G. 1981 “Home Ownership and Social Theory” in Housing and Identity: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, ed. Duncan, James S.. 98134. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
Fiorina, Morris P., and Abrams, Samuel J.. 2009. Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
Fiorina, Morris P., Abrams, Samuel J., and Pope, Jeremy C.. 2005. Culture War: The Myth of a Polarized America. New York: Pearson Longman.Google Scholar
Gainsborough, Juliet F. 2001. Fenced Off: The Suburbanization of American Politics. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
Galston, William A., and Kamarck, Elaine C.. 2005. The Politics of Polarization: A Path Back to Power. Washington, DC: Third Way.Google Scholar
Howard, Marc M., Gibson, James L., and Stolle, Dietlind. 2005. “The U.S. Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy Survey.” Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center for Democracy and Civil Society.Google Scholar
Jackson, Kenneth T. 1985. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Keller, Suzanne. 2003. Community: Pursuing the Dream, Living the Reality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Kellner, Peter. 2008. “Is America Growing Apart?http://prospect.oshtest.co.za/2008/12/isamericagrowingapart/.Google Scholar
Klinkner, Philip. 2004a. “Red and Blue Scare: The Continuing Diversity of the American Electoral Landscape.” The Forum. http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol2/iss2/art2/.Google Scholar
Klinkner, Philip. 2004b. “Counter Response from Klinkner to Bishop and Cushing.” The Forum. http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol2/iss2/art9/.Google Scholar
Klinkner, Philip A., and Hapanowicz, Ann. 2005. “Red and Blue Déjà Vu: Measuring Political Polarization in the 2004 Election.” The Forum. http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol3/iss2/art2/.Google Scholar
Kruse, Kevin M., and Sugrue, Thomas J., eds. 2006. The New Suburban History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Kunstler, James Howard. 1994. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise or Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
Lane, Robert E. 2000. The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Levendusky, Matthew. 2009. The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lovenheim, Peter. 2010. In the Neighborhood: The Search for Neighborhood on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time. New York: Penquin.Google Scholar
McGhee, Eric, and Krimm, Daniel. 2009. “Party Registration and the Geography of Party Polarization.” Polity 41 (2009): 345–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McPherson, J. Miller, Smith-Lovin, Lynn, and Brashears, Matthew. 2008. “The Ties that Bind Are Fraying.” Contexts 7 (3): 3236.Google Scholar
McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., and Brashears, M.E .. 2006. “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.” American Sociological Review 71: 353–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morris, Douglas E. 2005. It's a Sprawl World after All: The Human Cost of Unplanned Growth—and Visions of a Better Future. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society PublishersGoogle Scholar
Moughtin, Cliff. 2003. Urban Design: Street and Square, Third Ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.Google Scholar
Mutz, Diana. 2006. Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rifkin, Jeremy. 2004. The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.Google Scholar
Skocpol, Theda. 2003. Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
Suarez, Ray. 1999. The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration: 1966–1999. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
41
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

“The Big Sort” That Wasn't: A Skeptical Reexamination
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

“The Big Sort” That Wasn't: A Skeptical Reexamination
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

“The Big Sort” That Wasn't: A Skeptical Reexamination
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *