Deindustrialization and Political Identity: A Case Study of Residents in Flint, Michigan
Alamy, Nancy Setara
As we approach the 2012 Presidential election, more focus is being paid to Michigan as a potential swing state, despite its recent history as a solidly Democrat leaning stronghold. In past years Michigan has largely held these leanings due to its urban areas that have been the hardest hit by deindustrialization--Detroit, Lansing, Pontiac, Saginaw, and Flint. This paper looks specifically at the latter--Flint, Michigan in determining how prolonged economic troubles have affected the political attitudes of its residents. Through survey analysis I find that the ideology of Flint's residents lean decidedly progressive across generational, economic, and educational distinctions. This paper offers a contextualization of these leanings in the broader perspective of the contemporary political environment of the city, and examines the implications of the rampant population loss currently underway from Michigan's urban centers.
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