J. Gregg Robinson



Political Cynicism and the Foreclosure Crisis

Growth in American political cynicism concerns both scholars and political commentators. This increased distrust in political institutions, many argue, has negatively affected our democracy in general and political participation in particular. Yet, the relationship between cynicism and political activism is more complex than many have claimed. The author examines the impact of political cynicism on beliefs about what the government should do about the foreclosure crisis and on levels of political participation through a survey and series of in-depth interviews of members of El Cajon, a working-class suburb of San Diego, California, with a high rate of foreclosure. The findings suggest that although the foreclosure crisis increases political cynicism, it neither reduces the desire for government intervention nor levels of political participation. In fact, in some situations, this cynicism increases both of these.

foreclosure crisis, political cynicism, political participation, working class; community study

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 40, No. 3 (2013): 99-118


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