How power changes: a comparison of field structure from the Jimmy Carter primary to the Bill Clinton primary
LE3 .A278 2021
Master of Arts
Social and Political Thought
This project investigates how the power structure of the political field of the United States has changed over the last 50 years. What is clear is the ways to obtain power in the Democratic Party have changed. This thesis uses the theory of Pierre Bourdieu to explain the shift in power dynamics. It compares the presidential primary won by Jimmy Carter (1976) to the primary won by Bill Clinton (1992). This project looks at 388 New York Times articles and compares what factors commentators viewed as leading to success. Focus is given to the habitus of commentators as an indicator of larger structural changes within the field. This project shows how the political field has transformed from favouring social capital to favouring economic and symbolic capital.
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