Inequality and Public Opinion
The Economic Other: Inequality in the American Political Imagination
(with Amber Wichowsky, Marquette University, Forthcoming Spring 2020, The University of Chicago Press)
How do Americans make sense of inequality? In this book, we argue that people think about inequality in interpersonal, status-based, rather than statistical terms. They think of ‘imagined others’ rather than distributions. We illustrate how these conceptions shape political attitudes and political engagement and how cross-class social comparison has declined in recent decades, especially when it comes to comparison with the rich. We argue that the American response to inequality has been anemic, not because Americans don’t know or don’t care about it, but because at the same time that economic inequality has grown, most Americans have had fewer and fewer of the social comparative experiences that make inequality real and meaningful. The book draws upon several experimental studies, two conducted with large, nationally representative samples of Americans, as well as observational data sources. The research has been funded by the Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (SES-0818839).
Related Articles and Working Papers
Condon, Meghan and Amber Wichowsky. Forthcoming. “Inequality in the Social Mind: Perceptions of Status and Support for Redistribution.” The Journal of Politics.
Condon, Meghan and Amber Wichowsky. 2015. “Same Blueprint, Different Bricks: Reexamining the Gender Gap in Ideology with an Item Response Model,” Politics, Groups, and Identities 3(1): 4-20.
Condon, Meghan and Amber Wichowsky. “Our Status, Our (Political) Selves: How Gender and Inequality Structure Political Efficacy.” (Working paper).
Childhood Inequality and Education Policy
Amber Wichowsky and Meghan Condon. 2018. “Developing Citizen-Scientists: Effects of an Inquiry-based Science Curriculum on STEM and Civic Engagement.” The Elementary School Journal.
Barrios, Elisabet and Meghan Condon. 2017. “The Immigrant Policy Context in Illinois: An Overview, Policy Analysis Framework, and Implications for Illinois Children.” Illinois Municipal Policy Journal 2(1): 85-101. Presented in expert testimony before the Chicago City Council, 2017.
Condon, Meghan, Alexandra Filindra, and Amber Wichowsky. 2016. “Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment.” Policy Studies Journal 44(4): 424-448.
Condon, Meghan, Lesley Lavery, and Par Jason Engle. 2016. "Measuring Social Capital: Accounting for Nested Data and Subnetworks within Schools.” Social Indicators Research 126(3): 1189-1207.
Condon, Meghan. 2015. “Voice Lessons: Rethinking the Relationship between Education and Political Participation.” Political Behavior 37(4): 819-843.
Condon, Meghan and Matthew Holleque. 2013. “Entering Politics: General Self-Efficacy and Voting Behavior Among Young People,” Political Psychology 34(2): 167-181.
John F. Witte, Patrick J. Wolf, Joshua M. Cowen, David J. Fleming, Meghan Condon, and Juanita Lucas-McLean. 2010. “Milwaukee Parental Choice Program Longitudinal Educational Growth Study Third Year Report.” University of Arkansas Educational Working Paper Archive. University of Arkansas, Department of Education Reform.
Condon, Meghan. “The Democracy Gap: How Education Policy Structures Opportunities to Develop Politically Important Verbal Skills.” (Working paper)
Condon, Meghan and Amber Wichowsky. “The Political Implications of Childhood Inequality.” (Working paper)
Voter Turnout Field Experiments
Condon, Meghan, Christopher W. Larimer, and Costas Panagopoulos. 2016. “Partisan Social Pressure and Voter Mobilization.” American Politics Research 44(6): 982-1007.
Panagopoulos, Costas, Chris Larimer, and Meghan Condon. 2014. “Social Pressure, Descriptive Norms, and Voter Mobilization.” Political Behavior 36(2): 451-469.