Neoliberalism, Class and Culture: The 2008 Federal Elections in Canada and the United States

  • Tim Fowler
Keywords: class identity, cultural and economic dimensions of class, electoral politics, federal election


In the 2008 federal elections in Canada and The United States, conservative parties used class rhetoric in an attempt to draw votes from the working class. They did so by defining class along narrowly cultural lines, so excluding economic concerns. This research note examines the cases of ‘Ordinary Canadians Don’t Care About The Arts’ and ‘Joe the Plumber’ to show how conservative parties in Canada and the United States are redefining class as a purely cultural variable. Although the rhetoric was not entirely successful, the cases are instructive about the ways that the understandings and importance of class as an economic relation is suppressed by pro-capitalist parties in political elections.
Research Notes