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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Heather Wyatt-Nichol

The American Dream functions as a myth within our political discourse by providing hope to citizens and reinforcing beliefs in the protestant work ethic and meritocracy…

Abstract

The American Dream functions as a myth within our political discourse by providing hope to citizens and reinforcing beliefs in the protestant work ethic and meritocracy. This article examines the myth through categories of mobility, marginalization, and hope. Elite theory and institutional isomorphism are used to explore business privilege within Public Administration. The ability to reframe the American Dream is considered through an examination of select speeches at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Despite evidence of declining mobility and structural inequality, citizens cling to the myth. One explanation is that marginalization perpetuates the American Dream by crowding out issues of social class through various methods of institutional isomorphism. Another explanation is that the dream endures because it can be re-conceptualized.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Book part
Publication date: 2 November 2009

Keith J. Bybee and Cyril Ghosh

Beginning with Rawls's claim that the Supreme Court is the exemplar of public reason, we develop a theory of how reasoned arguments are used in political disputes. We…

Abstract

Beginning with Rawls's claim that the Supreme Court is the exemplar of public reason, we develop a theory of how reasoned arguments are used in political disputes. We argue that justices often make piecemeal arguments and that this fragmented style of argumentation extends beyond the bench. The result is that many political disputes are “legalized” – not because public arguments are necessarily about laws, but because public arguments often unfold in the same ambiguous way that they do on the Court. We illustrate our argument by examining the use of American Dream talk in the dispute over same-sex marriage (SSM).

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-616-8

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Michael Schwartz

Father Patrick Primeaux has written an intriguing and ambitious book. Furthermore, unlike many other new books of this genre, which often do little more than re-visit the…

Abstract

Father Patrick Primeaux has written an intriguing and ambitious book. Furthermore, unlike many other new books of this genre, which often do little more than re-visit the past expositions of other theorists, his book strives to make both a new and unique contribution to the study of business ethics. In reviewing such a book, it is therefore worth noting Jung's observation that ‘no book that makes an essentially new contribution to knowledge enjoys the privilege of being thoroughly understood’ (Jung, 1989, p. xiv). Having thus at the outset, rendered some excuse for whatever shortcomings of mine might follow, I will proceed.

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Applied Ethics: Remembering Patrick Primeaux
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-989-9

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2012

Jeffrey R. Dudas

Stuart Scheingold's path-breaking The Politics of Rights ignited scholarly interest in the political mobilization of rights. The book was a challenge to the reigning…

Abstract

Stuart Scheingold's path-breaking The Politics of Rights ignited scholarly interest in the political mobilization of rights. The book was a challenge to the reigning popular and scholarly common sense regarding the supposedly self-executing nature of rights (what Scheingold called the “myth of rights”). Rights, Scheingold argued, could be resources for the pursuit of social change; but their realization in court doctrine and legislative output was not itself tantamount to meaningful social change. Thus embedded in The Politics of Rights is skepticism (or at least ambivalence) about the utility of rights politics for social movements. Scheingold was not ambivalent about the moral or normative value of rights themselves, although he did argue that the realization of rights was not by itself enough to overcome the manifold inequalities that structure modern life. The Politics of Rights, accordingly, is clear-eyed, but not cynical about rights advocacy. It is thus surprising, and keenly revealing, that Scheingold's final work – The Political Novel, which is ostensibly not about rights at all – points to mass cynicism, alienation, and the collapse of faith in governing institutions and logics as the animating elements of modern liberal democracies, including especially the United States. That rights are a vital part of the civic mythology whose collapse defines modern times suggests that the civil rights context of aspiration and struggle in which Scheingold, and nearly all of his followers (this author included), have conceived rights may be unnecessarily narrow. Rights may also be embedded, that is, in the modern condition of alienation, despair, and felt powerlessness. Inspired by Scheingold's investigation of how literature points to this modern condition of political estrangement, I offer an alternative backdrop for The Politics of Rights that is rooted in the bleak renderings of the American character found in much 1970's American popular and intellectual culture. Such a contextualization, I will argue, suggests that we envision The Political Novel as a companion piece to The Politics of Rights; together they illuminate both the mobilizing and demobilizing potential of the myth of rights.

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Special Issue: The Legacy of Stuart Scheingold
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-344-5

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Carol L. Schmid

The purpose of this article is to critically examine two possible solutions to the lack of citizenship rights of children who lack documentation. Many industrialized…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to critically examine two possible solutions to the lack of citizenship rights of children who lack documentation. Many industrialized countries must deal with undocumented children who have resided in the country most of their lives. In the USA, immigrants brought as children by their parents illegally are not eligible to receive financial help in most states for higher education, receive federal health care, or obtain driver's licenses. Even if they are qualified, they cannot legally work.

Design/methodology/approach

The article provides an in-depth analysis of the Dream Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The benefit of this study is to critically examine two possible solutions to the problem of undocumented children who have lived most of their lives in the USA.

Findings

The two solutions are analyzed in terms of broader conceptions of citizenship and human rights. Citizen rights are contested rights in the USA for undocumented immigrants and their children. It is found that theories of immigration and citizenship do not adequately explain the situation of undocumented childhood arrivals. After compulsory public education, undocumented students’ lives are at the mercy of state and federal administration policies. Citizenship theory is analyzed as it applies to undocumented immigrants brought as children to the USA.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to undocumented children in the USA.

Practical implications

The results point to the need for universal policies that will ensure young adults will have the critical resources and associated rights.

Social implications

As Latinos become a large proportion of the US population, barriers to their continued education will impose significant economic and personal costs for individuals who have “identity without citizenship”.

Originality/value

This is among the first academic paper to link undocumented childhood arrivals in the USA, citizenship theory and public policy.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Launcelot I. Brown, Malick Kouyate and Rodney K. Hopson

The proportional diminution of African American males in higher education is a complex societal issue and, as with most complex issues, defies simple solutions. The…

Abstract

The proportional diminution of African American males in higher education is a complex societal issue and, as with most complex issues, defies simple solutions. The complexity of the issue is grounded in a less than humane history and the resulting social, cultural, economic, emotional, mental, and spiritual factors that to varying degrees have been shaped by that history (interview with Wilson, 1997). These factors are intimately and intricately interwoven into one another forming a whole that is not easy to analyze and characterize.

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Black American Males in Higher Education: Diminishing Proportions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-899-1

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Kenneth Bruce Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to present and explore the deleterious socioeconomic consequence of six interrelated trends upon the sustainability of the personal portion of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and explore the deleterious socioeconomic consequence of six interrelated trends upon the sustainability of the personal portion of America’s social contract.

Design/methodology/approach

Neoclassical economic growth theory is used to frame the discussion of the trends in significant variables. This paper is a general review and draws on widely available data and academic insights of scholars.

Findings

This detailed examination leads to rejection of ergodicity and concludes that the existing social contract is unrealizable and unsustainable in present form for all but a shrinking minority of citizens.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusion is robust but tentative since the trends reviewed are not fixed and may deviate from existing trend lines given undetermined government policies and unforeseeable technological developments.

Originality/value

The paper examines the origins and implications of six adverse systemic trends, highlighting the fact that existing policy prescriptions lack understanding of – and/or scale to comprehensively address – a growing existential threat to the Liberal Tradition’s entrenched social contract.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 2 November 2009

Jeffrey R. Dudas

Scholars increasingly recognize the centrality of legal ideas and language to the political vision that inspires American conservatism. However, relevant studies have been…

Abstract

Scholars increasingly recognize the centrality of legal ideas and language to the political vision that inspires American conservatism. However, relevant studies have been limited to the discursive practices that motivate conservative activism at the grass-root level. Exploration of the legal discourses employed by prominent public officials thus carries significant scholarly potential. For example, this chapter's investigation of President Ronald Reagan reveals that his political vision was suffused with legal discourse. Reagan's legal discourse, moreover, has exerted constitutive effects both on American conservatism and on the form and substance of a great deal of contemporary American public policy.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-616-8

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Young Back Choi

The purpose of this paper is to question the frequently heard claims of a negative relationship between inequality and intergenerational mobility (such as the “Great…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to question the frequently heard claims of a negative relationship between inequality and intergenerational mobility (such as the “Great Gatsby Curve” by Alan Krueger) and to propose entrepreneurship as the neglected prime countervailing force against the putative advantages of the rich.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical examination of evidences marshalled to support the case for a negative relationship between inequality and mobility, in terms of the appropriateness of statistical inferences and the consistency between implications and observations. The paper adopts alternative approach of Austrian economic in emphasizing the role of entrepreneurship in generating mobility.

Findings

The putative negative relationship between inequality and mobility is not supported by evidence. The result is partly that egalitarians tend to skip close examination when they run into evidence that seems to support their preconception. It is also partly that the dominant tradition in economics, based on the model of efficient allocation of given resources, induces them to overlook entrepreneurship, the prime wealth creator and generator of mobility.

Research limitations/implications

The research outlines an argument that the rich do not have advantage in entrepreneurship because it depends not on the ownership of currently valued resources, but on the discovery and exploitation of profitable opportunities. This claim is made based on Kirznerian perspective and author’s own theory of inference and learning process. However, it would be nice to able to provide empirical evidence of this claim made in the paper.

Social implications

Many policies of redistribution, based on the belief that increase in inequality (as measured by Gini coefficient) signifies a diminution of intergenerational mobility, should be re-examined since the alleged negative relationship between inequality and intergenerational mobility turns out to be untrue. For greater intergenerational mobility, entrepreneurs should be encouraged, by allowing them to experiment freely.

Originality/value

Emphasizing the role of entrepreneurship in intergenerational mobility and the dealing with the question of whether or not the rich would have advantage in entrepreneurship is original to this paper.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-2101

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

David McGuire, Thomas N. Garavan, James Cunningham and Greg Duffy

The use of imagery in leadership speeches is becoming increasingly important in shaping the beliefs and actions of followers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of imagery in leadership speeches is becoming increasingly important in shaping the beliefs and actions of followers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of speech imagery and linguistic features employed during the 2008 US Presidential Election campaign.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analysed a total of 264 speeches (160 speeches from Obama and 104 speeches from McCain) delivered throughout the 2008 US Presidential Election and identified 15 speech images used by the two candidates. Both descriptive coding and axial coding approaches were applied to the data and speech images common to both candidates were further subjected to Pennebaker et al. (2003) linguistic inquiry methodology.

Findings

The analysis revealed a number of important differences with Obama using inclusive language and nurturing communitarian values, whereas McCain focusing on personal actions and strict, conservative individualistic values. The use of more inclusive language by Obama was found to be significant in three of the five speech images common to both candidates.

Research limitations/implications

The research acknowledges the difficulty of measuring the effectiveness of speech images without taking into account wider factors such as tone of voice, facial expression and level of conviction. It also recognises the heavy use of speechwriters by presidential candidates whilst on the campaign trail, but argues that candidates still exert a strong influence through instructions to speechwriters and that speeches should reflect the candidate’s values and beliefs.

Originality/value

The research findings contribute to the emerging stream of leadership research that addresses language content issues surrounding and embedded in the leadership process. The research argues that leaders’ speeches provide a fertile ground for conducting research and for examining the evolving relationship between leaders and followers.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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