Wednesday, September 22, 2010

O'Connor on the Two Gilded Ages

Alice O’Connor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara, has posted Beyond the “American Dream”: Democracy and Economic Citizenship in the Second Gilded Age. It is a working paper from Democracy and Markets: Understanding the Effects of America’s Economic Stratification, which was a conference organized by the Tobin Project and held April-May, 2010. Here’s the abstract:
In this paper I consider how the “two Gilded Ages” construction can be useful by drawing attention to the contrasts between the late 19th and the late 20th-century as key moments for recognizing and moving issues of economic and social inequality to the forefront of the policy/political agenda, and as moments of political opportunity for framing a broadly inclusive public debate about what a more just and equitable economy looks like, and how it can be achieved. As a time that brought questions of wealth, inequality, and democracy so starkly to the fore, the first Gilded Age proved critical in this regard, opening up new, ultimately more democratic ways of thinking about the meaning of economic citizenship and its implications for reform.
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