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What is the state of democracy at the turn of the twenty-first century? To answer this question, seven scholars lived for a year in five North Carolina communities. They observed public meetings of all sorts, had informal and formal interviews with people, and listened as people conversed with each other at bus stops and barbershops, soccer games and workplaces. Their collaborative ethnography allows us to understand how diverse members of a community not just the elite think about and experience "politics" in ways that include much more than merely voting. This book illustrates how the social and economic changes of the last three decades have made some new routes to active democratic participation possible while making others more difficult. Local Democracy Under Siege suggests how we can account for the current limitations of U.S. democracy and how remedies can be created that ensure more meaningful participation by a greater range of people.
About the Author
Catherine Lutz (Author) Catherine Lutz is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, where she has a joint appointment with the Watson Institute for International Studies. Her books include Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century. Lesley Bartlett (Author) Lesley Bartlett is Assistant Professor of Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Marla Frederick-McGlathery (Author) Marla Frederick-McGlatherly is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen (Author) Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen is Director of the Center for Rural Partnerships and Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Enrique G. Murillo (Author) Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., is Associate Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture in the College of Education, California State University, San Bernardino. Dorothy Holland (Author) Dorothy C. Holland was Boshamer Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was a co-author of Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics. Donald M. Nonini (Author) Donald M. Nonini is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and co-author of Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics.