This paper aims to discuss the underlying explanatory frameworks used increasingly frequently to describe electoral behavior in rural areas. More specifically, it considers the ongoing debates on the supposedly specific electoral behavior of French suburban inhabitants. Then, different theoretical approaches about the role of suburban contexts in electoral geography are presented. Finally, these theoretical approaches are compared on the basis of empirical data collected in a French metropolitan area with different methodological approaches (aggregate and individual data) at two geographic levels (metropolitan and local). Whatever the approaches used, it appears that the socio-economic status of inhabitants is still linked to electoral behavior.
Electoral behavior and social status in a changing rural contextBy Jean Rivière