“Everyone talked about ‘the families who run things’. Local political power and systems of domination in rural regions of the United States”

Special report. Local power and the working classes in rural settings
An interview with Cynthia M. Duncan
By Ivan Bruneau, Juliette Rogers

In this interview, Cynthia M. Duncan discusses her book Worlds Apart, a major work resulting from lengthy qualitative research in three rural counties in three different regions of the United States: the Appalachian mountains, the Mississippi Delta, and northern New England. While this research was initially motivated by a need to draw attention to rural poverty, her analysis reveals the foundations of systems of domination producing such social inequalities. Far from being only exogenous, these systems are indissociable from the characteristics of local social spaces, especially the greater or lesser degree to which economic and political domination are intertwined in each place. The interview also provided an opportunity to review the diversity of situations observed in rural parts of the United States, and highlight some of the social and political processes that contribute to this heterogeneity.

  • rural poverty
  • social domination
  • local political power
  • Appalachian coal fields
  • Mississippi Delta
  • northern New England
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info