Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

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9780691163666: Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)
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Conservative pundits allege that the pervasive liberalism of America's colleges and universities has detrimental effects on undergraduates, most particularly right-leaning ones. Yet not enough attention has actually been paid to young conservatives to test these claims―until now. In Becoming Right, Amy Binder and Kate Wood carefully explore who conservative students are, and how their beliefs and political activism relate to their university experiences.

Rich in interviews and insight, Becoming Right illustrates that the diverse conservative movement evolving among today’s college students holds important implications for the direction of American politics.

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"Becoming Right vividly illustrates how conservative students experience the university--and how these experiences differ by campus. This beautifully written book is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the political socialization of conservative leaders and the sources of cleavages within contemporary conservative politics. Appealing to a wide audience, this is a powerful and original approach to the analysis of undergraduate life."--Elizabeth Armstrong, University of Michigan

"Social scientists have paid surprisingly little attention to conservative college students. Becoming Right remedies this with a penetrating analysis of the diverse political styles that can be found among students on the right, and of the campus settings that foster them. This important contribution to political sociology and the sociology of higher education has lessons to teach all readers about the complexity of the conservative movement and the passions of conservative collegians."--Neil Gross, University of British Columbia

"Offering a fascinating and nuanced portrait of young conservatives and their political commitments, Binder and Wood provide invaluable insight into this important but overlooked segment of American politics. Their analysis also illuminates the ways in which universities shape political identity and behavior, and is certain to stimulate new inquiries into the formation of political culture."--Julie A. Reuben, Harvard University

"The rise of conservatism on campus has been a central priority of well-funded think tanks and advocacy groups in their efforts to keep the pipeline full of potential leaders for each new generation. This splendid study of the contemporary campus right fills a huge gap in the public's understanding of the most recent wave of conservative cadre building."--Paul J. DiMaggio, Princeton University

"Becoming Right marshals novel, nuanced material to depict styles of conservative political organization at two U.S. universities. The big finding is that organizational context matters--a lot--for how undergraduates come to think of themselves as political subjects, how they act and react toward their campuses, and how they imagine their own futures. This book clearly demonstrates that political actors are made, not born."--Mitchell L. Stevens, Stanford University

About the Author:

Amy J. Binder is professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools (Princeton). Kate Wood is an independent scholar.

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