Majority Minority (Hardcover)

Majority Minority By Justin Gest Cover Image
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"Trenchant and groundbreaking work" -- Molly Ball, National Political Correspondent, TIME Magazine

"The go-to source for understanding how demographic change is impacting American politics." - Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post and MSNBC

"A treasure trove" -- Thomas B. Edsall, Columnist, The New York Times

"A joy to read. . . A tour de force" -- Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London

How do societies respond to great demographic change? This question lingers over the contemporary politics of the United States and other countries where persistent immigration has altered populations and may soon produce a majority minority milestone, where the original ethnic or religious majority loses its numerical advantage to one or more foreign-origin minority groups. Until now, most of our knowledge about largescale responses to demographic change has been based on studies of individual people's reactions, which tend to be instinctively defensive and intolerant. We know little about why and how these habits are sometimes tempered to promote more successful coexistence.

To anticipate and inform future responses to demographic change, Justin Gest looks to the past. In Majority Minority, Gest wields historical analysis and interview-based fieldwork inside six of the world's few societies that have already experienced a majority minority transition to understand what factors produce different social outcomes. Gest concludes that, rather than yield to people's prejudices, states hold great power to shape public responses and perceptions of demographic change through political institutions and the rhetoric of leaders. Through subsequent survey research, Gest also identifies novel ways that leaders can leverage nationalist sentiment to reduce the appeal of nativism--by framing immigration and demographic change in terms of the national interest. Grounded in rich narratives and surprising survey findings, Majority Minority reveals that this contentious milestone and its accompanying identity politics are ultimately subject to unifying or divisive governance.

About the Author

Justin Gest is Associate Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of five books on the politics of immigration and demographic change including The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality and Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change. His work has been featured by ABC, BBC, CBC, CNN, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, NPR, The New York Times, Politico, Reuters, TIME, Vox, and The Washington Post.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197641798
ISBN-10: 0197641792
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2022
Pages: 424
Language: English