Social conflicts and voting patterns in Western nations indicate a gradual erosion of working-class support for the left, a process that class theory itself cannot adequately explain. Farewell to the Leftist Working Class aims to fill this gap by developing, testing, and confirming an alternative explanation of rightist tendencies among the underprivileged. The authors argue that cultural issues revolving around individual liberty and maintenance of social order have become much more significant since World War II.
The obligation to work and strict notions of deservingness have become central to the debate about the welfare state. Indeed, although economic egalitarianism is more typically found among the working class, it is only firmly connected to a universalistic and inclusionary progressive political ideology among the middle class.
Farewell to the Leftist Working Class reports cutting-edge research into the withering away of working-class support for the left and the welfare state, drawing mostly on survey data collected in Western Europe, the United States, and other Western countries.