Many argue that the study of power differences and social inequality is at the heart of political sociology. For example, William Gamson's conceptualization of social movement participants focuses on those who are 'organized out' of the current power structure, suggesting that the political behavior that social movement theorists try to explain, is motivated by perceived social inequality. Inequality, both as a motivator for political behavior and as a means of social control, is an integral aspect of both the national and international political landscapes.This collection of research serves as an example of aspects of social status, social class, and ideology connected to contemporary questions about 'who wins' in struggles for civic, economic, and individual citizenship. Inequalities of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are studied at local, regional, national and transnational levels. Several articles consider 'hate groups' and victims of hate. The politics of inequality are discussed in enduring theoretical frameworks and emerging literatures related to political groups and associations, the order of law and the state, social movements, and terrorism and violence.The authors hope that this volume will stimulate further work in the political sociology of social inequality.
Special reviewers. Preface. Introduction (B.A. Dobratz et al.). The differential protection of minority groups: the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender and disability in state hate crime laws, 1976-1995 (J. Earl, S.A. Soule). The politics of hate: explaining variation in the incidence of anti-gay hate crime (N. Van Dyke et al.). Lesbian and gay political activism: an analysis of variables predicting political participation (L.K. Waldner). Gay and lesbian activism in American Protestant churches: religion, homosexuality, and the politics of inclusion (T. Buzzell).