It is commonplace in contemporary American politics for those who experience economic strain to join together and ask the government for help. The unemployed, by and large, have not done so. In their study, Kay Lehman Schlozman and Sidney Verba look closely at the unemployed and ask why not.
Using the results of a large-scale survey supplemented by intensive interviews, the authors consider the political attitudes and behavior of the unemployed: how much hardship they feel, how they interpret their joblessness, what they do about it, how they view the American social order, and how they vote or otherwise take part in politics. The analysis is placed in the context of several larger concerns: the relationship between stress in private life and conduct in public life, the circumstances under which the disadvantaged are mobilized for politics, the changing role of social class in America, and the links between politics and macroeconomic conditions.