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Political Participation and School Closures: an investigation of bias in local authority decision making

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The issue of middle-class bias in political participation is examined in the context of proposals to close primary schools in Manchester. Rates of participation show little variation between different social areas in the city. However, groups in relatively affluent areas enjoy slightly greater rates of success than others. More detailed analysis of a sample of protest groups highlights the significance of campaign style to group success. This, in turn, relates to the availability of resources necessary for effective campaigning, which are strongly associated with middle-class occupational status. The outcome of political participation is shown to favour those groups led by middle-class individuals, whether the schools concerned are located in socially disadvantaged or affluent areas.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1988

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