Colloquium Series Premier!

Event Date: 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • SSMS 3145
Daniel Laurison will discuss his new book, Producing Politics, unpacking how the actions of campaigns define US democracy. In just the 2020 cycle, campaigns spent over 14 billion dollars and bought 9.3 million television advertisements. Political communications try to convince us that we should be hopeful or fearful, that government can help solve problems or that it creates them, that politicians are on our side or that they are out-of-touch elites. The professionals who run campaigns decide which potential voters should be contacted and what messages we should receive; they even influence how politicians govern once they get into office. But, aside from their own accounts in campaign tell-alls and media appearances, we know very little about who does this kind of work, how they get into it, or how they understand it. Drawing on 84 semi-structured interviews and an original dataset of over 2000 campaign staff and consultants’ careers, I explain who campaign professionals are, and describe the approaches behind the decisions, strategies, and public messaging of US politics.
Daniel Laurison an Associate Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, the Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sociology, and a 2021-2023 Carnegie Fellow. His research addresses issues of class and racial inequality and US politics, in various combinations. He is the author of Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us (Beacon, 2022) and The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to Be Privileged (Polity Press 2019, co-authored with Sam Friedman).