What makes the politics of resentment flourish in Wisconsin and Louisiana?


Abstract What makes the politics of resentment flourish in Wisconsin and Louisiana? In this paper, my purposes are (1) to outline four phenomena that nourish the politics of resentment; (2) to propose my own approach to ethnographic research that I will utilize in the future.


I will document an ethnographic case study designed to provide deeper insight into the manifestation of public opinion in rural areas of Wisconsin. I will also study the politics of resentment in Lake Charles Metropolitan Area in Louisiana, which has a population of more than 200,000. I will use public opinion polls to complement these findings to identify broader trends in American society.


This article looks to contribute to the emerging literature that argues for a wider adaptation of ethnographic methods within political science – particularly as we grapple with anti-intellectualism and democratic erosions in the post-truth era.


I hope to fill gaps in our knowledge of the politics of resentment by further operationalizing the multifaceted nature of the concept. The existing literature has not focused on how place, economic, racial, and cultural resentment interact and nourish one another in a perfect equilibrium to yield a politics of resentment.


In this paper, I argue that the politics of resentment is made up of place, economic, racial, and cultural resentments. These four features are critical to a flourishing politics of resentment. I hope to fully explore these features of the politics of resentment though intensive ethnographic interviews with a small subset of people from Wisconsin and Louisiana.


In future research, I hope to explore the role of recent cultural phenomena such as political correctness, critical race theory in schools and COVID-19 restrictions in nourishing the politics of resentment.


This has been rarely discussed in the literature. Likewise, the effect of the politics of resentment on the quality of democracy in the U.S has rarely been discussed. I hope to further explore these themes for my master research paper.

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