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New Presidential Elite, The

New Presidential Elite, The: Men and Women in National Politics

Warren E. Miller
Elizabeth Douvan
William Crotty
Teresa Levitin
Maureen Fiedler
Copyright Date: 1976
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 628
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  • Book Info
    New Presidential Elite, The
    Book Description:

    Explores the idea that a "new breed" of men and women are actively involved in the majority American political party, and that their motives, goals, ideals, and patterns of organizational behavior are different from those of the people who have dominated U.S. politics in the past. This book is based on interviews with 1,300 delegates to the 1972 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and mail questionnaires completed by some 55 percent of the delegates. The author identifies women as one part of the new "presidential elite," and analyzes their social, cultural, psychological, and political characteristics. This study was funded jointly by Russell Sage Foundation and The Twentieth Century Fund.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-657-0
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    M.J. Rossant and Hugh F. Cline

    It is with a great deal of professional pride and pleasure that we mark the completion and publication of this landmark report on the 1972 national political conventions. In this jointly supported project, the Twentieth Century Fund’s continuing interest in political and social institutions and Russell Sage Foundation’s commitment to the study of social change have been fused. Private foundations seldom undertake cooperative efforts of this type; we hope that the results of our joint effort will encourage others in the foundation world to undertake similar collaborations.

    The Twentieth Century Fund and Russell Sage Foundation share a commitment to social...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
    Jeane Kirkpatrick
  6. Part I. The Presidential Elite and the Presidential Parties

    • CHAPTER 1 A New Breed? A New Politics?
      (pp. 3-34)

      This book is inspired by the belief that American politics is being transformed in some important, fairly fundamental ways by the ascendancy to power in the majority party of large numbers of new men and women whose motives, goals, ideals, ideas, and patterns of organizational behavior are different from those of the people who have dominated American politics in the past. I call this belief the “new breed” hypothesis. Its investigation is the central purpose of this book. Whether new people have made their way into the national political elite in significant numbers, how they differ from traditional American political...

    • CHAPTER 2 Contexts
      (pp. 35-60)

      The character of presidential parties as of other institutions is importantly influenced by the character of the people who fill their roles, but the identity of those incumbents is importantly influenced by the institutional practices that regulate access to those roles and define their functions. Delegates both are and are not self-selected. The desire to be a delegate is an important qualification, but no one becomes a delegate merely by willing it. Becoming active in politics grows out of a “fit” among aninternal personal predispositionto seek a value that might be available through politics,role perceptionsthat confirm...

    • CHAPTER 3 Some Social and Personal Characteristics
      (pp. 61-92)

      “Not all elements of this conclusion are capable of proof with the evidence currently available, but of the broad outlines of the change there is no doubt. The delegates of recent years were better educated, less boss-ridden, better adjusted to the requirements of an open political system, and generally more trustworthy in all respects than those of half a century earlier.”²

      Thus the Brookings Institution authors described the convention delegates of 1952–56 in their massive study of the Republican and Democratic conventions of that time. The comment not only serves to remind us that there has been, at least...

    • CHAPTER 4 Incentives to Participation in Presidential Politics
      (pp. 93-120)

      The motives of political actors figure importantly in many classic and contemporary explanations of political change. Plato, Mosca, and Pareto² shared the conviction that the dominant passions (values) of its elite shaped a society’s political institutions and that changes in these passions precede and cause changes in the constitution. They agreed, too, that the elite whose intense predispositions had such influence was not limited to the topmost rulers but extended to that more numerous class—which Mosca termed the “second stratum” on whom all regimes are dependent for the implementation of their designs.³ In our own timers, the work of...

    • CHAPTER 5 Role Expectations and Institutional Stability
      (pp. 121-158)

      Even though “Parties are more important as labels than as organizations,”¹ they are nonetheless confronted with such standard problems of organizational maintenance as recruiting members, training and testing leaders, formulating purposes; securing needed contributions, establishing communications, and coordinating activities. Like other organizations, a political party is threatened by internal conflict over purposes and strengthened by consensus; like any other organization, its persistence requires some sense of corporate identity that distinguishes it from other organizations that compete for loyalty, time, energy, skills, and other scarce resources; and finally, like any other organization, it needs decision makers who are committed to preservation...

    • CHAPTER 6 Political Perspectives
      (pp. 159-214)

      Political actors internalize identifications and adopt views of the public interest. Identifications define the collectivity in whose name goals are sought; they identify the “we” and the “they” through which politics proceeds. Conceptions of the public interest express the public goals of the “we” that guide, explain, and justify political behavior. Identifications may be inclusive or exclusive, open or closed; conceptions of the public interest may be broad or narrow, general or detailed, elaborated or vague, systematic or casually organized. In any given individual, identifications and conceptions of the public interest coexist with expectations that define possibilities and suggest


    • CHAPTER 7 Styles of Convention Participation
      (pp. 215-238)

      Little is known about patterns of participation at national party conventions prior to 1972. Images of delegate activity from earlier accounts range from the “oligarchy model” where party “bosses” sequestered themselves in back rooms to make decisions¹ to the “marketplace” model which featured hard bargaining and compromise among multiple participants to produce a winning consensus at the ideological center of presidential politics² to the “theater” model where uncertain, passive delegate-actors received their voting cues from announced trends in balloting.³ It is widely believed that decision making has traditionally rested with persons of long party experience among whom state party leaders...

    • CHAPTER 8 A New Class? A New Breed?
      (pp. 239-258)

      Were there thennewtypes of political actors present in the presidential elite? How can we decide this question? It is abundantly clear that political activity is a complex phenomenon prompted by different motives and conducted in different ways and that there were various types of political actors present in the two conventions. Whether one or more of these types constituted a new political type in presidential politics is another question: there are no comparably clear and comprehensive base lines against which to measure the 1972 delegates. Certain changes in the delegate population can be established by comparing descriptions of...

    • CHAPTER 9 Factions in the Presidential Parties
      (pp. 259-280)

      Political parties have sometimes been regarded as identical with factions, and sometimes sharply distinguished from them. George Washington, James Madison, and David Hume, for example, viewed parties as factions and took a dim view of both.¹ By contrast, Robert MacIver argued that “the difference between faction and party is as important as the difference between oligarchy and democracy,” because while factions merely seek power, “parties contest for control of government by constitutional means.”² E. E. Schattschneider also saw important differences between parties and factions, differences that extended to both goals and means. A party, Schattschneider insisted, was not merely a...

    • CHAPTER 10 The Presidential Elite as a Representative Body
      (pp. 281-348)

      National conventions are part of the institutionalized process of representation through which masses participate in the selection of their rulers. They are also representative bodies in the sense that delegates act in the name of the much larger numbers who comprise the presidential parties. This chapter examines delegates as representatives of the presidential parties. It raises and discusses various questions concerning the theory and practice of representation in the national political conventions of 1972. In what ways was the Democratic Convention of 1972 representative? And of whom? In what ways was the Republican Convention representative? And of whom? How does...

    • CHAPTER 11 A New Politics?
      (pp. 349-376)

      Almost all observers of American politics have been impressed by accumulating symptoms of change. This book, which is also concerned with change, views presidential politics from the perspective of the delegates to the two conventions in 1972. Those delegates were not only in the position to influence convention decisions, they comprised a cross section of activists in both parties. They were not strictly representative of all activists engaged in presidential politics in 1972, nor did they reflect exactly the persons who are active in presidential politics today. Issues change, people change, the relative influence of the various factions changes. However,...

  7. Part II. Women in the Presidential Elite

    • CHAPTER 12 Personal Characteristics of Women Delegates
      (pp. 379-426)

      Few aspects of social life are more completely or universally male dominated than politics. Here and there, from time to time a Golda Meir, or Indira Gandhi, or Elizabeth I, or Catherine the Great breaks the male monopoly on power positions, but these exceptions to the contrary notwithstanding, eastern, western, Arab, Christian, Buddhist, communist, capitalist, socialist, developed, traditional democracies, and autocracies have in common the fact that their political structures especially at the highest levels are heavily dominated, often exclusively populated, by males. The advent of democracy and of women’s suffrage has given women a voice in important political decisions...

    • CHAPTER 13 Political Characteristics of Women Delegates
      (pp. 427-452)

      This chapter explores the political characteristics of women in the presidential elite. It inquires into the processes by which women became delegates and their reasons for desiring to serve as delegates and for political participation more generally. It discusses how they conceived the role of delegate and how they in fact spent their time at the conventions. Finally, it examines both the substance and the style of women’s political beliefs. The central questions throughout are comparative: how did women’s political styles and behavior compare with men’s? Did women have different reasons from men for participating in politics? Did they have...

    • CHAPTER 14 Femininity, Masculinity, and Power
      (pp. 453-496)

      Because women comprise slightly over one-half the electorate, because their nonpower seeking political behavior is distinctive and relatively unexamined, because it is widely claimed and believed that women will figure much more importantly in the new politics than in the old, because if women are to playa larger role in power processes they will be recruited from among women interested and active in politics, such as the women in the 1972 presidential elite, this chapter will examine women delegates’ understanding of their sex’s capacities and possibilities. The exploration of women’s views about themselves and men’s views of women will tell...

  8. APPENDIX A. Mail Questionnaire and Interview Schedule
    (pp. 497-550)
  9. APPENDIX B. The Sample
    (pp. 551-562)
  10. APPENDIX C. Index Construction
    (pp. 563-592)
  11. Index
    (pp. 593-605)