© 2019

Politics of Meaning/Meaning of Politics

Cultural Sociology of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

  • Jason L. Mast
  • Jeffrey C. Alexander

Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Election 2016: New Developments and Reiterations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Robin Wagner-Pacifici, Iddo Tavory
      Pages 19-34
  3. Media and News Journalism: Narrative and Fake News

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Ronald N. Jacobs
      Pages 75-93
  4. The Meanings of Donald Trump

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-95
    2. Roger Friedland
      Pages 115-133
  5. The American Right and Trump-Bannonism

  6. Religion: The Fates of White Christian Evangelicals and Muslim Americans

  7. Political Legitimacy and the Civil Sphere

About this book


The 2016 U.S. presidential election revealed a nation deeply divided and in flux. This volume provides urgently needed insights into American politics and culture during this period of uncertainty. The contributions answer the election’s key mysteries, such as how contemporary Christian evangelicals identified in the unrepentant candidate Trump a hero to their cause, and how working class and economically struggling Americans saw in the rich and ostentatious candidate a champion of their plight. The chapters explain how irrationality is creeping into political participation, and demonstrate how media developments enabled a phenomenon like “fake news” to influence the election. At this polarized and contentious moment, this volume satisfies the urgent need for works that carefully analyze the forces and tensions tearing at the American social fabric. Simultaneously intellectual and accessible, this volume is designed to illuminate the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its aftermath for academics and students of politics alike. 


civil society democracy elections identity legitimacy narrative populism news media religion power

Editors and affiliations

  • Jason L. Mast
    • 1
  • Jeffrey C. Alexander
    • 2
  1. 1.Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department of SociologyYale UniversityNew Haven, CTUSA

About the editors

Jason L. Mast is a Research Fellow at the Normative Orders Excellence Cluster at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is the author of The Performative Presidency: Crisis and Resurrection During the Clinton Years.  

Jeffrey C. Alexander is Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, and a Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. He is the author of The Performance of Politics: Obama’s Victory and the Democratic Struggle for Power and co-author of Obama Power.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Politics of Meaning/Meaning of Politics
  • Book Subtitle Cultural Sociology of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
  • Editors Jason L. Mast
    Jeffrey C. Alexander
  • Series Title Cultural Sociology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Cultural Sociology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-95944-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-95945-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 292
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Political Sociology
    Sociology of Culture
    Sociological Theory
    Media Sociology
    US Politics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site