Les Intraduisibles: English-Spanish


A cleavage is a deep and lasting divide between people. Social cleavage (see Lipset and Rokkan, 1967) denotes a meaningful and enduring division in society, around which social forces define themselves and may engage in political mobilization. Political cleavage denotes a similar concept, but refers explicitly to partisan political divisions that are typically, though not necessarily, represented by political parties that compete in elections. In academic conversation, scholars have used "clivaje" to describe these divisions; however, I am unaware of the prior existence of this word in Spanish. "Division social" and "division politica" are possible substitutes, but these lack both the sense of depth and longevity of a cleavage. For instance, class is formed out of a cleavage that goes well beyond a simple division between people of different socio-economic status.

Greene Kenneth 11/13/2003