Author Archives: jackmetz1

Every Part of Us Has Parts

One of my first awakenings to the cultural divide between working-class and middle-class ways of seeing and being in the world was John Helmer’s 1974 book The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society.   Focused on a critique of American sociology, the … Continue reading

Posted in Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Understanding Class | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Engaging the Unreachables

Those of us from white working-class families with people we know and love who voted for Trump have a special heartache over this year’s election.  Why do so many good people have such deplorable politics?  I mostly took a pass … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Working-Class Politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

White Trash, Hillbillies, and Middle-Class Stereotypes

During election years white people who do not have bachelor’s degrees (the increasingly common definition of “the working class”) become both a somewhat exotic who-knew-they-were-here-and-in-such-large-numbers object of discussion and a target for freewheeling social psychologizing. Thus, it is more than … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Understanding Class, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Chasing Tax Cheats to Create Jobs: Why Don’t We Do That?

I’m guessing that tax collectors have never been a popular group, but we need thousands more of them, probably about 50,000 more. Why? Because something like $400 billion in business and personal taxes go uncollected each year, and with more … Continue reading

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Parts and Wholes: Unpacking Reports of White Working-Class Death Rates

The white working class has been getting a lot of attention lately — not just for how they’re voting in primary elections, but also for dying at increasingly high rates.  As we might expect, a lot of this attention is … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Understanding Class | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Misrepresenting the White Working Class: What the Narrating Class Gets Wrong

Most of the time the white working class is invisible in the U.S.  But during elections there is a flurry of attention to this “demographic” among political reporters and operatives, and as a result, also among the millions of us … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Working-Class Politics | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Organizing Miracles

The problem with collective action is you can’t do it on your own. Massive popular collective action emerges from mysterious movements in the Zeitgeist, but it also requires dedicated organizing that often seems not just unlikely but almost miraculous. When … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Labor and Community Activism | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments