Author Archives: jackmetz1

The Working Class at the Oscars

A scene in Denzel Washington’s movie of Fences is not in August Wilson’s original play, and it illustrates how a spate of Oscar-nominated films this year uncharacteristically reveal basic insights into working-class ways of living a life. Troy Maxson is … Continue reading

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

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 , , | 6 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 , , | 4 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 , , , | 36 Comments