Author Archives: Working-Class Perspectives

Pandemic Cuts: Deepening the Higher Ed Divide American mythology promises upward mobility, and college can provide an important first step up the class ladder. With the rise of the “knowledge economy” and the decline of industrial jobs and unions, some … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding Class | 4 Comments

Building Back Better?

As we await U.S. Senate action on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, it is worth reflecting on what the past few tumultuous months have meant for U.S. workers.  Much has happened in the short time since the summer drew … Continue reading

Posted in Issues, Joseph A. McCartin, Labor and Community Activism, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | 5 Comments

Will Democrats Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth?

This has been a month of bad news for the Democratic Party. The conflicts around the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills and the November election results make clear that Republicans hold significant advantages with voters on critical issues including … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding Class | Leave a comment

Dirty Jobs, Essential Workers, and the Infrastructure Bills

Current negotiations over the second infrastructure bill may remind a lot of people of Mike Rowe’s oddly popular series Dirty Jobs.  Which makes sense.  Watching a man stumble around inside a sewage tank as he gags loudly and directs us … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, James V. Catano, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Blue-Collar Babies: Why America’s Working Class Needs Affordable Child Care

In Netflix’s must-see new series, Maid, Alex (Margaret Qualley) flees a violent boyfriend with her two-year-old in tow, only to discover the gordian knot of being an impoverished, unhoused, single mom. Affordable child care is at the knot’s center.  Alex … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Lane Windham, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Multiracial Working Class

One of the questions that you hear regularly in the Working-Class Studies Association is, “Why is the organization so White?”  There are many possible answers to this question, of course. Some of it must surely be laid at our collective … Continue reading

Posted in Allison L. Hurst, Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Unanswered Question about the Future of US Labor Unions

Within six months the two men who have led the AFL-CIO for more than twenty-five years, John J. Sweeney and Richard Trumka, have passed away.  In reflecting on Trumka’s sudden passing and the likely transition of leadership within the dominant … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Labor and Community Activism, Wade Rathke | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Fighting Poverty with Classism

I spent part of last week at the Chautauqua Institution, which a friend described as “summer camp for adults.” Its lovely Victorian summer homes, pricey food options, and demographics – skewing older and extremely white – make it feel like … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Sherry Linkon, The Working Class and the Economy, Work, Working-Class Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Downward Path We’ve Trod: Reflections on an Ominous Anniversary

This week marks the 40th anniversary of an illegal strike by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) that was decisively broken by President Ronald Reagan.  That strike began on August 3, 1981, when more than 12,000 air traffic controllers … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Joseph A. McCartin, Labor and Community Activism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

MIA: Workers, Working, and Workplaces

“Hacks is like most stories about creative work:  It avoids really showing any.”  B.D. McClay, New York Times Magazine B.D. McClay’s epigram works like any good hook:  it grabs your interest.  So here is another: “In order to entertain audiences, … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Guest Bloggers, Issues, Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment