Category Archives: Issues

Working-Class Scholars and Activists Bringing Change

At the beginning of 2021, I asked whether life for working-class people would get any better now that everyone understood that working-class people keep societies running. I wasn’t very optimistic about bosses or governments doing much to stem job insecurity … Continue reading

Posted in Class and Education, Contributors, Issues, Sarah Attfield, Understanding Class | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sidney Poitier: Nobody You Can Boss Around

In the 10 days since we learned of Sidney Poitier’s death there have been hundreds of tributes to Poitier—an undeniable icon. Most of these tributes have focused on Poitier’s brilliant acting, for which he received innumerable awards, as well as … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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

The Pandemic as an Employment Shell Game

I have always been skeptical of the use of labor statistics. In 2009, I began to write in Working-Class Perspectives about the de facto unemployment rate, because official reports on the unemployment rate in Youngstown left out much of the … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, John Russo, The Working Class and the Economy | 5 Comments

Work is a Real Life Squid Game for the Global Precariat

I’m assuming you’ve heard of Squid Game, but have you also heard that Squid Game is the most watched television show in Netflix history, inspiring 1.65 billion hours of viewing in its first month? This week we learned that Squid … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Who Wants to Be Rich? Working-Class People Would Like Their Share

A recent crop of TV shows — Maid, Succession, Squid Game — have demonstrated that being rich doesn’t lead to happiness. Family, friendship, and other aspects of life are more important. If the world of the rich is filled with … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Sarah Attfield | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

How Class Cultures Work

Across my lifetime, I’ve lived within and between two class cultures that work together in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. Broadly, middle-class professionalism emphasizes aspiration, achievement, and becoming.  Working-class culture, on the other hand, prioritizes authenticity, character, and belonging.  One … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , | 2 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

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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