Category Archives: Understanding Class

The Downwardly Mobile: How Some People Lose Class Privilege

We have two narratives about class in this country. Perhaps the most prominent is the American Dream – the idea that hard work and moral fortitude can lead people from rages to riches. The second is that of the rigged … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Guest Bloggers, Issues, Understanding Class | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Working-Class People Hold Society Together: Class and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted class inequalities. Commentators in the US, UK, and Australia are acknowledging that working-class people are more likely to suffer as a result of both the virus and the measures put in place to contain its … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Sarah Attfield, The Working Class and the Economy, Understanding Class | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A Punishment with No End: The Journey of a Working-Class Criminal into Academia

We call ourselves the flower pot kids after the floral themed street names the local council assigned in a vain if well-meaning attempt to brighten up an otherwise dreary area. The council-owned social housing consisted of tattered prefabricated buildings from … Continue reading

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Class Anxiety: Parasite and Joker

A couple of weeks after the South Korean film Parasite won both Best Foreign Film and Best Picture, Donald Trump went on what the Washington Post called a “nationalistic cultural” rant about the film’s awards. He was upset that a … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, John Russo, Sherry Linkon, The Working Class and the Economy, Understanding Class | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Placing Class: Community, Politics, Work, and Labor in a Changing World

This week, we’re posting something a little different: the call for papers for this year’s Working-Class Studies Association conference. This year’s gathering marks the 25th anniversary of the conference that led to the founding of the Center for Working-Class Studies, … Continue reading

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Counting on Class: The Continuing Appeal of Meritocracy

Neither faith in nor critiques of the idea of meritocracy is new. Michael Young’s famous 1958 book The Rise of Meritocracy argued that class privilege and advantage were likely to be amplified as financial and cultural capital passed across generations … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Tim Strangleman, Understanding Class | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Memoir as Medium: Bridging the Class Divide

More than three years after its publication in 2016, Hillbilly Elegy and its author J.D. Vance continue to be lightning rods. A recent Washington Post opinion piece caused an uproar by insinuating that Vance lamented the declining white birth rate … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Guest Bloggers, Issues, Understanding Class, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Transnational Reach: 2019 Working-Class Studies Association Awards

As Donald Trump and his ilk on the world stage strip labor protections and human rights under the guise of faux populism,  writers, workers, artists, and activists have refused to submit to the chicanery. An international crisis requires an international … Continue reading

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What is a “Working-Class Academic”?

Last week, a law professor from the UK was profiled by The Guardian.  In the article, Geraldine Van Bueren, the daughter of a taxi driver and bookkeeper, discusses the need for people like her to come out publicly.  She has … Continue reading

Posted in Allison L. Hurst, Class and Education, Contributors, Issues, Understanding Class | Tagged , | 1 Comment

We Need a Working-Class Ranking System

Lists that rank U.S. colleges are everywhere these days.  You can find images of the “most beautiful” or “safest” campuses on Facebook.  Every major news magazine seems to have its own rankings system.  All of this started with US News … Continue reading

Posted in Class and Education, Contributors, Guest Bloggers, Issues, Understanding Class | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments