Category Archives: Understanding Class

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

Working-Class Nostalgia

The first time I presented a paper at an academic conference, I was accused of being nostalgic. My mistake, as my fellow academic pointed out, was that in my bid to find some value in working-class occupational cultures I was … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Tim Strangleman, Understanding Class, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , , | 7 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

Health Class

Late last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science documenting the rising morbidity and mortality in mid-life white men and women in America, especially for those with a … Continue reading

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

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

Human Tumbleweeds, Insecurity Culture, and the American Working Class

Conservatives, while opposing same-sex marriage, worry a lot about the decline of marriage among lower-income households, the still growing number of single-parent families, and the supposed social and economic fallout of children growing up in male-deprived, unstable, and morally feckless … Continue reading

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

Steinbeck and the Refugee Crisis

“No home no job no peace no rest” — Bruce Springsteen, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” As a British immigrant to the US, one key difference I notice between me and most Americans is that I did not read The … Continue reading

Posted in Class at the Intersections, Contributors, Issues, Nick Coles, Understanding Class | Tagged , , | 9 Comments