The Working Class (SOC2203.01)

Debbie Warnock

The American working class has been nearly ubiquitous in the media the last few years. Purported to have fueled the rise of Donald Trump due to class resentment, many now claim to speak for the working class, their experiences, and their motivations. But who are the working class, really? Grounded in the academic tradition of working-class studies, this course will use an interdisciplinary approach to interrogate contemporary working class life and experiences. How do we define the working class? Who are the working class and how do their experiences vary by race, ethnicity, and gender? How has the American working class evolved over the last century and how have policies contributed to these changes? What is it like to grow up working-class in America? How do working-class youth experience schooling and transitions to adulthood? What are the chances for class mobility and what do personal experiences of upward mobility look like? And finally, what is the future of the American working class? Possible texts include Michael Zweig’s The Working Class Majority, Barbara Jensen’s Reading Classes, Thomas Gorman’s Growing Up Working Class, Jennifer Silva’s Coming Up Short, Jack Metzgar’s Striking Steel, and bell hooks’ Where We Stand.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 4:00pm; F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as 2000, All courses, Areas of Study, Debbie Warnock, Four Credit, Society Culture and Thought, Sociology, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons.