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Can there be a novel of the international working class despite the conditions and constraints of economic globalization? What does it mean to invoke working-class writing as an ethical intervention in an age of comparative advantage and outsourcing? No Country argues for a rethinking of the genre of working-class literature. Sonali Perera expands our understanding of working-class fiction by considering a range of international texts, identifying textual, political, and historical linkages often overlooked by Eurocentric and postcolonial scholarship. Her readings connect the literary radicalism of the 1930s to the feminist recovery projects of the 1970s, and the anticolonial and postcolonial fiction of the 1960s to today's counterglobalist struggles, building a new portrait of the twentieth century's global economy and the experiences of the working class within it. Perera considers novels by the Indian anticolonial writer Mulk Raj Anand; the American proletarian writer Tillie Olsen; Sri Lankan Tamil/Black British writer and political journalist Ambalavaner Sivanandan; Indian writer and bonded-labor activist Mahasweta Devi; South African-born Botswanan Bessie Head; and the fiction and poetry published under the collective signature Dabindu, a group of free-trade-zone garment factory workers and feminist activists in contemporary Sri Lanka. Articulating connections across the global North-South divide, Perera creates a new genealogy of working-class writing as world literature and transforms the ideological underpinnings casting literature as cultural practice.
Being laid off can be a traumatic event. The unemployed worry about how they will pay their bills and find a new job. In the American economy's boom-and-bust business cycle since the 1980s, repeated layoffs have become part of working life. In A Company of One, Carrie M. Lane finds that the new culture of corporate employment, changes to the job search process, and dual-income marriage have reshaped how today's skilled workers view unemployment. Through interviews with seventy-five unemployed and underemployed high-tech white-collar workers in the Dallas area over the course of the 2000s, Lane shows that they have embraced a new definition of employment in which all jobs are temporary and all workers are, or should be, independent "companies of one."
Following the experiences of individual jobseekers over time, Lane explores the central role that organized networking events, working spouses, and neoliberal ideology play in forging and reinforcing a new individualist, pro-market response to the increasingly insecure nature of contemporary employment. She also explores how this new perspective is transforming traditional ideas about masculinity and the role of men as breadwinners. Sympathetic to the benefits that this "company of one" ideology can hold for its adherents, Lane also details how it hides the true costs of an insecure workforce and makes collective and political responses to job loss and downward mobility unlikely.
Greater racial diversity is good news for America's future. Race is once again a contentious topic in America, as shown by the divisive rise of Donald Trump and the activism of groups like Black Lives Matter. Yet Diversity Explosion argues that the current period of profound racial change will lead to a less-divided nation than today's older whites or younger minorities fear. Prominent demographer William Frey sees America's emerging diversity boom as good news for a country that would otherwise face declining growth and rapid aging for many years to come. In the new edition of this popular Brookings Press offering, Frey draws from the lessons of the 2016 presidential election and new statistics to paint an illuminating picture of where America's racial demography is headed-and what that means for the nation's future. Using the U.S. Census, national surveys, and related sources, Frey tells how the rapidly growing ""new minorities""-Hispanics, Asians, and multiracial Americans-along with blacks and other groups, are transforming and reinvigorating the nation's demographic landscape. He discusses their impact on generational change, regional shifts of major racial groups, neighborhood segregation, interracial marriage, and presidential politics. Diversity Explosion is an accessible, richly illustrated overview of how unprecedented racial change is remaking the United States once again. It is an essential guide for political strategists, marketers, investors, educators, policymakers, and anyone who wants to understand the magnitude, potential, and promise of the new national melting pot in the twenty-first century.
This stimulating and comprehensive study of the period between the establishment of the new Tudor administrative framework and the outbreak of the Civil War offers a well-grounded and fascinating survey of the attitudes, opinions and responses of the gentry to the political and religious circumstances in which they lived. The book discusses the ways in which the gentry, thrust into positions of prominence in the context of the Tudor state, interpreted that status and authority they enjoyed and the power entrusted to them. It surveys the influence which the concept of the `island empire' had on attitudes to public roles and duties, and traces the extent to which loyalties to the Crown and to kindred groupings affected the image projected by the gentry in their political, religious and domestic roles. The book is given an added dimension by a consideration of gentry attitudes in Wales in the context of the humanist ideas current in Europe. This is a mature study based on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, material from which has been successfully integrated into the text. It offers an insight into the perceptions and assumptions of an elite culture at a crucial time in that culture's development.
How and why are U.S. transnational corporations investing in the lives, educations, and futures of poor, racialized girls and women in the Global South? Is it a solution to ending poverty? Or is it a pursuit of economic growth and corporate profit? Drawing on more than a decade of research in the United States and Brazil, this book focuses on how the philanthropic, social responsibility, and business practices of various corporations use a logic of development that positions girls and women as instruments of poverty alleviation and new frontiers for capitalist accumulation. Using the Girl Effect, the philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc., as a central case study, the book examines how these corporations seek to address the problems of gendered poverty and inequality, yet do so using an instrumental logic that shifts the burden of development onto girls and women without transforming the structural conditions that produce poverty. These practices, in turn, enable corporations to expand their legitimacy, authority, and reach while sidestepping contradictions in their business practices that often exacerbate conditions of vulnerability for girls and women. With a keen eye towards justice, author Kathryn Moeller concludes that these corporatized development practices de-politicize girls' and women's demands for fair labor practices and a just global economy.
From reviews of the first edition
"Zweig's investigation of politics goes beyond the electoral, focusing instead on how a broad working-class social movement (often in alliance with segments of the professional middle class) could reshape workplace and community power relations as well as national politics." The Nation
"Those who take (rather than give) orders at work are the working class; at 62 percent of the labor force, they are a majority distracted and diverted from its best interests for several generations. Zweig suggests the implications of this analysis for a number of key political issues, including the 'underclass, ' 'family values, ' globalization, and what workers get (and should get) from government. Putting class back on the table produces a thoughtful, provocative analysis of where the nation is going and what working people could do about it." Booklist
"In this pungent critique of class and economics in the United States part economic theory, part political lecture, and part reportage of working-class life Zweig offers an insightful, radical analysis that will make many readers rethink commonly held but unexamined beliefs. Zweig supports his arguments with statistics, facts and personal stories and argues with a forcefulness and conviction backed by a deeply moral sense of the dignity that is due to each person in their work and workplace." Publishers Weekly
"Michael Zweig provides us with a much needed discussion of class in contemporary American society. While students can benefit from the exposure to a perspective that is currently missing from the public landscape, union organizers and activists can also profit from his discussions of worker power and the rebirth of a democratic social movement among working people." Contemporary Sociology
In the second edition of his essential book which incorporates vital new information and new material on immigration, race, gender, and the social crisis following 2008 Michael Zweig warns that by allowing the working class to disappear into categories of "middle class" or "consumers," we also allow those with the dominant power, capitalists, to vanish among the rich. Economic relations then appear as comparisons of income or lifestyle rather than as what they truly are contests of power, at work and in the larger society."
Movements for social change are by their nature oppositional, as are those who join change movements. How people negotiate identity within social movements is one of the central concerns in the field. This volume offers new scholarship that explores issues of diversity and uniformity among social movement participants. Featuring case studies that range widely-from Jewish resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland to antigay Christian movements in the United States to online white supremacy groups-the essays show how participants set aside issues of personal identity in order to merge together and how these processes affect mobilization and the attainment of goals. Contributors: Mary Bernstein, Kimberly B. Dugan, Elizabeth Kaminski, Susan Munkres, Kevin Neuhouser, Benita Roth, Silke Roth, Todd Schroer, Verta Taylor, Jane Ward.
Narrating Love and Violence is an ethnographic exploration of women's stories from the Himalayan valley of Lahaul, in the region of Himachal Pradesh, India, focusing on how both, love and violence emerge (or function) at the intersection of gender, tribe, caste, and the state in India. Himika Bhattacharya privileges the everyday lives of women marginalized by caste and tribe to show how state and community discourses about gendered violence serve as proxy for caste in India, thus not only upholding these social hierarchies, but also enabling violence. The women in this book tell their stories through love, articulated as rejection, redefinition and reproduction of notions of violence and solidarity. Himika Bhattacharya centers the women's narratives as a site of knowledge-beyond love and beyond violence. This book shows how women on the margins of tribe and caste know both, love and violence, as agents wishing to re-shape discourses of caste, tribe and community.
Until the recent political shift pushed workers back into the media spotlight, the mainstream media had largely ignored this significant part of American society in favor of the moneyed "upscale" consumer for more than four decades. Christopher R. Martin now reveals why and how the media lost sight of the American working class and the effects of it doing so. The damning indictment of the mainstream media that flows through No Longer Newsworthy is a wakeup call about the critical role of the media in telling news stories about labor unions, workers, and working-class readers. As Martin charts the decline of labor reporting from the late 1960s onwards, he reveals the shift in news coverage as the mainstream media abandoned labor in favor of consumer and business interests. When newspapers, especially, wrote off working-class readers as useless for their business model, the American worker became invisible. In No Longer Newsworthy, Martin covers this shift in focus, the loss of political voice for the working class, and the emergence of a more conservative media in the form of Christian television, talk radio, Fox News, and conservative websites. Now, with our fractured society and news media, Martin offers the mainstream media recommendations for how to push back against right-wing media and once again embrace the working class as critical to its audience and its democratic function.
Social Movements cleverly translates the art of collective action and mobilization by excluded groups to facilitate understanding social change from below. Students learn the core components of social movements, the theory and methods used to study them, and the conditions under which they can lead to political and social transformation. This fully class-tested book is the first to be organized along the lines of the major subfields of social movement scholarship-framing, movement emergence, recruitment, and outcomes-to provide comprehensive coverage in a single core text. Features include: use of real data collected in the U.S. and around the world the emphasis on student learning outcomes case studies that bring social movements to life examples of cultural repertoires used by movements (flyers, pamphlets, event data on activist websites, illustrations by activist musicians) to mobilize a group topics such as immigrant rights, transnational movement for climate justice, Women's Marches, Fight for $15, Occupy Wall Street, Gun Violence, Black Lives Matter, and the mobilization of popular movements in the global South on issues of authoritarian rule and neoliberalism With this book, students deepen their understanding of movement dynamics, methods of investigation, and dominant theoretical perspectives, all while being challenged to consider their own place in relation to social movements.
Deep-sea fishing has always been a hazardous occupation, with crews facing gale-force winds, huge waves and swells, and unrelenting rain and snow. For those New England and British fishermen whose voyages took them hundreds of miles from the coastline, life was punctuated by strenuous work, grave danger, and frequent fear. Unsurprisingly, every fishing port across the world has memorials to those lost at sea. During the 1960s and 1970s, these seafaring workers experienced new hardships. As modern fleets from many nations intensified their hunt for fish, they found themselves in increasing competition for disappearing prey. Colin J. Davis details the unfolding drama as New England and British fishermen and their wives, partners, and families reacted to this competition. Rather than acting as bystanders to these crises, the men and women chronicled in Contested and Dangerous Seas became fierce advocates for the health of the Atlantic Ocean fisheries and for their families' livelihoods.
A passionate account of how the gulf between France’s metropolitan elites and its working classes are tearing the country apart
Christophe Guilluy, a French geographer, makes the case that France has become an “American society”—one that is both increasingly multicultural and increasingly unequal. The divide between the global economy’s winners and losers in today’s France has replaced the old left†‘right split, leaving many on “the periphery.”
As Guilluy shows, there is no unified French economy, and those cut off from the country’s new economic citadels suffer disproportionately on both economic and social fronts. In Guilluy’s analysis, the lip service paid to the idea of an “open society” in France is a smoke screen meant to hide the emergence of a closed society, walled off for the benefit of the upper classes. The ruling classes in France are reaching a dangerous stage, he argues; without the stability of a growing economy, the hope for those excluded from growth is extinguished, undermining the legitimacy of a multicultural nation.
This book explores the social economic processes of inequality in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century rural China. Drawing on uniquely rich source materials, Shuang Chen provides a comprehensive view of the creation of a social hierarchy wherein the state classified immigrants to the Chinese county of Shuangcheng into distinct categories, each associated with different land entitlements. The resulting patterns of wealth stratification and social hierarchy were then simultaneously challenged and reinforced by local people. The tensions built into the unequal land entitlements shaped the identities of immigrant groups, and this social hierarchy persisted even after the institution of unequal state entitlements was removed. State-Sponsored Inequality offers an in-depth understanding of the key factors that contribute to social stratification in agrarian societies. Moreover, it sheds light on the many parallels between the stratification system in nineteenth-century Shuangcheng and structural inequality in contemporary China.
This is a unique account of the hidden history of servants and their employers in late eighteenth-century England and of how servants thought about and articulated their resentments. It is a book which encompasses state formation and the maidservant pounding away at dirty nappies in the back kitchen; taxes on the servant's labour and the knives he cleaned, the water he fetched, and the privy he shovelled out. Carolyn Steedman shows how deeply entwined all of these entities, objects and people were in the imagination of those doing the shovelling and pounding and in the political philosophies that attempted to make sense of it all. Rather than fitting domestic service into conventional narratives of industrial revolution' or the making of the English working class' she offers instead a profound re-reading of this formative period in English social history which restores the servants' lost labours to their rightful place.
Slaves, foundlings, prostitutes, nuns, homosexuals, exiles, the elderly, and mountain communities - such groups stood at the margins of society in premodern Italy. But where precisely the margins were was not so easily determined. Examining these minorities as the buffer zones between more readily recognizable centers, At the Margins explores identity as a process rather than a fixed entity, stressing the multiplicity of groups to which individuals belonged. By tracing the shifting relations of social margins to centers in Italy between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries - and showing how these shifts in turn relate to social order and identity formation - the authors challenge entrenched ideas about the nature of the Renaissance and its role in shaping modernity. Behind much cultural theory lies a critique of the centrality of modernity and its foundations in the discourse of Renaissance humanism. And yet, as this volume reveals, the insights of contemporary cultural theory serve to expose the flaws in this picture of cultural hegemony and, in decentering the Renaissance, return it to the heart of cultural debate.
In Class Paul Fussell explodes the sacred American myth of social equality with eagle-eyed irreverence and iconoclastic wit. This bestselling, superbly researched, exquisitely observed guide to the signs, symbols, and customs of the American class system is always outrageously on the mark as Fussell shows us how our status is revealed by everything we do, say, and own. He describes the houses, objects, artifacts, speech, clothing styles, and intellectual proclivities of American classes from the top to the bottom and everybody -- you'll surely recognize yourself -- in between. Class is guaranteed to amuse and infuriate, whether your class is so high it's out of sight (literally) or you are, alas, a sinking victim of prole drift.
In Yountsville: The Rise and Decline of an Indiana Mill Town , Ronald Morris and collaborators examine the history and context of a rural Midwestern town, including family labor, working women, immigrants, and competing visions of the future. Combing perspectives from history, economics, and archeology, this exploration of a pioneering Midwestern company town highlights how interdisciplinary approaches can help recover forgotten communities. The Yount Woolen Mill was founded during the pioneer period by immigrants from Germany who employed workers from the surrounding area and from Great Britain who were seeking to start a life with their families. For three generations the mill prospered until it and its workers were faced with changing global trade and aging technology that could not keep pace with the rest of the world. Deindustrialization compelled some residents to use education to adapt, while others held on to their traditional skills and were forced to relocate. Educators in the county seat offered Yountsville the opportunity to change to an education-based economy. Both the educators and the tradesmen associated with the mill believed their chosen paths gave children the best opportunities for the future. Present-day communities working through industrialization and deindustrialization still push for educational reform to improve the lives of their children. In the Midwest, many stories exist about German immigrants working in urban areas, but there are few stories of immigrants as capitalists in rural areas. The story of the Yount family is one of an immigrant family who built an industry with talent, labor, and advantage. Unfortunately, deindustrialization, dislocation, adaptation, and reuse were familiar problems in the Midwest. Archeologists, scholars, and students of state and local history and the Midwest will find much of interest in this book.
Manufactured Insecurity is the first book of its kind to provide an in-depth investigation of the social, legal, geospatial, and market forces that intersect to create housing insecurity for an entire class of low-income residents. Drawing on rich ethnographic data collected before, during, and after mobile home park closures and community-wide evictions in Florida and Texas-the two states with the largest mobile home populations-Manufactured Insecurity forces social scientists and policymakers to respond to a fundamental question: how do the poor access and retain secure housing in the face of widespread poverty, deepening inequality, and scarce legal protection? With important contributions to urban sociology, housing studies, planning, and public policy, the book provides a broader understanding of inequality and social welfare in the United States today.
"Life in America: Identity and Everyday Experience" is a fascinating collection of readings that explores how people negotiate identity in the United States today. While individuals stitch together complex identities based on everything from the hobbies they enjoy to the neighborhoods in which they live, these identities rarely conform to the quick and routine identification of people by race, gender, and age. By exploring this tension between identity and identification, one can begin to understand how people creatively confront the perks and perils of identity in the United States.
"Life in America "offers a look at a wide range of subjects including: violence and video games, queer pilgrimages to San Francisco, Filipina critiques of "sleeping around," and the significance of "lowriders" in Hispano/Chicano culture. Framed by a lively introduction, this book provides readers with a thoroughly engaging and fascinating look at central issues of identity and what it means to be American.
A history that extends from the 1750s to the present, In Pursuit of Privilege recounts upper-class New Yorkers' struggle to create a distinct world guarded against outsiders, even as economic growth and democratic opportunity enabled aspirants to gain entrance. Despite their efforts, New York City's upper class has been drawn into the larger story of the city both through class conflict and through their role in building New York's cultural and economic foundations. In Pursuit of Privilege describes the famous and infamous characters and events at the center of this extraordinary history, from the elite families and wealthy tycoons of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the Wall Street executives of today. From the start, upper-class New Yorkers have been open and aggressive in their behavior, keen on attaining prestige, power, and wealth. Clifton Hood sharpens this characterization by merging a history of the New York economy in the eighteenth century with the story of Wall Street's emergence as an international financial center in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as the dominance of New York's financial and service sectors in the 1980s. Bringing together several decades of upheaval and change, he shows that New York's upper class did not rise exclusively from the Gilded Age but rather from a relentless pursuit of privilege, affecting not just the urban elite but the city's entire cultural, economic, and political fabric.
In this era where dollar value signals moral worth, Daniel Fridman paints a vivid portrait of Americans and Argentinians seeking to transform themselves into people worthy of millions. Following groups who practice the advice from financial success bestsellers, Fridman illustrates how the neoliberal emphasis on responsibility, individualism, and entrepreneurship binds people together with the ropes of aspiration. Freedom from Work delves into a world of financial self-help in which books, seminars, and board games reject "get rich quick" formulas and instead suggest to participants that there is something fundamentally wrong with who they are, and that they must struggle to correct it. Fridman analyzes three groups who exercise principles from Rich Dad, Poor Dad by playing the board game Cashflow and investing in cash-generating assets with the goal of leaving the rat race of employment. Fridman shows that the global economic transformations of the last few decades have been accompanied by popular resources that transform the people trying to survive-and even thrive.
In today's world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry canvas tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption-like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the latest podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this new elite "the aspirational class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, they reproduce wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide. With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research, The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and examines what these changes will mean for everyone.
America is becoming a class-based society. It's now conventional wisdom to focus on the excesses of the top 1% - especially the top 0.01% - and how the ultra-rich are hoarding income and wealth while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the more important, and widening, gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else. Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income isn't the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services. As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is a fracturing of American society along class lines, not just an economic divide. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults. These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of ""opportunity hoarding"" among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper middle class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society. Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against - and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.
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