In this intrepid, groundbreaking book, Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb uncover and define a new form of class conflict in America an internal conflict in the heart and mind of the blue-collar worker who measures his own value against those lives and occupations to which our society gives a special premium."
This enlightening auto-ethnography examines how social class (and other social institutions and structures) affect how people grow up. Primarily, the book investigates how American children and young adults are impacted by the "hidden injuries" of class, and offers a rich description of how these injuries manifest and curdle later in life. Thomas J. Gorman provides sociological explanations for the phenomenon of the so-called "angry white man," and engages with this phenomenon as it relates to the rise of recent populist political figures such as Donald J. Trump. He also examines how and why white working class people tend to lash out at the wrong social forces and support political action that works against their own interests. Finally, the book demonstrates the connections between working-class attitudes toward schooling, sports, politics, and economics.
Combining what the 'Chicago Tribune' calls 'all the resources of modern scholarship and an impressive intelligence of his own Mr. Stennett analyzes how middle class families lived and worked in Chicago a century ago.
An avalanche of recent newspapers, weekly newsmagazines, scholarly journals, and academic books has helped to spark a heated debate by publishing warnings of a “boy crisis” in which male students at all academic levels have begun falling behind their female peers. In Learning the Hard Way, Edward W. Morris explores and analyzes detailed ethnographic data on this purported gender gap between boys and girls in educational achievement at two low-income high schools—one rural and predominantly white, the other urban and mostly African American. Crucial questions arose from his study of gender at these two schools. Why did boys tend to show less interest in and more defiance toward school? Why did girls significantly outperform boys at both schools? Why did people at the schools still describe boys as especially “smart”? Morris examines these questions and, in the process, illuminates connections of gender to race, class, and place. This book is not simply about the educational troubles of boys, but the troubled and complex experience of gender in school. It reveals how particular race, class, and geographical experiences shape masculinity and femininity in ways that affect academic performance. His findings add a new perspective to the “gender gap” in achievement.
A preeminent thinker redefines the meaning of city life and charts a way forward Building and Dwelling is the definitive statement on cities by the renowned public intellectual Richard Sennett. In this sweeping work, he traces the anguished relation between how cities are built and how people live in them, from ancient Athens to twenty-first-century Shanghai. He shows how Paris, Barcelona, and New York City assumed their modern forms; rethinks the reputations of Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford, and others; and takes us on a tour of emblematic contemporary locations, from the backstreets of Medellín, Colombia, to the Google headquarters in Manhattan. Through it all, he laments that the “closed city”—segregated, regimented, and controlled—has spread from the global North to the exploding urban agglomerations of the global South. As an alternative, he argues for the “open city,” where citizens actively hash out their differences and planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. Rich with arguments that speak directly to our moment—a time when more humans live in urban spaces than ever before—Building and Dwelling draws on Sennett’s deep learning and intimate engagement with city life to form a bold and original vision for the future of cities.
What does it mean to grow up today as working-class young adults? How does the economic and social instability left in the wake of neoliberalism shape their identities, their understandings of the American Dream, and their futures? Coming Up Short illuminates the transition to adulthood for working-class men and women. Moving away from easy labels such as the "Peter Pan generation," Jennifer Silva reveals the far bleaker picture of how the erosion of traditional markers of adulthood-marriage, a steady job, a house of one's own-has changed what it means to grow up as part of the post-industrial working class. Based on one hundred interviews with working-class people in two towns-Lowell, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia-Silva sheds light on their experience of heightened economic insecurity, deepening inequality, and uncertainty about marriage and family. Silva argues that, for these men and women, coming of age means coming to terms with the absence of choice. As possibilities and hope contract, moving into adulthood has been re-defined as a process of personal struggle-an adult is no longer someone with a small home and a reliable car, but someone who has faced and overcome personal demons to reconstruct a transformed self. Indeed, rather than turn to politics to restore the traditional working class, this generation builds meaning and dignity through the struggle to exorcise the demons of familial abuse, mental health problems, addiction, or betrayal in past relationships. This dramatic and largely unnoticed shift reduces becoming an adult to solitary suffering, self-blame, and an endless seeking for signs of progress. This powerfully written book focuses on those who are most vulnerable-young, working-class people, including African-Americans, women, and single parents-and reveals what, in very real terms, the demise of the social safety net means to their fragile hold on the American Dream.
Richard Sennett is an articulate writer whose style reveals a fascinating mind and above all, a keen pair of eyes. In relating our visual organ to the conscience, he implores us to start seeing our lives as wholly related to and organically integrated with, the cities that we live in. In this thoroughly original and important book, Sennett successfully avoids the tendency of many writers on urbanism to proffer 'well meaning' solutions, but instead takes us on a historical and psychological journey. He convinces his readers to focus on impulses and 'spriritual' reasons behind the creation of cities, ranging from the Greek ideals of 'grace' and 'balance' that produced the 'Agora' to the dilemmas of the modern soul that creates walls made of sheer glass. In chapter after chapter of engrossing reading anyone deeply interested in the well-being of urban life will begin to share his insights on urban forms. He articulates his views using descriptions of ordianry people's lives through history.
Leach and Pini bring together empirical and theoretical studies that consider the intersections of class, gender and rurality. Each chapter engages with current debates on these concepts to explore them in the context of contemporary social and economic transformations. This book will appeal to scholars working in the fields of gender, rurality, identity, and class studies.
A Business Week Best Book of the Year.... "A devastating and wholly necessary book."—Studs Terkel, author of Working In The Corrosion of Character, Richard Sennett, "among the country's most distinguished thinkers . . . has concentrated into 176 pages a profoundly affecting argument" (Business Week) that draws on interviews with dismissed IBM executives, bakers, a bartender turned advertising executive, and many others to call into question the terms of our new economy. In his 1972 classic, The Hidden Injuries of Class (written with Jonathan Cobb), Sennett interviewed a man he called Enrico, a hardworking janitor whose life was structured by a union pay schedule and given meaning by his sacrifices for the future. In this new book-a #1 bestseller in Germany-Sennett explores the contemporary scene characterized by Enrico's son, Rico, whose life is more materially successful, yet whose work lacks long-term commitments or loyalties. Distinguished by Sennett's "combination of broad historical and literary learning and a reporter's willingness to walk into a store or factory [and] strike up a conversation" (New York Times Book Review), this book "challenges the reader to decide whether the flexibility of modern capitalism . . . is merely a fresh form of oppression" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Praise for The Corrosion of Character: "A benchmark for our time."—Daniel Bell "[A]n incredibly insightful book."—William Julius Wilson "[A] remarkable synthesis of acute empirical observation and serious moral reflection."—Richard Rorty "[Sennett] offers abundant fresh insights . . . illuminated by his concern with people's struggle to give meaning to their lives."—[Memphis] Commercial Appeal
Examines the assumption that American workers lack class consciousness and discusses three cases, a wildcat strike, an organizing campaign, and a year-long strike in the midwest
Marek Korczynski reports on his ethnographic fieldwork in a British factory to show how workers make often-grueling assembly-line work tolerable by permeating their workday with pop music on the radio.
Focusing on the working-class experience of gentrification, this book re-examines the enduring relationship between class and the urban. Class is so clearly articulated in the urban, from the housing crisis to the London Riots to the evocation of housing estates as the emblem of ’Broken Britain’. Gentrification is often presented to a moral and market antidote to such urban ills: deeply institutionalised as regeneration and targeted at areas which have suffered from disinvestment or are defined by ’lack’. Gentrification is no longer a peripheral neighbourhood process: it is policy; it is widespread; it is everyday. Yet comparative to this depth and breadth, we know little about what it is like to live with gentrification at the everyday level. Sociological studies have focused on lifestyles of the middle classes and the working-class experience is either omitted or they are assumed to be victims. Hitherto, this is all that has been offered. This book engages with these issues and reconnects class and the urban through an ethnographically detailed analysis of a neighbourhood undergoing gentrification which historicises class formation, critiques policy processes and offers a new sociological insight into gentrification from the perspective of working-class residents. This ethnography of everyday working-class neighbourhood life in the UK serves to challenge denigrated depictions which are used to justify the use of gentrification-based restructuring. By exploring the relationship between urban processes and working-class communities via gentrification, it reveals the ’hidden rewards’ as well as the ’hidden injuries’ of class in post-industrial neighbourhoods. In doing so, it provides a comprehensive ’sociology of gentrification’, revealing not only how gentrification leads to the displacement of the working class in physical terms but how it is actively used within urban policy to culturally displace the working-class subject and traditional
Why do people work hard, and take pride in what they do? This book, a philosophically-minded enquiry into practical activity of many different kinds past and present, is about what happens when people try to do a good job. It asks us to think about the true meaning of skill in the 'skills society' and argues that pure competition is a poor way to achieve quality work. Sennett suggests, instead, that there is a craftsman in every human being, which can sometimes be enormously motivating and inspiring - and can also in other circumstances make individuals obsessive and frustrated. The Craftsman shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals' pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions. But the past lives of crafts and craftsmen show us ways of working (using tools, acquiring skills, thinking about materials) which provide rewarding alternative ways for people to utilise their talents. We need to recognise this if motivations are to be understood and lives made as fulfilling as possible.
The United States has the most family-hostile public policy in the developed world. Contesting the idea that women need to negotiate better within the family, and redefining the notion of success in the workplace, Joan C. Williams reinvigorates the work-family debate and offers the first steps to making life manageable for all American families.
This collection is a wide-ranging exploration of contemporary British television drama and its representations of social class. Through early studio-set plays, soap operas and period drama, the volume demonstrates how class provides a bridge across multiple genres and traditions of television drama. The authors trace this thematic emphasis into the present day, offering fascinating new insights into the national conversation around class and identity in Britain today. The chapters engage with a range of topics including authorial explorations of Stephen Poliakoff and Jimmy McGovern, case studies of television performers Maxine Peake and Jimmy Nail, and discussions of the sitcom genre and animation form. This book offers new perspectives on popular British television shows such as Goodnight Sweetheart and Footballers’ Wives, and analysis of more recent series such as Peaky Blinders and This is England.
The American Dream and the Public Schools examines issues that have excited and divided Americans for years, including desegregation, school funding, testing, vouchers, bilingual education, and ability grouping. While these are all separate problems, much of the contention over them comes down to the same thing--an apparent conflict between policies designed to promote each student's ability to succeed and those designed to insure the good of all students or the nation as a whole. The authors show how policies to promote individual success too often benefit only those already privileged by race or class, and often conflict with policies that are intended to benefit everyone. They propose a framework that builds on our nation's rapidly changing population in order to help Americans get past acrimonious debates about schooling. Their goal is to make public education work better so that all children can succeed.
“Every teacher, every student of history, every citizen should read this book. It is both a refreshing antidote to what has passed for history in our educational system and a one-volume education in itself.” —Howard Zinn A new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the author Since its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times in the summer of 2006. For this new edition, Loewen has added a new preface that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems, and calls out academic historians for abandoning the concept of truth in a misguided effort to be “objective.” What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls “an extremely convincing plea for truth in education.” In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.
This book brings Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s pioneering Education and the Working Class from 1962 up to date for the 21st century and reveals what we can do to achieve a fairer education system.