Work and Culture: US Class Identities

By Editorial Team Jan 14, 2022

Work and Culture: US Class Identities
  1. What are the main approaches to the study of class? What is the role of individualism in the formation of US class identities? Please discuss the following notions and provide examples to explain them: internal class hierarchies, the role of gender and age politics within classes, class mirroring versus class struggle.
  2. How does the British working class reproduce itself, according to Willis? What is the role of resistance in this dynamic of social reproduction? What are the politics of gender and race in the “lads”’ identity-making strategies?
  3. What is Ehrenreich’s main argument in her Nickel and Dimed, and how does she reach her conclusions? How does her book differ from a standard ethnography? To what extent does her privilege inform her experience?
  4. How is neoliberalism connected to the college tuition hike and what Zaloom calls the “student finance complex” in the US? What is “financial morality” according to Zaloom, and how does it emerge? What are the implications of middle-class “family privacy” in this context? What is “enmeshed autonomy,” and what is its paradox? Where does the “Culture of Poverty” argument originate, and why is it devoid of anthropological validity? What are the challenges of historically black colleges in the US? What is the “yeomanship argument” according to Zaloom? How does it preempt the aspiration to an “open future” for young adults, and why is it problematic? 



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