Betsy Leondar-WrightMissing Class: How Seeing Class Cultures Can Strengthen Social Movement Groups

Cornell University Press, 2014

by Annie Sapucaia on April 23, 2014

Betsy Leondar-Wright

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Gender and race are visible markers of identity, regularly talked about both in the news and sociology circles. There is another marker, however, that is just as important and predictive, but much less visible – social class.  In Missing Class: How Seeing Class Cultures Can Strengthen Social Movement Groups (Cornell University Press, 2014), Betsy Leondar-Wright attempts to bring class to the forefront of the conversation by describing how belonging to a particular social class can affect interaction within social movement groups.  She classifies a number of “class cultures” based primarily on formal education and occupation, such as lifelong working-class, lifelong professional middle class, voluntarily downwardly mobile and upwardly mobile class.  Through a comprehensive study of 25 activist groups, Leondar-Wright discovers that class, more than gender or race or age in many cases, greatly predicts attitude and behavior (the way one deals with conflict or the way one speaks, as examples).  Acknowledging class differences in social activist groups can help to ease communication and better use the strengths that each particular class culture can offer.


Teachers College PressOther People’s English: Vershawn Young, Rusty Barrett, Y’Shanda Young-Rivera, and Kim Brian Lovejoy

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[Cross-posted from New Book in Language] In linguistics, we all happily and glibly affirm that there is no “better” or “worse” among languages (or dialects, or varieties), although we freely admit that people have irrational prejudices about them. But what do we do about those prejudices? And what do we think the speakers of low-status varieties of [...]

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Paul-Brian McInerneyFrom Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market

April 15, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Book in Political Science] Paul-Brian McInerney is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is the author of From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market (Stanford University Press 2014). McInerney’s book tells the fascinating history of the Circuit Riders and NPower, the [...]

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Steven L. JacobsLemkin on Genocide

April 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] It’s hard to overestimate the role of Raphael Lemkin in calling the world’s attention to the crime of genocide.  But for decades his name languished, as scholars and the broader public devoted their time and attention to other people and other things. In the past few years, this has changed. [...]

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April 11, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] The image of online gaming in popular culture is that of an addictive pastime, mired in escapism. And the denizens of virtual worlds are thought to be mostly socially awkward teenaged boys. In his new book The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us–and How They Don’t (Yale University Press, [...]

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George E. VaillantTriumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

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There are very few studies like the Harvard Grant Study.  Started in 1938, it has been following its approximately 200 participants ever since, analyzing their physical and mental health and assessing which factors are correlated with healthy living and healthy aging.  One of the psychiatrists of the study is George E. Vaillant, who was a [...]

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Joshua DublerDown in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison

March 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Religion] In almost every prison movie you see, there is a group of fanatically religious inmates. They are almost always led by a charismatic leader, an outsized father-figure who is loved by his acolytes and feared by nearly everyone else. They’re usually black Muslims, but you also see the occasional born-again Christian gang. [...]

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Gilbert MirelesContinuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Gilbert Mireles is the author of Continuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013). He is associate professor of sociology at Whitman College. Mireles applies theories from political sociology and organizational management to the question of how unions organize workers. He examined the effective and ineffective strategies of [...]

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Leslie IrvineMy Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People and their Animals

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Homelessness and stigma go hand in hand, and nowhere is this more apparent than pet ownership among the homeless.  From nasty looks to outright insults  - ” you can’t even take care of yourself, you have no business having a dog!” – homeless pet owners use a variety of strategies to deal with the constant [...]

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Sarah FranklinBiological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

March 9, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Sarah Franklin’s new book is an exceptionally rich, focused yet wide-ranging, insightful account of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the worlds that it creates and inhabits. Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship (Duke University Press, 2013) treats IVF as a looking-glass in which can see not [...]

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