Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘the sinking middle class’

“A critique of how ‘middle class’ is defined” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS featured in the Economic Times

Friday, May 7th, 2021

“Patterns of who has historically done hard manual labour and of relative access to education have left whites overrepresented in professional, white collar and managerial labour. Loose talk of saving the middle class obscures this past and present.”

Read more here.

FULL VIDEO: THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David Roediger in conversation for Shelter & Solidarity

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

FULL VIDEO: “A presentation and discussion with David Roediger” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author in discussion for the Marxist Education Project

Friday, March 12th, 2021

 

Watch the full video here.

“The increasing immiseration of large swathes of middle-income America, only accelerated by the current pandemic, nails a fallacy that is a major obstacle to progressives.” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David Roediger in conversation for History Revealed

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“After Trump, the crisis: White America at the historical crossroads” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David Roediger interviewed for Salon

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

“On the choice facing white Americans: Social democracy, or follow Trump into the abyss.”

Read the interview here.

“The 10 best books we read [in 2020]” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS featured in ThePrint

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

5. The Sinking Middle Class by David R. Roediger

All recent American politicians campaign around the promise of working for the middle class. But historical data in this book demonstrates that the myth of the great American middle class has been carefully constructed and deployed.

See the full list here.

“The intersections of race and class in American society” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger interviewed for the Verso Blog

Friday, December 18th, 2020

The results of the 2020 US elections indicate, especially in light of the country’s massive summer uprisings and a global pandemic, that it was largely an epiphenomenal event. Pressing issues of racial and environmental justice and ever-widening income inequality have again been relegated to the margins in favor of campaigns whose raison d’être is “saving the middle class,” the subject of David Roediger’s latest book, The Sinking Middle Class. Roediger, professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas and a trenchant observer of the nexus of race and class in the US, discussed with us why every American politician’s goal now seems to be to save this near mythological class, always conceived of—though rarely acknowledged as—white, and how this strategy has been pursued at the expense of a broader politics of class and racial justice

Read the interview here.

“Excellent” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS featured on Mother Jones

Friday, December 18th, 2020

What’s the Matter With Cultural Politics?

In 1985, at the request of the United Auto Workers, [Stanley] Greenberg began conducting focus groups in Macomb County, Michigan, once a stronghold of the Democratic Party, to figure out why so many of its members had decided to throw in with Ronald Reagan. “The very invitation for him to study Macomb County grew out of a sense that Democrats needed to shift away from racial justice and feminist issues,” David Roediger writes in his excellent The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History.

Read the full article here.

“Impressive… Roediger demonstrates how middle-class-specific language amplifies the conflation of electoralism with politics while effacing structural issues tied to the nexus between race, gender, and class.” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Roediger demonstrates that striving for middle-class status is a Sisyphean task.

Read the review here.

“The racially coded usage of bipartisan calls to ‘save the middle class.'” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David Roediger interviewed on A Public Affair

Friday, December 11th, 2020

WORT 89.9FM Madison · The Sinking Middle Class

“Chilling… Ponders the fate of America’s most beleaguered majority group.” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS reviewed by the Progressive

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

The Middle Class in Crisis . . . Again

Read the review here.

“Roediger exposes middle-class mythology, and shows its role as a major obstacle to progressive change.” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS recommended by Climate & Capitalism editor Ian Angus

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Important reading at a time when millions of people have voted for Donald Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic is driving even more into poverty.

Read the article here.

“Stalking the Middle Class with David Roediger” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author interviewed on Interchange

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Listen to the interview here.

“The Shrinking Middle Class” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger interviewed for CounterPunch

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Read the interview here.

NEW EVENT: “White Resentment & ‘Economic Anxiety’: Reflections on the Writings of David R. Roediger” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author in discussion for the American Studies Association on 11/13/20

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Just in time to assess the 2020 elections and our ongoing work in the face of virulent white nationalism, this intergenerational panel will discuss the influential work of David R. Roediger, historian of whiteness and former president of the American Studies Association. Panelists from a diversity of scholarly and personal backgrounds will reflect on how they were influenced by Roediger and how his writings can help us sort through the intersectional problems of race, class, gender, and Indigeneity in this pivotal moment. As control of the White House shifts, Roediger’s latest book reminds us that majoritarian appeals to save “The Sinking Middle Class”—that blithely seek to win allegiance from disaffected whites—continuously fail to grapple with the problems of neoliberalism and white supremacy at the core of U.S. society.

November 13, 4:00 to 6:00pm (Eastern Time), 3-5pm (Central), 2-4pm (Mountain), 1-3pm (Pacific)

More details here.

“Why Are Democrats and Republicans Obsessed with the ‘Middle Class’?” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger interviewed on Going Underground

Friday, October 30th, 2020

“A historian I’ve always admired” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS by David R. Roediger recommended by Rick Perlstein in the Boston Globe

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Read the article here.

THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger interviewed on Heartland Labor Forum

Friday, October 9th, 2020

“A devastating indictment of the cynicism of American politics” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS reviewed by the Battleground

Friday, October 9th, 2020

The Return of the White Republic

Read the review here.

“The Increasingly Impossible Middle Class” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger writes for Against the Current

Friday, October 2nd, 2020
“Impossible” is a word used by many people typed and/or self-categorized as middle class to describe their own lives. Writers about the middle class prefer more precipitous words: precarious, sinking, and most often falling.

I chose from that menu in titling my recent book The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History. “Sinking” pays tribute to the best of George Orwell’s writing on the middle class and implies a gradual and grinding process — and also a miserable feeling — that characterizes middle class life even before a fall. Herman Melville’s Bartleby (“Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”) sank.

The title’s “sinking” adjective works but it never fully dislodged indecision in my mind over an alternative title. The Impossible Middle Class remained a contender even as the book neared completion. Certainly the idea of “saving the middle class,” so dear to politicians across party lines and so associated with the impoverishment of U.S. political discourse since 1992, was impossible.

I remain fine with either choice of title, but do wonder if COVID 19 is about to lead us to the conclusion that middle class life, not just the posturing politics associated with its salvation, is what is impossible. Impossibility applies at the level of definition and of experience.

Read the full article here.

“Why Does Everyone in America Think They’re Middle Class?” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS excerpt published on Lit Hub

Monday, September 28th, 2020
David R. Roediger on the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Read the excerpt here.

“Everybody on the left should put [The Sinking Middle Class] on their to-read list. It doesn’t come much better-written or intelligent.” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS reviewed by CounterPunch

Friday, September 25th, 2020
Myths of the White Working Class

Read the review here.

“America isn’t really a middle-class nation, but Clinton to Obama, all relied on the myth” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS excerpt published in ThePrint

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

In ‘The Sinking Middle Class’, David Roediger writes about how Democrats and Republicans praise the middle-class as America’s heart. But numbers tell a different story.

Read the excerpt here.

“Each election year, politicians make endless appeals for the votes of the middle class. But who, and what, is the middle class?” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David Roediger interviewed on Against the Grain

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
David Roediger looks at the political history of an unwieldy category, from its Cold War role as a bulwark against Communism to the Democratic Party’s rebranding of working class voters to the radical left’s understanding of the middle class or classes.

Listen here.

“Political exploitation of ‘middle class’ examined in new book” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger interviewed for KU Today

Monday, August 31st, 2020
There was a time when politicians didn’t pay much attention to the middle class.

Or at least politicians didn’t claim they did.

“Through the 19th century, almost nobody self-consciously thought about themselves as middle class,” said David Roediger, the Foundation Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas. “The mass embrace of the term is kind of a Cold War product. And it didn’t really enter U.S. presidential politics until the 1990s.”

His latest book, “The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History,” refutes the concept that the United States is a middle-class nation while tracing the history of how the designation became a vote-pandering issue for rival parties. Published by OR Books on Oct. 8, advance copies are currently available.

Read the full interview here.

“Why We Campaign to ‘Save the Middle Class’ and Shouldn’t” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS author David R. Roediger writes for New Politics

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020
“By the late 1990s,” the organizer Jane McAlevey recalled, “I sat through numerous sessions where well-known national pollsters instructed labor leaders to replace the word working class with middle class.” Soon many labor leaders needed little reminding. Nevertheless, McAlevey’s point that the language of “saving the middle class” gained traction through electoral politics stands and her mention of the 90s nails the periodization. Earlier electoral appeals to the middle class had worked locally, mostly in the context of right-wing anti-tax and anti-integration initiatives, but it was the Bill Clinton victories during the 90s that made those appeals national and bipartisan. His pollster, Stanley Greenberg, famously made “middle class dreams” the key to progressive electioneering. The understanding of race and of class in political debates and among social movements has suffered for it.

Read the full article here.

“Points to the vacuity of our central premises regarding what it means to be American and, presumably, Middle Class” — THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS reviewed by CounterPunch

Friday, August 7th, 2020
How the Middle Half Lives

Read the review here.