Author: Susan T. Fiske
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Release Date: 2012-03-05
Genre: Social Science
Many Americans, holding fast to the American Dream and the promise of equal opportunity, claim that social class doesn't matter. Yet the ways we talk and dress, our interactions with authority figures, the degree of trust we place in strangers, our religious beliefs, our achievements, our senses of morality and of ourselves—all are marked by social class, a powerful factor affecting every domain of life. In Facing Social Class, social psychologists Susan Fiske and Hazel Rose Markus, and a team of sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, and legal scholars, examine the many ways we communicate our class position to others and how social class shapes our daily, face-to-face interactions—from casual exchanges to interactions at school, work, and home. Facing Social Class exposes the contradiction between the American ideal of equal opportunity and the harsh reality of growing inequality, and it shows how this tension is reflected in cultural ideas and values, institutional practices, everyday social interactions, and psychological tendencies. Contributor Joan Williams examines cultural differences between middle- and working-class people and shows how the cultural gap between social class groups can influence everything from voting practices and political beliefs to work habits, home life, and social behaviors. In a similar vein, Annette Lareau and Jessica McCrory Calarco analyze the cultural advantages or disadvantages exhibited by different classes in institutional settings, such as those between parents and teachers. They find that middle-class parents are better able to advocate effectively for their children in school than are working-class parents, who are less likely to challenge a teacher's authority. Michael Kraus, Michelle Rheinschmidt, and Paul Piff explore the subtle ways we signal class status in social situations. Conversational style and how close one person stands to another, for example, can influence the balance of power in a business interaction. Diana Sanchez and Julie Garcia even demonstrate that markers of low socioeconomic status such as incarceration or unemployment can influence whether individuals are categorized as white or black—a finding that underscores how race and class may work in tandem to shape advantage or disadvantage in social interactions. The United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality and one of the lowest levels of social mobility among industrialized nations, yet many Americans continue to buy into the myth that theirs is a classless society. Facing Social Class faces the reality of how social class operates in our daily lives, why it is so pervasive, and what can be done to alleviate its effects.
Author: Jilly Cooper
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-12-23
CLASS IS DEAD! Or so everyone claims. Who better to refute this than Jilly Cooper! Describing herself as 'upper middle class', Jilly claims that snobbery is very much alive and thriving! Meet her hilarious characters! People like Harry Stow-Crat, Mr and Mrs Nouveau-Richards, Samantha and Gideon Upward, and Jen Teale and her husband Brian. Roar with laughter at her horribly unfair observations on their everyday pretensions - their sexual courtships, choice of furnishings, clothes, education, food, careers and ambitions... For they will all remind you of people that you know!
Author: Paul Fussell
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: 1991
A satirical reference work identifies and stigmatizes various contemporary examples of public relations attempts to make unnecessary--or downright bad--products seem necessary, discussing banks, restaurants, and canned music
Presents a series of anecdotes that tell the history and meaning of American uniforms, identifying their cultural significance in terms of how uniforms unite and divide people as well as how they vary throughout the world. Reprint.
Author: Steven Brill
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-08-14
In a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. IN a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. Brill’s vivid narrative—filled with unexpected twists and turns—takes us from the Oval Office, where President Obama signs off on an unprecedented plan that will infuriate the teachers’ unions because it offers billions to states that win an education reform “contest”; to boisterous assemblies, where parents join the fight over their children’s schools; to a Fifth Avenue apartment, where billionaires plan a secret fund to promote school reform; to a Colorado high school, where students who seemed destined to fail are instead propelled to college; to state capitols across the country, where school reformers hoping to win Obama’s “contest” push bills that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It’s the story of an unlikely army—fed-up public school parents, Ivy League idealists, hedge-funders, civil rights activists, conservative Republicans, insurgent Democrats—squaring off against unions that the reformers claim are protecting a system that works for the adults but victimizes the children. Class Warfare is filled with extraordinary people taking extraordinary paths: a young woman who goes into teaching almost by accident, then becomes so talented and driven that fighting burnout becomes her biggest challenge; an antitrust lawyer who almost brought down Bill Gates’s Microsoft and now forms a partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates to overhaul New York’s schools; a naïve Princeton student who launches an army of school reformers with her senior thesis; a California teachers’ union lobbyist who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles and then the union’s prime antagonist; a stubborn young teacher who, as a child growing up on Park Avenue, had been assumed to be learning disabled but ends up co-founding the nation’s most successful charter schools; and an anguished national union leader who walks a tightrope between compromising enough to save her union and giving in so much that her members will throw her out. Brill not only takes us inside their roller-coaster battles, he also concludes with a surprising prescription for what it will take from both sides to put the American dream back in America’s schools.
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins. Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Laura Schwartz
Release Date: 2013-07-31
Communications wunderkind Laura Schwartz networked her way from answering phones for President Clinton's press office at age 19 to producing more than 1,000 events as the White House Director of Events. In her first book, Eat, Drink & Succeed, Schwartz, now a professional speaker and national television commentator, shares the secrets that skyrocketed her onto the world stage. Taking a cue from show biz, she presents her strategy in fun and easy-to-follow steps: Setting the Scene, Casting Call, Dress Rehearsal, Showtime and Encore! Eat, Drink & Succeed is an entertaining and enlightening read, appropriate for boardroom or beachside. $16.95, in stores, on Amazon and at www.EatDrinkandSucceed.com. Today, Schwartz is a professional motivational speaker presenting to Fortune's Top 50 and 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, teaching people of all ages how they too, can: EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED!
In White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society and shows how poor whites have been deeply ingrained in the country's history for the past 400 years. They were central to the both the Civil War itself and the rise of the Republican Party, and still today feature in reality TV as entertainment. White trash have always been an integral part of the American identity, and here their history in both culture and politics in explored in depth. A fascinating work that's timely to today's public debate about rich and poor.