1st Edition

Psychology and the Social Class Worldview A Narrative-Based Introduction

By Anne E. Noonan, William Ming Liu Copyright 2022
    136 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    136 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This unique textbook explores the complex topic of social class, explaining the many psychological nuances of class and classism in people’s lives as subjective and phenomenological experiences.

    Social class can be a deeply personal, complicated topic that is often frustrating and uncomfortable to discuss, and as such has often been a blind spot in teaching and academic literature. For the first time, Noonan and Liu look to address this in one comprehensive text, using a combination of first-person narratives, academic approaches to class, and psychology’s contributions to the subject. Across seven chapters, the book introduces a highly accessible theoretical model of the psychology of social class, Liu’s own Social Class Worldview Model. Using vivid autobiographical texts to bring the theoretical model to life, the authors show how our worldviews develop through interactions with our social class and economic environment and provide a unique array of methods and skill sets to help incorporate the model into teaching. Each section of the book guides the reader through core concepts in the area, from socioeconomic factors, social structures, poverty, race, racism, White privilege, and White supremacy.

    Featuring activity suggestions, discussion questions, and writing prompts to help apply theory to real-life narratives, this is the ideal resource for students and instructors across psychology, sociology, health economics, and social work, as well as anyone taking courses on examining social class.


    Introduction: The Power of Story

    1. Social Class: It’s Complicated
    2. What Does a Psychology of Social Class Look Like?: Internalizing the Structural
    3. Accompanying Essay: The Breadwinner, William Ming Liu

    4. Economic Cultures, Capital Demands and Social Class: Component 1 of the SCWM-R
    5. Accompanying Essays: A Good School, J.D. Scrimgeour; Ghetto Fabulous, Tina Fakhrid-Deen

    6. Development of the Social Class Worldview (Lessons, Levels, and Lenses): Component 2 of the SCWM-R 
    7. Accompanying Essays: Thanks, But No Thanks, Courtney Eldridge; Stink Tree, Anne E. Noonan

    8. Classism Means More Than You Might Think: Component 3 of the SCWM-R
    9. Accompanying Essays: The Poet and the Pauper, Meliza Bañales; Winter Coat, Terri Griffith

    10. Social Class, Race and Intersectionality: A Final Look Before We Go

    Appendix A


    Anne E. Noonan is Professor of Psychology at Salem State University, Massachusetts, USA, where she regularly teaches courses in the writing-intensive curriculum, as well as in the diversity, power dynamics, and social justice curriculum. She is also a published author of creative nonfiction. Her research interests include the psychology of interpersonal relationships, the psychological and subjective aspects of social class and other social constructs, and narrative psychology. 

    William Ming Liu is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Department Chair at the University of Maryland, USA. He is the author or editor of several books on social class in the helping professions, Asian American men and masculinities, and multicultural competencies in counseling. His research interests are in social class and classisms, men and masculinity, and White supremacy and White privileges. 

    'If you’ve ever thought that the topic of social class sounded abstract or dry – or that it was barely relevant to the education of psychologists – this is the text for you. Anne Noonan and William Ming Liu have created a psychological perspective on social class that is comprehensive, scholarly, and politically-literate, but also accessible, spirited, personal, and contemporary. Students and other readers will find engaging essays and exercises throughout the book that invite them into the exploration as they see its connections to other social justice issues and to their development as psychologists and counselors. Highly recommended.'
    Laura Smith, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

    'Reading this wonderful book feels like you are in a conversation with the authors in their living rooms. This book is infused with warmth, intellectual rigor, fascinating narratives, and a call for readers to fully engage in the complex world of social class. The book will inspire many students who will resonate with the content and also will find their life stories represented in the narratives and text. In addition, the authors provided a very insightful perspective on the intersectionality of social identities, creating conceptual connections that are innovative and transformative. I strongly recommend this book for students, instructors, scholars, and interested readers who would like to engage with authors who share themselves and their fascinating ideas with compassion and creativity.'
    David L. Blustein, Boston College, USA