Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies

ISBN 9780367610821
Published June 10, 2022 by Routledge
544 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies is a timely volume that provides an overview of this interdisciplinary field that emerged in the 1990s in the context of deindustrialization, the rise of the service economy, and economic and cultural globalization. The Handbook brings together scholars, teachers, activists, and organizers from across three continents to focus on the study of working-class peoples, cultures, and politics in all their complexity and diversity.  

The Handbook maps the current state of the field and presents a visionary agenda for future research by mingling the voices and perspectives of founding and emerging scholars. In addition to a framing Introduction and Conclusion written by the co-editors, the volume is divided into six sections: Methods and principles of research in working-class studies; Class and education; Work and community; Working-class cultures; Representations; and Activism and collective action. Each of the six sections opens with an overview that synthesizes research in the area and briefly summarizes each of the chapters in the section. Throughout the volume, contributors from various disciplines explore the ways in which experiences and understandings of class have shifted rapidly as a result of economic and cultural globalization, social and political changes, and global financial crises of the past two decades.

Written in a clear and accessible style, the Handbook is a comprehensive interdisciplinary anthology for this young but maturing field, foregrounding transnational and intersectional perspectives on working-class people and issues and focusing on teaching and activism in addition to scholarly research. It is a valuable resource for activists, as well as working-class studies researchers and teachers across the social sciences, arts, and humanities, and it can also be used as a textbook for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses.

Table of Contents


Michele Fazio, Christie Launius, and Tim Strangleman

Part I: Methods and Principles of Research in Working-Class Studies

Section Introduction: Methods and Principles of Research in Working-Class Studies

Christie Launius

1. Class Analysis from the Inside: Scholarly Personal Narrative as a Signature Genre of Working-Class Studies

Sherry Lee Linkon

2. Reconceiving Class in Contemporary Working-Class Studies

Joseph Entin

3. Mediating Stories of Class Borders: First Generation College Students, Digital Storytelling, and Social Class

Jane A. Van Galen

4. The ‘How to’ of Working-Class Studies: Selves, Stories, and Working Across Media

Christine J. Walley

Part II: Class and Education 

Section Introduction: Class and Education

Allison L. Hurst

5. Class Beyond the Classroom: Supporting Working-Class and First-Generation Students, Faculty, and Staff

Colby R. King and Sean H. McPherson

6. Working Class Student Experiences: Towards a Social Class-Sensitive Pedagogy for K-12 Schools, Teachers, and Teacher Educators

Colleen H. Clements and Mark D. Vagle

7. The Pedagogy of Class: Teaching Working-Class Life and Culture in the Academy

Lisa A. Kirby

8. Being Working Class in the English Classroom

Diane Reay

9. Getting Schooled: Working-Class Students in Higher Education

Bettina Spencer

10. Learning Our Place: Social Reproduction in K-12 Schooling

Deborah M. Warnock

Part III: Work and Community

Section Introduction: Work and Community

Tim Strangleman

11. Deindustrialization and Its Consequences

Steven High

12. Economic Dislocation and Trauma

Patrick Korte and Victor Tan Chen

13. Working-Class Studies, Oral History and Industrial Illness

Arthur McIvor

14. Precarity’s Affects: The Trauma of Deindustrialization

Kathryn Marie Dudley

15. Feeling, Re-imagined in Common: Working with Social Haunting in the English Coalfields

Geoff Bright

Part IV: Working-Class Cultures 

Section Introduction: Working-Class Cultures

Tim Strangleman

16. There Is a Genuine Working-Class Culture

Jack Metzgar

17. Class, Culture, and Inequality

Jessi Streib

18. Post-Traumatic Living: Precarious Employment and Learned Helplessness in the Working Class

Barbara Jensen

19. Activist Class Cultures

Betsy Leondar-Wright

20. The Australian Working Class in Popular Culture

Sarah Attfield

Part V: Representations

Section Introduction: Representations

Michelle M. Tokarczyk

21. Writing Dubai: Indian Labour Migrants and Taxi Topographies

Christiane Schlote

22. The Cinema of the Precariat

Tom Zaniello

23. The ‘Body of Labor’ in U.S. Postwar Documentary Photography: A Working-Class Studies Perspective

Carol Quirke

24. Mapping Working-Class Art

Janet Zandy

25. 'Things that are left out': Working-Class Writing and the Idea of Literature

Ben Clarke

26. Lit-Grit: The Gritty and the Grim in Working-Class Cultural Production

Simon Lee

27. Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor, Prison Writing

Nathaniel Heggins Bryant

28. Marketing Millennial Women: Embodied Class Performativity on American Television

Jennifer H. Forsberg

Part VI: Activism and Collective Action

Section Introduction: Activism and Collective Action

Scott Henkel

29. From Stigma to Solution: Centering the Community College through Activism in the

Classroom and the Community

Karen Gaffney

30. Border Crossing with Day Laborers and Affordable Housing Activists

Terry Easton

31. Finding Class in Food Justice Efforts

Leslie Hossfeld, E. Brooke Kelly, and Julia F. Waity

32. The Mutual Determination of Class and Race in the United States: History and Current Implications

Michael Zweig

33. Documenting Lumbee Working-Class History: A Service-Learning Approach

Michele Fazio

34. Precarious Workers and Social Mobilization in Portuguese Call Centre Assembly Lines

Isabel Roque

35. Post-Fordist Affect: Unions, the Labor Movement, and the Weight of History

Joseph Varga


Michele Fazio, Christie Launius and Tim Strangleman

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Michele Fazio is Professor of English and Coordinator of Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, US.

Christie Launius is Associate Professor and Head of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department at Kansas State University, US.

Tim Strangleman is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, SSPSSR, at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.


"This book is far-reaching in its purview. Ranging from a welcome account of working-class studies over the past 25 years to in-depth treatments of working people’s lives, communities, cultures, struggles, oppressions and activism in different places and at different times, it highlights the inherently multi-disciplinary nature of this field of research. Collectively and individually, the contributions focus attention on continuities and changes, intersections and conflicts at work and at play, through words, deeds and representations. At this time of global crisis, the book provides a firm foundation for reflection and for intellectual and political engagement with the lives of those on the labour front lines in the past, present and future."

- Lucy Taksa, Professor and Director, Centre for Workforce Futures, Macquarie Business School

"The relatively young field of Working-Class Studies announces its growing maturity and importance in this wide-ranging collection. Offering contributions from leaders in the field and from fresh new voices, this handbook crosses borders of race, gender, and nation in showing how class and work matter in popular culture, workplaces, schools, prisons, literature, and beyond. Attentive to methodologies and lived experiences it will ground a new generation of scholarship."

- David Roediger, Foundation Professor of American Studies, University of Kansas