1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies

Edited By Michele Fazio, Christie Launius, Tim Strangleman Copyright 2021
    544 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    544 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    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