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Cover Art
Author Leondar-Wright, Betsy, author.

Title Missing class : strengthening social movement groups by seeing class cultures / Betsy Leondar-Wright.

Published Ithaca : ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, 2014.


Location Call No. Status
Physical description 1 online resource
Series Book collections on Project MUSE.
Books at JSTOR Evidence Based Acquisitions
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction: activist class cultures as a key to movement building -- Why look through a class lens? : five stories through three lenses -- Applying class concepts to US activists -- Four class categories of activists and their typical group troubles -- Movement traditions and their class cultural troubles -- Where is everybody? : approaches to recruitment and group cohesion -- Class speech differences I : humor and laughter -- Activating the inactive : leadership and group process solutions that backfire -- Class speech differences II : abstract and concrete vocabulary -- Class speech differences III : racial terms -- Diversity ironies : clashing anti-racism frames and practices -- Class speech differences IV : talking long, talking often -- Overtalkers : coping with the universal pet peeve -- Class speech differences V : anger, swearing, and insults -- Activists behaving badly : responses to extreme behavior violations -- Class speech differences VI : missing class talk -- Conclusion : building a movement with the strengths of all class cultures.
Summary Many activists worry about the same few problems in their groups: low turnout, inactive members, conflicting views on racism, overtalking, and offensive violations of group norms. But in searching for solutions to these predictable and intractable troubles, progressive social movement groups overlook class culture differences. In Missing Class, Betsy Leondar-Wright uses a class-focused lens to show that members with different class life experiences tend to approach these problems differently. This perspective enables readers to envision new solutions that draw on the strengths of all class cultures to form the basis of stronger cross-class and multiracial movements. The first comprehensive empirical study of US activist class cultures, Missing Class looks at class dynamics in 25 groups that span the gamut of social movement organizations in the United States today, including the labor movement, grassroots community organizing, and groups working on global causes in the anarchist and progressive traditions. Leondar-Wright applies Pierre Bourdieu's theories of cultural capital and habitus to four class trajectories: lifelong working-class and poor; lifelong professional middle class; voluntarily downwardly mobile; and upwardly mobile.Compellingly written for both activists and social scientists, this book describes class differences in paths to activism, attitudes toward leadership, methods of conflict resolution, ways of using language, diversity practices, use of humor, methods of recruiting, and group process preferences. Too often, we miss class. Missing Class makes a persuasive case that seeing class culture differences could enable activists to strengthen their own groups and build more durable cross-class alliances for social justice.
Other author JSTOR issuing body.
Subject Social classes -- United States.
Social movements -- United States.
Speech and social status -- United States.
Class consciousness -- United States.
Intercultural communication -- United States.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
ISBN 9780801470714 (electronic bk.)
0801470714 (electronic bk.)