Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity [NOOK Book]

Overview

Polls tell us that most Americans--whether they earn $20,000 or $200,000 a year--think of themselves as middle class. As this phenomenon suggests, "middle class" is a category whose definition is not necessarily self-evident. In this book, historian Daniel Walkowitz approaches the question of what it means to be middle class from an innovative angle. Focusing on the history of social workers--who daily patrol the boundaries of class--he ...
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Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity

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Overview

Polls tell us that most Americans--whether they earn $20,000 or $200,000 a year--think of themselves as middle class. As this phenomenon suggests, "middle class" is a category whose definition is not necessarily self-evident. In this book, historian Daniel Walkowitz approaches the question of what it means to be middle class from an innovative angle. Focusing on the history of social workers--who daily patrol the boundaries of class--he examines the changed and contested meaning of the term over the last one hundred years.

Walkowitz uses the study of social workers to explore the interplay of race, ethnicity, and gender with class. He examines the trade union movement within the mostly female field of social work and looks at how a paradigmatic conflict between blacks and Jews in New York City during the 1960s shaped late-twentieth-century social policy concerning work, opportunity, and entitlements. In all, this is a story about the ways race and gender divisions in American society have underlain the confusion about the identity and role of the middle class.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[This] book should become one of the touchstone monographs on American social work.

American Historical Review

[A]n important contribution to the historical literature on the fate of radicalism in American society.

Richard A. Cloward, New Labor Forum

Walkowitz writes with a special sensitivity to the ways in which race and gender influenced events.

Labor History

It is an important contribution to the historical literature on the fate of radicalism in American society.

New Labor Forum

A trenchant critique of the trajectory of social work.

Stanley Aronowitz The Nation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807861202
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/29/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 440
  • Lexile: 1680L (what's this?)
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

A labor historian and filmmaker, Daniel J. Walkowitz is director of the Metropolitan Studies Program and professor of history at New York University.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Prologue: Locating the Middle Class 1
Pt. 1 The Professionalizing Project 25
1 The Invention of the Social Worker 27
2 The Professionalization of the Caseworker 57
3 The Making of a Feminine Professional Identity 87
Pt. 2 The Middle-Class Worker 113
4 The Professional Worker in the Public Sector 115
5 The Professional Worker in the Private Sector 141
6 The Evisceration of the Professional Worker Identity 177
Pt. 3 Race and the Classless Class 209
7 Race and the Modern Professional 211
8 Jews, Blacks, and a Counternarrative for the Middle Class 253
Epilogue: Work and the Politics of the Middle Class 289
Table A.1 Social Workers by Gender and Workplace in the United States and New York City, 1910-1970 323
Table A.2 Religious and Charity Workers in the United States, 1910 324
Table A.3 Religious and Charity Workers in New York City, 1910 324
Table A.4 JBG Budget Sources, 1944-1956 325
Table A.5 African American Social Workers in the United States and New York City, 1910-1960 325
Table A.6 Social Workers and Welfare Service Aides in the New York City Metropolitan Area, 1980 326
Table A.7 Median Annual Earnings and Total Family Income by Gender and Race in the United States, 1969 327
Table A.8 Social Workers by Gender, Hispanic Origin, and Race in the New York City Metropolitan Area, 1990 328
Table A.9 Therapists by Gender, Hispanic Origin, and Race in the United States, 1990 328
Notes 329
Bibliographical Essay 387
Index 399
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