Through both autobiographical reflections on her dual citizenship in the working class and middle class and the life stories of students, clients, and relatives, Jensen brings into focus the clash between the realities of working-class life and middle-class expectations for working-class people. Focusing on education, she finds that at every point in their personal development and educational history, working-class children are misunderstood, ignored, or disrespected by middle-class teachers and administrators. Education, while often hailed as a way to "cross classes," brings with it its own set of conflicts and internal struggles. These problems can lead to a divided self, resulting in alienation and suffering for the upwardly mobile student. Jensen suggests how to increase awareness of the value of working-class cultures to a truly inclusive American society at personal, professional, and societal levels.
|Publisher:||Cornell University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Prologue: What Part of Fridley Are You From? 1
1 Getting Class 9
2 The Invisible Ism 28
3 Belonging versus Becoming 51
4 Behaving versus Blooming 79
5 Identity and Resistance 117
6 Across the Great Divide 146
7 Pain in the Promised Land 178
8 Gathering in Glenville 207
What People are Saying About This
Whether you're middle class or working class, you need to read this book. And if you’re an upwardly mobile 'crossover,' this book could save your sanity. Barbara Jensen has pulled off something extraordinary: she exemplifies her ideas about the strengths of working-class and middle-class cultures by writing in both voices. A crossover herself, she analyzes previous theories and creates a memorable framework, and she tells us heartfelt stories and uses colorful analogies. This powerful book walks its talk.
Working-class culture is an important topic, but it is most often treated as something to overcome. Barbara Jensen's approach is different: she speaks of working-class life from its strengths, without eliding its pain and oppression. Moreover, she writes beautifully.
Like Barbara Jensen, I was born in the working class but moved into the middle class. That journey is rife with perils, as a person must move away from the very people who launched him or her to go on to become something completely different. Coming from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, I was eager to move on with my life. But Jensen, with her stories about the love and decency of her working-class forebears, showed me another way to be working class. It made me rethink some of my core assumptions and reevaluate my initial judgments about where I came from and who I am. Working-class people moving into the middle class rarely see their lives represented. Here, then, is a great example of that kind of life, that kind of experience. Jensen's personal story, combined with her training as a psychologist, make her the perfect person to write this book.