Understanding Class Issues and Why They Matter
Michelle M. Tokarczyk, Ph.D.
Webinar: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Many Americans have difficulty talking about class. While progressives have emphasized the need to understand what’s been called the trinity of oppression— race, class, and gender—class is frequently omitted from meaningful consideration. This webinar will examine why it is so difficult to conceptualize and thus talk about class difference. We’ll delve into the myth of the United States as a classless society, examine the slipperiness of class markers, and discuss what descriptors like wealthy and working class mean to people. The webinar will explore class as relational and fluid. When we consider socioeconomic class, we will consider economics, power, and aspirations.
Michelle M. Tokarczyk is a professor of English and an affiliate of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Goucher College. She has been active in working-class studies for almost 30 years. Her first co-edited anthology Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory, received Honorable Mention as one of the Best Books of the 1990s in Lingua Franca and the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthologies. She has subsequently published on working-class literature and working-class undergraduates. Tokarczyk has been an active member of the Working-Class Studies Association since 2003, and has served as its president. Her blog posts have appeared in Working-Class Perspectives and Contemporary Conditions. She is also active in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), advocating for faculty rights as president of Goucher’s chapter of the AAUP and of the Maryland State Committee of the AAUP. Her recently published book of poetry Bronx Migrations depicts the lives of a working-class family migrating from the Bronx and the borough’s struggles in the tumultuous 1960s through the 1980s.