Class Reunion: The Remaking of the American White Working by Lois Weis

By Lois Weis

Famous pupil Lois Weis first visited town of "Freeway" in her 1990 e-book, operating category with no paintings. In that publication we met the scholars and academics of Freeway's highschool to appreciate how those working-class parents made experience in their lives. Now, fifteen years later, Weis has long past again to highway for sophistication Reunion. This time her concentration is at the now grown-up scholars who're, for the main half, nonetheless operating classification and now suffering to outlive the demanding situations of the worldwide economic climate. category Reunion is an extraordinary and important longitudinal ethnographic research that offers robust, provocative perception into how the lives of those women and men have replaced over the past decades--and what their clients could be for the long run.

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LOIS: Do you think your wife will work? ROB: Hopefully she won’t have to, ‘cause I’ll make enough money. LOIS: Would you rather she didn’t work? ROB: Naw. ] 36 ● CLASS REUNION LOIS: Women shouldn’t work? ROB: Housework. *** JIM: Yes, I’d like to get married, like to get myself a nice house, with kids. LOIS: Who is going to be taking care of those kids? JIM: Depends how rich I am. If I’m making a good salary, I assume that the wife, if she wanted to, would stay home and tend to the kids. If there was ever a chance when she wanted to go someplace, fine, I’d watch the kids.

Social Studies, April 5, 1986 [Ed gets his test back. ] 30 ● CLASS REUNION ED: [Smiling] I like to see those passing marks. *** Social Studies, April 5, 1986 PAUL: [Teacher passes the test back. ] I passed! ] The vast majority of students, males in particular, are concerned only with passing the course. 2 Grades follow suit here: my analysis of all grades over a three-year time period indicates that grades for white students tend to be in the mid to high 70s. Most, in fact, end up with Cs and Ds, but they do pass.

This emerging contradictory couplet is tied, I suggest, to an economy that leaves precious little room for a working class as these students know it. A TIME OF PAIN ● 35 Gender Relations/Patriarchal Relations A second (and linked) aspect deeply ingrained in white working-class male identity is sexism. Most articulate on this point is Willis, but others have noted this entrenched sexism as well. White working-class male identity is formed in fundamental ways against and with that formed by and about females.

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