Upcoming Talk: Belonging in Higher-Ed and in Our Communities

“Finding a sense of belonging in academia is one thing. And maintaining a sense of belonging in our communities feels just as important (and sometimes harder), in my experience,” says Miranda Mosier-Puentes.

Join us December 4, 2023, 12:00-1:30pm Pacific time, for “Belonging in Higher-Ed and in Our Communities,” a Zoom talk featuring Mosier-Puentes, Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies at Portland State University, and special guests. The third in our recent series of Free Talks, this discussion is co-sponsored by the WCSA, WCA, and Portland State University as we work toward organizing locally and across distances.

Please click here to join the Zoom meeting room for this talk. Hope to see you there!

Miranda Mosier-Puentes

Call for Presentations: 2023 WCSA Symposium & Leadership Retreat

Hello All! 

The Conference Organizing Committee is happy to announce the Call for Presentations for our upcoming event in Chicago and on Zoom, June 15-17th 2023! 

Please help us organize and grow by taking a minute to think about who you’d like to be there and then… invite them to come! 

We look forward to seeing you!

Love & Solidarity, 

The Conference Organizing Committee: Jen Vernon, president-elect & chair, honored to be working with Jackie Gabriel, Sarah Attfield, Michael Zweig, Christie Launius, Kim McAloney, Tim Sheard, Michelle Tokarczyk, and Lisa Kirby (what a crew!)

Working-Class Perspectives, October

Working 9 to 5: Class Diversity and Clerical Organizing by Ellen Cassedy

“The early 1970s was a time of profound economic transformation. Women from across the class spectrum were flooding into the workforce by the millions. I was one of them.  At the age of 22, I was among ten women standing outside Boston’s subway stops handing out the first issue of a new newsletter aimed at women office workers.  Our goal was to shake things up in the banks, insurance companies, law firms, and universities that dominated the city’s economy.  We were young and green, but we sensed that we were on to something big.”

Democracy Is on the Ballot by Joseph A. McCartin

“Fortunately, whether democracy survives this time of peril will not depend only on what happens when the votes are counted on November 8, as important as those results will be. Electoral democracy can also be strengthened by another form of democracy that is also on ballots this fall: union elections and strike votes.  In those exercises of the democratic voice, we are currently witnessing a renaissance of majority rule. “

How Big Is the Working Class – and Why Does It Matter? by Jack Metzgar

“So instead of one intractable problem – class bias among the political and communications elites – I see two.  Democrats need to resist that class bias within their own ranks and at the same time find ways to speak to both working-class needs and values and professional class interests, and without ignoring their own and voters’ interests as women, people of color, and more.”

Deadbeat Creditors and Other Tales of Moral Hazard by Allison Hurst

“We dreamed about debt relief and what it would be like if we could get a fresh start.  Maybe this would allow us to move someplace more congenial or find a job with a real career path.  On hearing this discussion, however, one attendee took to chastising us for trying to avoid our debts.  ‘Even if they told me I wouldn’t have to repay my loans, I would!’ he said fiercely.  We all hung our heads, shamed.”

Free Webinar on Working-Class Voters!

WCSA is excited to sponsor this free webinar on Oct. 30 at 8pm EST. Here’s a note from one of the hosts, Besty Leondar-Wright!

“Hello friends,

Anxious about the midterm elections? Wondering what’s the story behind surprising voting behavior?

I hope you’ll join me, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Farah Stockman and author Jack Metzgar as we break stereotypes of white working-class voters and encourage cross-class alliances during this free webinar, sponsored by the Working-Class Studies Association on Sunday October 30 at 8 pm Eastern. Register here: https://www.tinyurl.com/wwcvoters

Hope to see you there,


Calling all working-class and first-gen sociologists!

If you would be willing to participate in a qualitative study of the impacts of class background on our lives and work as sociologists, please send an email to Allison Hurst at hursta@oregonstate.edu.  

We are looking for about five more people to interview before we conclude data collection! 

*Note: Our sample includes sociologists at all levels of their career, including graduate students, who either grew up working class/identify as a WCA OR were the first in their families to graduate from college OR grew up poor.

This Week’s Working-Class Perspectives

We understand war through the stories and images available to us, which may not always capture the economic hardships that war brings. In the case of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, videos and photographs offer stories of collective efforts by Ukrainians but also the individual characters of Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.

As media critic James V. Catano writes in this week’s Working-Class Perspectives, they have been presented in terms that reflect contrasting versions of masculinity, one an elitist executive and the other the heroic leader of a group of equals. Yet as Catano reminds us, the war’s primary victims are those at the bottom of the economic ladder.