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The working class majority : America's best kept secret /
Michael Zweig.
Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press, 2000.
viii, 198 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
0801487277 (pbk. : alk. paper)
More Details
Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press, 2000.
0801487277 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Review Quotes
"Even in post-Cold War America this working class has very different economic interests from capitalists and the professional class. Zweig believes that workers must understand this idea in order to unite across race and gender divisions to define and solve their economic plight. This book is convincingly argued, well documented with economic statistics and personal interviews, and upbeat in its conclusion. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries."-Library Journal. May, 2000.
"For 50 years 'class' was a forbidden word on the shores of the United States. Michael Zweig's excellent text-The Working Class Majority-exposes the realities of class power and class politics in the contemporary USA. This is a book for working class activists, whether fighting for justice in the workplace or in the community."-Bill Fletcher, Jr., Assistant to the President, AFL-CIO
"For Zweig, our station in the world of work determines our fate. And in the power grid of the workplace, someone else makes the decisions, so everyone else is 'powerless' and 'vulnerable' As Zweig himself admits: "Life and politics are complicated, in part, because we as individuals have many 'identities' that shape us."-Ronald D. Elving, Washington Post Book World. July 16, 2000.
"In this pungent critique of class and economics in the United States - part economic theory part political lecture and part reportage of working class life - Zweig offers an insightful, radical analysis that will make many readers rethink commonly held but unexamined beliefs. . . Zweig supports his arguments with statistics, facts and personal stories and argues with a forcefulness and conviction backed by a deeply moral sense of the dignity that is due to each person in their work and workplace."-Publishers Weekly. May 15, 2000.
"Michael Zweig does a good job exposing the attempts to scapegoat welfare recipients, immigrants, and foreigners, etc., and shows how recent policies aimed at these groups as the cause of the declining living standard of working class Americans are profoundly class driven in their intent and outcome. As well, Zweig writes in a clear and interesting style about these complicated topics-a useful book."-Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Harvard University Trade Union Program
"Michael Zweig provides us with a much needed discussion of class in contemporary American society. . . . Zweig provides a clearly defined treatise on class issues. While students can benefit from the exposure to a perspective that is currently missing from the public landscape, union organizers and activist can also profit from his discussions of worker power and the rebirth of a democratic social movement among working people."-Barbara Thomas Coventry, University of Toledo. Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 31, No. 1
"The Working Class Majority is in the finest tradition of popular economics education while at the same time making a genuine scholarly contribution to the literatures on class and inequality. Michael Zweig's major contention is that class matters both with respect to power and to life chances. . . . This book is a controversial but entirely fresh contribution to the debate."-Stanley Aronowitz, City University of New York
"Those who take (rather than give) orders at work are the working class; at 62% of the labor force, they are a majority distracted and diverted from its best interests for several generations. Zweig suggests the implications of this analysis for a number of key political issues, including the 'underclass,' 'family values,'globalization and what workers get (and should get) from government. Putting class back on the table produces thoughtful, provocative analysis of where the nation is going and what working people could do about it."-Mary Carroll. Booklist. May 15, 2000.
"Trends toward globalization and privatization exacerbate workers' lack of meaningful influence over corporate activities, particularly legal regulation. . . . Zweig advocates working-class organization through labor unions and political action groups. He sees 'signs of optimism' in the new leadership of the labor movement and renewed social activism among college students. Altogether, the study makes a convincing case about the working class and its implications for the US economy and society. Readable at all levels."-Choice. November, 2000
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2001
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Main Description
The United States is not a middle class society. Michael Zweig shows that the majority of Americans are actually working class and argues that recognizing this fact is essential if that majority is to achieve political influence and social strength. "Class," Zweig writes, "is primarily a matter of power, not income." He goes beyond old formulations of class to explore ways in which class interacts with race and gender. Defining "working class" as those who have little control over the pace and content of their work and who do not supervise others, Zweig warns that by allowing this class to disappear into categories of middle class or consumers, we also allow those with the dominant power, capitalists, to vanish among the rich. Economic relations then appear as comparisons of income or lifestyle rather than as what they truly are-contests of power, at work and in the larger society. Using personal interviews, solid research, and down-to-earth examples, Zweig looks at a number of important contemporary social problems: the growing inequality of income and wealth, welfare reform, globalization, the role of government, and the family values debate. He shows how, with class in mind, our understanding of these issues undergoes a radical shift. Believing that we must limit the power of capitalists to abuse workers, communities, and the environment, Zweig offers concrete ideas for the creation of a new working class politics in the United States.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Michael Zweig argues that the majority of Americans are actually working class & that recognizing this identity is essential to achieving political influence & social strength.
Unpaid Annotation
The United States is not a middle class society. Michael Zweig shows that the majority of Americans are actually working class and argues that recognizing this fact is essential if that majority is to achieve political influence and social strength. "Class", Zweig writes, "is primarily a matter of power, not income".
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Class Structure of the United Statesp. 9
What We Think about When We Think about Classp. 39
Why Is Class Important?p. 61
Looking at "The Underclass"p. 77
Looking at Values--Family and Otherwisep. 95
The Working Class and Powerp. 115
Power and Globalizationp. 141
Power and the Governmentp. 153
Into the Millenniump. 169
Working Class Resource Guidep. 175
Notesp. 181
Indexp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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