Tag: working class

You’ve all heard the cliche. You may have started out as a young socialist, but the older you get the more conservative you become. This is the smug claim of people who never had a sense of reality. It’s always worth asking if such smug claims stand up to scrutiny. (More…)

The new publication of A History of American Working-Class Literature from Cambridge University Press provides a moment to ask some questions: Is it dead? And who reads it, especially when so few people in the contemporary United States want to understand themselves as working-class? (More…)

In the wake of Brexit, we were told the vote was a great revolt by the white working-class. We were told it was grounded in racist discontent with an out-of-touch metropolitan elite. The Leave vote was entirely composed of ill-educated, poor racists living anywhere between the progressive bastions of London and Scotland. It’s worth asking what’s wrong with this view.  (More…)

Television sets: almost every house has one. When we’re out in the mining towns of southern Arizona photographing the wreckage of the American Dream, there are some things that we always find. Refrigerators, beds, stoves, sofas, clothing, knickknacks, pots and pans sit in the abandoned houses scattered across the Copper Belt, ghosts of a domestic life once lived and now long gone. (More…)

When coming across photos of anonymous people, it is impossible not to relate them to our own lives and memories somehow. Often we have an intense positive or negative response to the people looking out of these photographs and the history they represent. The universality of life represented in the photographs — birthdays, weddings, family vacations — crosses economic and gender boundaries.

What we see in photos are events of life and the emotional record of those events. Traces of personal identity become blurred with our own relationship to the events. (More…)