Class Matters Workshops

Download this brochure for more information on Class Matters workshops.

If you're interested in hosting a workshop, please click here for a brochure, or contact me about booking an event.

Order Class Matters

Class Matters book cover

Order Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists by Betsy Leondar-Wright (New Society Publishers, 2005).

Press Coverage of CM

Classist Comments

What's the most classist thing you ever heard someone say?

(I'm not talking about someone like Bill O'Reilly or your right-wing uncle. More specifically, what's the most classist thing you ever heard a liberal or progressive person say?)

Read five interviewees' answers — and my own.

Class and Other Identities

How do you experience class differently because of your race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, or other identity? What class dynamics do you notice within your identity groups?

Here's how a few visitors answered those questions:

And answers from the Class Matters book:

Class Culture Aspects to Labor/Environmental Conflicts

Playing power politics to advance shared interests makes sense from a rooted, working-class life experience. Individuals voluntarily coming together based on shared values to educate the public — this makes sense from an unrooted, middle-class life experience. From his interviews with timber workers and environmentalists locked in conflict over old-growth forests in the Northwest, Fred Rose concludes in Coalitions Across the Class Divide:

"Loggers and environmentalists come from alien realities, and each side misinterprets the other through its own cultural framework. … Laborers must conform to work rules and the pace of production. Unions confront this external power by organizing workers' ability to deprive management of their labor…While the working class is regulated by externally imposed rewards and punishments, the middle class internalizes the rules that regulate their lives. Personal goals and ambitions to succeed are developed early and pursued without supervision. In the workplace, outcomes are rewarded rather than tasks being monitored. People choose to work for causes that provide a sense of identity, purpose and value … Relations with family members, peers in school and work, and neighbors tend to be inherited in working-class communities. By contrast the middle class defines itself by its activities and accomplishments. … Because of these class-based cultural differences, working- and middle-class movements have difficulty perceiving their common interests and working together. … Working-class unions and middle-class environmentalists seek change differently. The working class seeks to build power to confront external threats, while the middle class hopes to change people's motivations, ideas, and morality."