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 and Other Identities

White Women from Working-Class Backgrounds

I am a plus-size woman in a social science graduate program. I come from a working class background and am the first woman in my family to earn a college degree. I feel my graduate student experience differs from my peers because I have a visible class identity (body size). I've been told by two feminist women professors as well as middle class women students that I should lose weight to gain greater social acceptance. This seems like a class dynamic to me because at the same time my identity is confronted I am reading great books by feminists about body acceptance. I feel that my body size became an issue when I expressed interest in a PhD.

— Julie Withers

I am one of very few white women who earn over $150,000 annually. I always feel I have my hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, i.e., that I'm not supposed to be earning 6 figures for what I do. I've been without a domestic partner for 10 years in part because differing income levels always became an issue. There aren't that many lesbians earning 6 figures. Sadly, I'm estranged from my sister (who is also a lesbian) because she believes I am not allowed to have work problems — or any problems — because I make so much money. There's more, of course, but this is the gist of it. As a white woman over 50, it's class more than sexuality that separates me from family and community.

— Kate Davy

Two things that impact my class experience that I never thought would: the number of children I have and my sexual identity. Who knew. My partner and I have 4 kids, which greatly impacts our ability to support ourselves. We also are alienated from people who share our class backgrounds — both childhood and current — because we're queer. So many queer parents are fairly wealthy. We are both young and low income, so we don't connect. I come from a working class family and my partner from a working poor family. Neither of those identities have helped us connect with other people at all. I think our difficulty in connecting has more to do with being mothers and young and queer. People who are queer and working class tend not to have kids the same ages as our kids, maybe. We are definitely seeing in the queer parenting circles a ton of doctor/lawyer/rabbi/psychologist types. They live in nicey neighborhoods and they're older than we are. They also won't speak to us. We are sort of sore thumbs in any social situation. A lot of kids. We aren't that young — neither of us were teen moms, but our oldest is 13 and our youngest is 5 and we're 32 & 34. We had kids youngish, but not as young as other people in our families. Maybe we're between classes and that is a problem. I think if we weren't queer, we would be more likely to hang out with more working class people (because maybe they'd have us) and be slightly less isolated. I think, also, that people are just isolated these days.

— Sarah