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:

Reality Check: Who has how much money?

Many Americans guess wrong about how their income and assets rank among the population as a whole.

Compare your income

Household income in 2002
Lowest fifth $17,916 or less
Second fifth $17,917 to $33,377
Middle fifth $33,378 to $53,162
Fourth fifth $53,163 to $84,016
Top fifth $84,017 or more
Top 5% $150,002 or more

Source: U.S. Census

Compare your wealth

Average (mean) household net worth in 2001
Lowest fifth Negative (more debts than assets)
Lowest 40% as a whole $2,900
Middle fifth $75,000
Fourth fifth $215,300
81st to 90th percentile $490,300
91st to 95th percentile $937,400
96th to 99th percentile $2,453,000
Top 1% $12,692,000

Source: Edward Wolff's analysis of Federal Reserve data.

"Like Parent, Like Child"

Recent studies find that there is less income mobility from one generation to another than previously believed.

Parents' Income Quintile Chance of children attaining each income level... this percent.
Top 20% Top Quintile 42.3%
Middle Quintile 16.5%
Bottom Quintile 6.3%
Middle 20% Top Quintile 15.3%
Middle Quintile 25.0%
Bottom Quintile 17.3%
Bottom 20% Top Quintile 7.3%
Middle Quintile 18.4%
Bottom Quintile 37.3%

Source: Thomas Hertz, American University, cited by Alan B. Krueger, "Economic Scene: The apple falls close to the tree, even in the land of opportunity," New York Times, November 14, 2002

"The data challenge the notion that the United States is an exceptionally mobile society. If the United States stands out in comparison with other countries, it is in having a more static distribution of income across generations with fewer opportunities for advancement."

— Alan Krueger