In recent years, the world has been re-introduced to the constituency of "white working class" people. In a wave of revolutionary populism, far right parties have scored victories across the transatlantic political world: Britain voted to leave the European Union, the United States elected President Donald Trump to enact an "America First" agenda, and Radical Right movements are threatening European centrists in elections across the Continent. In each case, white working class people are driving a broad reaction to the inequities and social change brought by globalization, and its cosmopolitan champions. In the midst of this rebellion, a new group consciousness has emerged among the very people who not so long ago could take their political, economic, and cultural primacy for granted.
Who are white working class people? What do they believe? Are white working class people an "interest group"? What has driven them to break so sharply with the world's trajectory toward a more borderless, interconnected meritocracy? How can a group with such enduring power feel marginalized? This perplexing constituency must be understood if the world is to address and respond to the social and political backlash they are driving. The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides the context for understanding the politics of this large, perplexing group of people. The book begins by explaining what "white working class" means in terms of demographics, history, and geography, as well as the ways in which this group defines itself and has been defined by others. It will address whether white identity is on the rise, why white people perceive themselves as marginalized, and the roles of racism and xenophobia in white consciousness. It will also look at whether the white working class has distinct political attitudes, their voting behavior, and their prospects for the future. This accessible book provides a nuanced view into the forces driving one of the most complicated and consequential political constituencies today.
1) Introduction and definitionsa) What does it mean to be "white"?b) What does it mean to be "working class"?c) How do these understandings change across Western countries?d) What are the narratives of the white working class across time?e) What are the demographics of white working class people?f) Where are white working class people the most politicized?2) White working class people and identitya) Is white identity on the rise?b) Why has whiteness grown in salience rather than working class social status?c) Why do white working class people feel marginalized?d) Can we think of white working class people as a "minority"?e) Is white working class angst merely racism?f) Why is immigration so pivotal to white working class politics?3) White working class policy attitudes and beliefsa) Are white working class interests distinct?b) What are white working class policy attitudes?c) Do white working class people vote against their own interests?d) Do white working class people consume fewer government resources than others?e) Are white working class people really losing jobs to immigrants and minority groups?f) What drives tolerance and intolerance of minority groups?4) White working class people and votinga) What are white working class partisanship trends over time?b) What are white working class ideological trends over time?c) To what extent do white working class people support the Radical Right?d) Why do white working class people support Radical Right candidates and parties?e) Why do white working class people support Donald Trump?f) How has the election of Donald Trump affected white working class views?5) The future of white working class peoplea) Was the white working class ever "on top"?b) Are white working class people "trapped" in poverty?c) Do they have more in common with other working class people than with whites?d) How has the decline in unions affected white working class politics?e) Can we speak of a white working class voting bloc? (Silos, Sorting, Group Conscious)f) Can Donald Trump or anyone else "save" the white working class?