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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What are some good articles/documents you've read as of late about class stratification and/or poverty?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38857 points ) September 19th, 2011

Many of you know I’m now teaching sociology at a university in NY. Tomorrow, I begin a section on class stratification that will last around 2 classes and go into a section on race/ethnicity. Every week, my students are given articles that I find interesting so that they can write brief response papers and work on improving their writing and sociological thinking. I am having trouble locating a thought-provoking recent article on classism, the class struggle, poverty, etc. I would love your help locating an article that would be a good one to give out to my class. So far, I have this one which I liked because of intersections between class and race as well as mainstream/other as well as food/culture links. I will use it if you guys or my FB friends don’t find anything else. :) Thank you!

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

There was a four part series in the NY Times about 5 years ago on Class Matters. I assume you have access to their database; you might find one of them useful if it is current enough for your use.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb I did look into that, thanks! I find most of their articles in this series to be quite basic and these basics I will teach in class, anyhow. I need an article that provides something in addition to what I will teach.

janbb's avatar

(Penguin librarian keeps thinking.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There’s a syndicated writer that covers this alot. He’s black, glasses I think, but I’m drawing a complete blank for his name.

janbb's avatar

How about this one ? It’s a bit dated in references but seems to cover the issues you want.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb Can’t get in. Requres log in information.

janbb's avatar

Dang – I thought the link would just bring it up. Do you have access to databases from home?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb I’m at work. I haven’t accessed anything other than JSTOR using my school information.

jrpowell's avatar

You could have them look into the Gini coefficient.

janbb's avatar

I went into Academic Search Premier and put in the search terms “poverty and race and class” and several articles came up.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@johnpowell Bo-ring! I do not teach sociology from graphs and tables. I teach it from the streets, so to speak. The articles I give them can’t look like something guaranteed to suffocate their interests if they read it. It has to mean something to them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb I have to do the free trial and all that. I am not really looking for scholarly articles as those usually have unnecessarily dense text. I am very thankful to you for trying to help me though.

janbb's avatar

That’s why I suggested Academic Search Premier rather than JStor; it indexes popular magazines as well as journals. If I come up with anything later, I will post. Right now, I have to get back to prepping Anna Karenina.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Are you thinking of Cornel West?

Anyway, Cornel West is pretty good. If you haven’t looked to his works already, that’s my suggestion. I really like some of his criticisms of the Obama administration in terms of the deepening disparity between white and minority groups, and the impoverishment of the working class in particular.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yeah, I’ve heard his stuff. I’ve heard criticism of his stuff. It’s hyperbolic on both sides. He speaks of economy but makes it more about race, which is his prerogative. I can’t find a single article by him though that I’d like for my kids to read. They’ll just get into a debate about Obama again which I’d like to avoid.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Thank you all for trying to help. Since I’ve run out of time and must print, I am printing the article I found earlier. If you still want to help, I am looking for articles around aging that are interesting.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Let me guess, your students’ Obama debates are, shall we say, less than productive?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yes. As are debates about the difference between men and women.

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