Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center of WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Described as having something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, she has played a central role in documenting how work-family conflict affects working-class families and in reshaping the debates over women’s advancement for the past quarter-century.
Author social media/website info: twitter.com/joancwilliams, uchastings.edu/faculty/williams/index.php, gender.stanford.edu/people/joan-c-williams
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5,0 su 5 stelleServes as an excellent introduction to poorly understood issues.
DaAmazon Customeril 5 luglio 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
If nothing else, it helped me understand where I should start looking to answer some of the practical questions I have (like which government programs do what). I now have a better understanding (or at least a foundation for an understanding) of why I'm so angry at the poor and the elite. Really, I'm not angry at them -- I'm angry at how the government interacts with them.
I'm a class migrant (from poor to working class) and nothing upsets me more than this relentless political and media focus on social issues (like bathrooms for Transgender people) and foreign country relief. I'm more concerned with the issue (or lack thereof) "education-to-work" programs, the lack of incentive for people who are on Welfare programs to get OFF and get jobs. I'm upset with the fact that my partner and I work full-time (both of us) and we can't afford to own a home, health insurance OR organic food. (Not that we have time to cook anyways.)
We can't afford to have children, we really can't afford to "live." We live to work, not work to live. And we're doing way better than our class transition (started as working class or poor) college graduate friends, who are still living at home as they can't make squat for earnings or they can't get a job in their elected field because we don't need a million psychologists! We need a freaking electrician. We need plumbers! We need a MIDDLE CLASS!
If nothing else, this book helps me understand my anger at my elite friends when they tell (funny -- only to them) stories about their glee when they were jumped to the front of the emergency room line because their dad is a doctor or how they purposely flunked out of their first year of college to rebel against their parents (despite their parents paying for them to go to college in some of the most expensive schools in the country).
To someone like me, who's worked for everything I have, I want to slap their faces with something heavy like a Bible. And I'm not even religious. I just feel like that's an appropriate reaction to such callousness. If nothing else, this book has helped me understand myself a little better and I hope that understanding will help me understand the world a little better. It's a start. If nothing else, I'd recommend this book to anyone. I think it's worth reading. I don't claim to agree with everything in the book, but I do believe it's worth being read and discussed.
Edited after the fact to include: I think a lot of people want solutions and I think the following book is a wonderful expansion of this book. After you read this book, I recommend reading Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter (The William E. Massey Sr. lectures in the history of American Civilization ;) by the same author.
It helped me understand some of the things I want to change (For instance..."A good place to start is with in-depth coverage of the five basic elements for work-family reconciliation: short-term leaves, good, affordable childcare, regulation of work hours; universal health coverage; and a tax system that does not penalize dual-earner families.") Not saying that's all we should be thinking about, but it's nice to have something more to add to the discussion. I feel like identifying the problem and then not providing a solution exasperates me. This has helped me figure out some solutions that might help us grow TOGETHER as a nation.
PSS. I am not affiliated with any political party. It feels like picking sides on the playground. I want to be objective, not popular.
5,0 su 5 stellea timely and useful book on an urgent subject
DaAmazon Customeril 31 maggio 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
God, I hope the Democratic leadership pays attention to Joan Williams. I didn't agree with everything she said, but she is at least trying to understand why, since the days of the "Reagan Democrats," white working class voters have gone for the Republicans even as the Republicans promoted policies that shafted working people. The answer, according to Williams, starts with dignity. Liberal elites, for all their claimed devotion to cultural sensitivity, have disrespected the culture of prideful work in hard jobs, settled living, and devotion (at least rhetorically) to family and place. Williams calls on the elites to extend their empathy to the anger and pain of those who have seen the middle class rug pulled out from under them. I thought a lot of her policy recommendations made sense, but her bigger point is that, one way or another, we have to respond to the even greater disruptions that globalization and technology will bring to non-college educated workers of all races. All in all, a timely and useful book on an urgent subject.
5,0 su 5 stelleAsk yourself, "Am I the intended audience? I know this already; maybe this wasn't written for me."
DaNathaniel Davisil 24 maggio 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Here is the short version. You need to consider the intended audience. I never got the feeling this book was for anyone other than the "professional managing elite" who are very much left-leaning. That is not to say others cannot read and take value, but I felt that many of the messages were for the "clueless" "elites." Not those, for lack of a better phrase, living the "white working class" life.
This is a book that paints a picture with very broad brush strokes. It generalizes and it is simple. With that being said, I never go the feeling that it was meant to be a comprehensive overview. I read it as being for an audience who, by their own admission, is clueless. It isn't meant to be the end-all, be-all report on the "white working class." I think it is supposed to kind of be a beginner's guide to the matter for people with no experience. Think of those books you have when you first start to read. Many schools even number them level 1, 2, 3, 4 and up to full blown chapter books. This isn't the full blown chapter book. This is level 1, 2 or 3. If you are already beyond that level, you don't read the book. Same thing here. If your knowledge is beyond the scope of this book through your own research or experience, then there may not be a ton in it for you.
As for the comments that suggest it kind of devolves into a Democratic Party plan of action, again, I'd suggest that maybe we should consider the intended audience. This is for those "elites" trying to process what happened in the 2016 election. Giving suggestions as to how to win over the "white working class", or win them back, is kind of like the comfort food to which the author alludes. It makes those "elite" readers feel like there is a chance and a way forward, that all hope isn't lost. So again, regardless of whether or not you want to be part of the plans for the Democratic party, I don't think the point was to convince you. It was to convince the "elites" that they can do something about it. They have a chance.
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