A generation ago, America’s educated professional and managerial “elite” honored and even idealized the lives and struggles of the working class. Beginning in the 1970s, however, the culture of elites and the white working class divided starkly, with the upper class treating the working class with condescension and contempt. Law professor Joan C. Williams succinctly explores the history and nature of the culture of elites and of the white working class. She explains why the elites’ lack of understanding of white working-class values and culture proves politically toxic. In her view, this division between the elites and the working class compromises US democracy, and undermines the pursuit of economic and cultural policies that promote equality and benefit everyone.
About the Author
Joan C. Williams is distinguished professor of law and Hastings Foundation chair at the University of California, Hastings College of Law.