Facing Social Class
Author: Susan T. Fiske, Hazel Rose Markus
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Many Americans, holding fast to the American Dream and the promise of equal opportunity, claim that social class doesn't matter. Yet the ways we talk and dress, our interactions with authority figures, the degree of trust we place in strangers, our religious beliefs, our achievements, our senses of morality and of ourselves—all are marked by social class, a powerful factor affecting every domain of life. In Facing Social Class, social psychologists Susan Fiske and Hazel Rose Markus, and a team of sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, and legal scholars, examine the many ways we communicate our class position to others and how social class shapes our daily, face-to-face interactions—from casual exchanges to interactions at school, work, and home. Facing Social Class exposes the contradiction between the American ideal of equal opportunity and the harsh reality of growing inequality, and it shows how this tension is reflected in cultural ideas and values, institutional practices, everyday social interactions, and psychological tendencies. Contributor Joan Williams examines cultural differences between middle- and working-class people and shows how the cultural gap between social class groups can influence everything from voting practices and political beliefs to work habits, home life, and social behaviors. In a similar vein, Annette Lareau and Jessica McCrory Calarco analyze the cultural advantages or disadvantages exhibited by different classes in institutional settings, such as those between parents and teachers. They find that middle-class parents are better able to advocate effectively for their children in school than are working-class parents, who are less likely to challenge a teacher's authority. Michael Kraus, Michelle Rheinschmidt, and Paul Piff explore the subtle ways we signal class status in social situations. Conversational style and how close one person stands to another, for example, can influence the balance of power in a business interaction. Diana Sanchez and Julie Garcia even demonstrate that markers of low socioeconomic status such as incarceration or unemployment can influence whether individuals are categorized as white or black—a finding that underscores how race and class may work in tandem to shape advantage or disadvantage in social interactions. The United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality and one of the lowest levels of social mobility among industrialized nations, yet many Americans continue to buy into the myth that theirs is a classless society. Facing Social Class faces the reality of how social class operates in our daily lives, why it is so pervasive, and what can be done to alleviate its effects.
Envy Up, Scorn Down
Author: Susan T. Fiske
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
An insightful examination of why we compare ourselves to those above and below us. The United States was founded on the principle of equal opportunity for all, and this ethos continues to inform the nation’s collective identity. In reality, however, absolute equality is elusive. The gap between rich and poor has widened in recent decades, and the United States has the highest level of economic inequality of any developed country. Social class and other differences in status reverberate throughout American life, and prejudice based on another’s perceived status persists among individuals and groups. In Envy Up, Scorn Down, noted social psychologist Susan Fiske examines the psychological underpinnings of interpersonal and intergroup comparisons, exploring why we compare ourselves to those both above and below us and analyzing the social consequences of such comparisons in day-to-day life. What motivates individuals, groups, and cultures to envy the status of some and scorn the status of others? Who experiences envy and scorn most? Envy Up, Scorn Down marshals a wealth of recent psychological studies as well as findings based on years of Fiske’s own research to address such questions. She shows that both envy and scorn have distinctive biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics. And though we are all “wired” for comparison, some individuals are more vulnerable to these motives than others. Dominant personalities, for example, express envy toward high-status groups such as the wealthy and well-educated, and insecurity can lead others to scorn those perceived to have lower status, such as women, minorities, or the disabled. Fiske shows that one’s race or ethnicity, gender, and education all correlate with perceived status. Regardless of whether one is accorded higher or lower status, however, all groups rank their members, and all societies rank the various groups within them. We rate each group as either friend or foe, able or unable, and accordingly assign them the traits of warmth or competence. The majority of groups in the United States are ranked either warm or competent but not both, with extreme exceptions: the homeless or the very poor are considered neither warm nor competent. Societies across the globe view older people as warm but incompetent. Conversely, the very rich are generally considered cold but highly competent. Envy Up, Scorn Down explores the nuances of status hierarchies and their consequences and shows that such prejudice in its most virulent form dehumanizes and can lead to devastating outcomes—from the scornful neglect of the homeless to the envious anger historically directed at Tutsis in Rwanda or Jews in Europe. Individuals, groups, and even cultures will always make comparisons between and among themselves. Envy Up, Scorn Down is an accessible and insightful examination of drives we all share and the prejudice that can accompany comparison. The book deftly shows that understanding envy and scorn—and seeking to mitigate their effects—can prove invaluable to our lives, our relationships, and our society.
Author: Annette Lareau, Dalton Conley
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Class differences permeate the neighborhoods, classrooms, and workplaces where we lead our daily lives. But little is known about how class really works, and its importance is often downplayed or denied. In this important new volume, leading sociologists systematically examine how social class operates in the United States today. Social Class argues against the view that we are becoming a classless society. The authors show instead the decisive ways social class matters—from how long people live, to how they raise their children, to how they vote. The distinguished contributors to Social Class examine how class works in a variety of domains including politics, health, education, gender, and the family. Michael Hout shows that class membership remains an integral part of identity in the U.S.—in two large national surveys, over 97 percent of Americans, when prompted, identify themselves with a particular class. Dalton Conley identifies an intangible but crucial source of class difference that he calls the “opportunity horizon”—children form aspirations based on what they have seen is possible. The best predictor of earning a college degree isn’t race, income, or even parental occupation—it is, rather, the level of education that one’s parents achieved. Annette Lareau and Elliot Weininger find that parental involvement in the college application process, which significantly contributes to student success, is overwhelmingly a middle-class phenomenon. David Grusky and Kim Weeden introduce a new model for measuring inequality that allows researchers to assess not just the extent of inequality, but also whether it is taking on a more polarized, class-based form. John Goldthorpe and Michelle Jackson examine the academic careers of students in three social classes and find that poorly performing students from high-status families do much better in many instances than talented students from less-advantaged families. Erik Olin Wright critically assesses the emphasis on individual life chances in many studies of class and calls for a more structural conception of class. In an epilogue, journalists Ray Suarez, Janny Scott, and Roger Hodge reflect on the media’s failure to report hardening class lines in the United States, even when images on the nightly news—such as those involving health, crime, or immigration—are profoundly shaped by issues of class. Until now, class scholarship has been highly specialized, with researchers working on only one part of a larger puzzle. Social Class gathers the most current research in one volume, and persuasively illustrates that class remains a powerful force in American society.
Author: Jennifer Lynn Eberhardt, Susan T. Fiske
The contributors to this volume identify the cognitive and motivational influences on the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup processes that lead to racism. Confronting Racism establishes a unique link between public discourse on race and social scientific analysis. Covering theory, implications for policy and applications to education, employment, crime, politics, and health; the book provides a collective account of the variety of racial outcomes and dynamics that result from the complex and multifaceted nature of racism and race relations.
Class and Campus Life
Author: Elizabeth M. Lee
Publisher: Cornell University Press
In 2015, the New York Times reported, "The bright children of janitors and nail salon workers, bus drivers and fast-food cooks may not have grown up with the edifying vacations, museum excursions, daily doses of NPR and prep schools that groom Ivy applicants, but they are coveted candidates for elite campuses." What happens to academically talented but economically challenged "first-gen" students when they arrive on campus? Class markers aren't always visible from a distance, but socioeconomic differences permeate campus life—and the inner experiences of students—in real and sometimes unexpected ways. In Class and Campus Life, Elizabeth M. Lee shows how class differences are enacted and negotiated by students, faculty, and administrators at an elite liberal arts college for women located in the Northeast. Using material from two years of fieldwork and more than 140 interviews with students, faculty, administrators, and alumnae at the pseudonymous Linden College, Lee adds depth to our understanding of inequality in higher education. An essential part of her analysis is to illuminate the ways in which the students' and the college’s practices interact, rather than evaluating them separately, as seemingly unrelated spheres. She also analyzes underlying moral judgments brought to light through cultural connotations of merit, hard work by individuals, and making it on your own that permeate American higher education. Using students’ own descriptions and understandings of their experiences to illustrate the complexity of these issues, Lee shows how the lived experience of socioeconomic difference is often defined in moral, as well as economic, terms, and that tensions, often unspoken, undermine students’ senses of belonging.
This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of social psychological research on inequality for a graduate student and professional audience. Drawing on all of the major theoretical traditions in sociological social psychology, its chapters demonstrate the relevance of social psychological processes to this central sociological concern. Each chapter in the volume has a distinct substantive focus, but the chapters will also share common emphases on: • The unique contributions of sociological social psychology • The historical roots of social psychological concepts and theories in classic sociological writings • The complementary and conflicting insights that derive from different social psychological traditions in sociology. This Handbook is of interest to graduate students preparing for careers in social psychology or in inequality, professional sociologists and university/college libraries.
Author: Christopher J. Hewer, Evanthia Lyons
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
A research-based guide to political psychology that is filled with critical arguments from noted experts Political Psychology is solidly grounded in empirical research and critical arguments. The text puts the emphasis on alternative approaches to psychological enquiry that challenge our traditional assumptions about the world. With contributions from an international panel of experts, the text contains a meaningful exchange of ideas that draw on the disciplines of social psychology, sociology, history, media studies and philosophy. This important text offers a broader understanding of the different intellectual positions that academics may take towards political psychology. Comprehensive in scope Political Psychology provides a historical context to the subject and offers a critical history of common research methods. The contributors offer insight on political thought in psychology, the politics of psychological language, narrating as political action, political decision-making and much more. This important text: Offers contributions from a panel of international experts on the topic Includes a review of some political ideas associated with the work of Karl Marx, Erich Fromm, R.D. Laing, Michel Foucault and others Presents information on prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination in the context of mass migration Reviews a wide range of relevant topics such as identity, social exclusion and foreign policy and more Contains questions for group debate and discussion at the end of each chapter Written for academics and students of political psychology, Political Psychology is a comprehensive resource that includes contributions from experts in a variety of fields and disciplines.
In When Did We All Become Middle Class?, Martin Nunlee discusses how a lack of class identity gives people a false sense of their relationship to power, which has made the US population accept the myth that they live in a meritocracy. This book examines social class within the framework of psychological tendencies, everyday interactions, institutions and pervasive cultural ideas to show how Americans have shifted from general concerns of social and economic equality to fragmented interests groups. Written in a conversational style, this book is a useful tool for undergraduate courses covering social class, such as inequality, stratification, poverty, and social problems.
Author: Hazel Rose Markus, Alana Conner
“If you fear that cultural, political, and class differences are tearing America apart, read this important book.” —Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D., author of The Righteous Mind Who will rule in the twenty-first century: allegedly more disciplined Asians, or allegedly more creative Westerners? Can women rocket up the corporate ladder without knocking off the men? How can poor kids get ahead when schools favor the rich? As our planet gets smaller, cultural conflicts are becoming fiercer. Rather than lamenting our multicultural worlds, Hazel Rose Markus and Alana Conner reveal how we can leverage our differences to mend the rifts in our workplaces, schools, and relationships, as well as on the global stage. Provocative, witty, and painstakingly researched, Clash! not only explains who we are, it also envisions who we could become. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Betsy Leondar-Wright
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Many activists worry about the same few problems in their groups: low turnout, inactive members, conflicting views on racism, overtalking, and offensive violations of group norms. But in searching for solutions to these predictable and intractable troubles, progressive social movement groups overlook class culture differences. In Missing Class, Betsy Leondar-Wright uses a class-focused lens to show that members with different class life experiences tend to approach these problems differently. This perspective enables readers to envision new solutions that draw on the strengths of all class cultures to form the basis of stronger cross-class and multiracial movements. The first comprehensive empirical study of US activist class cultures, Missing Class looks at class dynamics in 25 groups that span the gamut of social movement organizations in the United States today, including the labor movement, grassroots community organizing, and groups working on global causes in the anarchist and progressive traditions. Leondar-Wright applies Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of cultural capital and habitus to four class trajectories: lifelong working-class and poor; lifelong professional middle class; voluntarily downwardly mobile; and upwardly mobile. Compellingly written for both activists and social scientists, this book describes class differences in paths to activism, attitudes toward leadership, methods of conflict resolution, ways of using language, diversity practices, use of humor, methods of recruiting, and group process preferences. Too often, we miss class. Missing Class makes a persuasive case that seeing class culture differences could enable activists to strengthen their own groups and build more durable cross-class alliances for social justice.
Author: Susan T. Fiske
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Fiske provides psychologists with a cutting-edge approach on evolutionary and cross-cultural psychology. The book addresses research on three different levels: brain function and cognition, individual and situations, and groups and cultures. The second edition has been updated to present contemporary research in social psychology. It also discusses increasingly important issues in the field. This includes emotion science and the impact of neuroscience on social and personality psychology. Psychologists agree that the second edition captures an important movement in social psychology with the core motives approach.
Author: Annette Lareau
Publisher: Univ of California Press
This book is a powerful portrayal of class inequalities in the United States. It contains insightful analysis of the processes through which inequality is reproduced, and it frankly engages with methodological and analytic dilemmas usually glossed over in academic texts.
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 57, the latest release in this highly cited series in the field, contains contributions of major empirical and theoretical interest that represent the best and brightest in new research, theory and practice in social psychology. Topics discussed in this new release include the Consequences of Thought Speed, Attitudes Towards Science, What Makes Moral Disgust Special? An Integrative Functional Review, the Psychological Roots of Inequality: How Hierarchical Processes Produce and Perpetuate the Class Divide, and a section on Contextualized Attitude Change, amongst other timely topics. This serial is part of the Social Sciences package on ScienceDirect, and is available online beginning with Volume 32. Provides one of the most sought after and cited series in the field of experimental social psychology Contains contributions of major empirical and theoretical interest Represents the best and brightest in new research, theory and practice in social psychology
The Human Brand
Author: Chris Malone, Susan T. Fiske
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Meticulously researched, and featuring in-depth analyses of companies such as Hershey's, Zappos, Amazon and Chobani, a customer loyalty expert and social psychiatrist reveals the driving forces behind the choices we make and the brands we support.
The SAGE Handbook of Social Cognition is a landmark volume. Edited by two of the field's most eminent academics and supported by a distinguished global advisory board, the 56 authors - each an expert in their own chapter topic - provide authoritative and thought-provoking overviews of this fascinating territory of research. Not since the early 1990s has a Handbook been published in this field, now, Fiske and Macrae have provided a timely and seminal benchmark; a state of the art overview that will benefit advanced students and academics not just within social psychology but beyond these borders too. Following an introductory look at the 'uniqueness of social cognition', the Handbook goes on to explore basic and underlying processes of social cognition, from implicit social cognition and consciousness and meta-cognition to judgment and decision-making. Also, the wide-ranging applications of social cognition research in 'the real world' from the burgeoning and relatively recent fields of social cognitive development and social cognitive aging to the social cognition of relationships are investigated. Finally, there is a critical and exciting exploration of the future directions in this field. The SAGE Handbook of Social Cognition will be an indispensable volume for any advanced student or academic wanting or needing to understand the landscape of social cognition research in the 21st century.