The State of the Working Class | WYPR

The State of the Working Class

Feb 1, 2017

Andrew Cherlin

You may feel that you’ve heard more about the American working class in the last year than in the previous decade and a half combined. Could be. There have been books--like Nancy Isenberg’s "White Trash" and J.D.Vance’s "Hillbilly Elegy"--explaining attitudes of and about the working class. More pointedly, Donald Trump highlighted the frustration of the working class and harnessed it to build his campaign’s momentum. While much of the public may have been overlooking the working class for years, Johns Hopkins sociologist Andrew Cherlin has been paying it a lot of attention, and drawing links between what’s going on in the economy and what’s going on in families. In 2014 Cherlin, who is the Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor of Public Policy, published “Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America.”