The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration (Russell Sage Foundation Books at Harvard University Press)




Author: Mich?le Lamont
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2002
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 416
Isbn10 Code: 0674003063
Isbn13 Code: 9780674039889


From Library Journal Lamont (sociology, Princeton) provides a fascinating look at the way working-class American and French men make sense of their world. Interviews with white and black American workingmen highlight their common commitment to doing their jobs well and remaining moral in a troubled world. However, the author finds that whites and African Americans differ markedly in their attitudes about the challenges facing low-skill workers in the high-tech economy. African Americans draw on a tradition of solidarity in the face of economic discrimination that is no longer available to their white counterparts. In comparison, French workers divide the world not along racial lines but between those workers who are culturally French and those who are Islamic immigrants to France. French workers, long exposed to socialism, also show more sympathy for the poor than do American workingmen. Lamont argues persuasively that the policy-making elite is increasingly isolated from such workers but that it is crucial that we listen to their voices and understand their concerns. Recommended for academic libraries.DDuncan Stewart, State Historical Society of Iowa Lib., Iowa City Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. Review Many interpreters of current society have posited that class is no longer a useful concept as a basis for identity. This book, based on hundreds of interviews with American and French workers, rejects that analysis...It is fascinating reading, an important contribution to a reexamination of class. --J. Wishnia (Choice ) Was there actually a set of values that could be considered distinctly "working class" in character, that represented a distinctly working-class worldview? One of the most sophisticated recent attempts to answer this question appeared in the recent study The Dignity of Working Men...[Lamont] recognized that asking workers to choose their most important values from a prepared list would essentially force their replies into a predetermined mold that had little to do with their real-world thoughts and feelings. Lamont used instead open-ended and non-directive questions. She interviewed 150 blue-collar workers, black and white, in the United States and in France, and compared them with middle-class people in both countries. Her questions asked workers to describe people who were similar to them and people who were different, people they liked and disliked, and those to whom they felt superior or inferior. Follow-up questions probed why they felt as they did, spontaneously eliciting a complex pattern of moral judgements and values. Both work and family did indeed emerge among the blue-collar workers' core values. But the real significance lay in how those were perceived. --Andrew Levinson (The Nation ) Michele Lamont's study of working-class men in the USA and France is...the most interesting contribution to this field for quite some time, and should serve as a benchmark for future scholarly debate...This is a really innovative and challenging book and it needs to be read as widely as possible...The Dignity of Working Men has all the potential to become a classic. --John Solomos (Ethnic and Racial Studies )

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