Industrialization and the American middle class

In her article, Zaloom describes a transformation in the identity, characteristics and stability of the middle class. What is the transformation? What examples can you find from the readings and videos from last week (Week 10) and this week (Week 11) explain her perspective of the American middle class today. Describe and analyze these examples to demonstrate their connection to Zaloom’s ideas.

1) REPLACEMENT/UPDATED READING: Koball and Jiang “Child Poverty and Intergenerational Mobility,” National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University (2018 version),
2) Abby Vesoulis, “Coronavirus May Disproportionately Hurt the Poor—And That’s Bad for Everyone,”, Mar. 11, 2020
3) Oliver Laughland, “‘Death by structural poverty’: US south struggles against Covid-19,” The Guardian, Aug. 5, 2020
4) Linda Burton and Whitney Welsh, “Inequality and Opportunity: The Role of Exclusion, Social Capital, and Generic Social Processes in Upward Mobility,” William T. Grant Foundation, 2015,
5) Caitlin Zaloom, “Does the U.S. Still Have a ‘Middle Class’? White-collar work today is fundamentally insecure,” The Atlantic, Nov 4, 2018,
6) Arne L. Kalleberg, “The Social Contract in an Era of Precarious Work,” Pathways (Fall, 2012): pp. 3-
7) “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Part Seven: Not Just a Paycheck” (30min, 2008)

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