The Dignity of Working Men
Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class and Immigration
By (author) Michele Lamont
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Dignity of Working Men by Michele Lamont
Book DescriptionMichele Lamont takes us into the world inhabited by working-class men - the world as they understand it. Interviewing black and white working-class men who, because they are not college graduates, have limited access to high-paying jobs and other social benefits, she constructs a revealing portrait of how they see themselves and the rest of society. Morality is at the centre of these workers' worlds. They find their identity and self-worth in their ability to discipline themselves and conduct responsible but caring lives. These moral standards function as an alternative to economic definitions of success, offering them a way to maintain dignity in an out-of-reach American dreamland. But these standards also enable them to draw class boundaries toward the poor and, to a lesser extent, the upper half. Workers also draw rigid racial boundaries, with white workers placing emphasis on the "disciplined self" and blacks on the "caring self". Whites thereby often construe blacks as morally inferior because they are lazy, while blacks depict whites as domineering, uncaring and overly disciplined. This book also opens up a wider perspective by examining American workers in comparison with French workers, who take the poor as "part of us" and are far less critical of blacks than they are of upper-middle-class people and immigrants. By singling out different "moral offenders" in the two societies, workers reveal contrasting definitions of "cultural membership" that help us understand and challenge the forms of inequality found in both societies.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674009929
(225mm x 144mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Michele Lamont
Social Resilience in the Neo-Liberal Era, Paperback (April 2013)
This book integrates institutional and cultural analysis to understand neoliberalism as a syncretic social process and to explore the sources of social resilience.
Responses to Stigmatization in Comparative Perspective, Hardback (August 2012)
In this text, leading experts from a range of disciplines look at the responses to stigmatization from the perspectives of ordinary people. They use a range of case studies drawn from the US, Brazil, Canada, France, Israel, South Africa, and Sweden.
Social Knowledge in the Making, Paperback (October 2011)» View all books by Michele Lamont
Over the years, researchers have successfully explored the inner workings of the physical and biological sciences using a variety of social and historical lenses. This book features essays that tackle a range of questions about the practices involved in the production, assessment, and use of diverse forms of social knowledge.
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Author Biography - Michele Lamont
Michele Lamont is Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
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