Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory

Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory

Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory

Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory


""My mother still wants me to get a 'real' job. My father, who is retired after forty-four years in the merchant marine, has never read my work. When I visited recently, the only book in his house was the telephone book."" ""I do not know that my mother's mother ever acknowledged my college education except to ask me once, 'How can you live so far away from your people?'" "Thus write two of the twenty women from working-class backgrounds whose voices are heard in this unique collection of essays. Each of the women has lived through the process of academic socialization - as both student and teacher - and each has thought long and deeply about her experience from an explicitly feminist perspective. Among the questions the contributors explore, What are the issues - pedagogical, theoretical, and personal - that affect the professional and private lives of these women? How do they resolve tensions between their roles as middle-class professionals and their roots in working-class families? How do class and gender intersect in the academy?"--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


In soliciting pieces for this volume, we wanted to represent a variety of viewpoints on the intersection of gender, class, and the academy. We realized that a book on class and gender would be marked immediately as Marxist feminist, cutting us off from a broad range of orientations and affiliations. Our intent was not, in fact, to define ourselves or the volume as Marxist, but to engage useful ways of conceptualizing class to understand more fully the emerging issues of contemporary academia. the anthology's diversity may perplex some readers accustomed to a more unified approach within a collection. But by selecting multidisciplinary essays written from different feminist ideological perspectives, we seek to represent more accurately the variety of voices that make up our pluralized academic community. What does unify the collection is a repeated attempt to conceptualize class position in relation to other factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

These essays develop ways of thinking about class privilege, lack of role models, academic hierarchy, the desire to nurture students, and the renegotiation of one's background as resource rather than as detriment. the contributors devote much thought to defining the place of class in a university setting. As working-class women, they are in a position to recognize the institution as class stratified and approach it personally, pedagogically, and theoretically to produce challenging critiques and possibilities for change. We see this volume as interventionist.

We would like to acknowledge the many people who helped in the conception and realization of this book, including Pat Belanoff, Jane Bennett, Bruce Robbins, and Hephzibah Roskelly.

Our support staff, Maya Fitzpatrick, Allan Forsythe, Sue Walsh, Mary Vancura, Madeline Kotowski, and Linda Fowble, are greatly appreciated, as is the generosity of Goucher College and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. We would especially like to thank our emotional supporters, Paul, Eleanor, and Chuck.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.