Misrepresenting the White Working Class: What the Narrating Class Gets Wrong

Metzgar, Jack

Publisher:  Working-Class Perspectives
Date Written:  14/03/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19009

Most of the time the white working class is invisible in the U.S. But during elections there is a flurry of attention to this "demographic" among political reporters and operatives.



for the most part class-prejudiced assumptions are based on professional middle-class ignorance and misunderstanding.

Take the assumed popularity of Trump among the white working class, for example There appears to be supporting evidence for that. According to Brookings, for example, in a national survey 55% of "Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who support Trump are white working-class Americans." But this does not mean what Brookings thinks it means. Among all adult whites, nearly 70% do not have bachelor's degrees (the definition of "working class" used here). This means that at 55%, the white working-class is under-represented among Trump supporters. Conversely, unless Trump is getting much more minority support than reported, his supporters are disproportionally college-educated whites. They make up 30% of the white population, but they are at least 40% of Trump voters in the Brookings survey.

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