We’ve spent the past decade living in a working-class town in southwestern Ohio, initially on a short-term research project and then settling in as citizens, neighbors, and friends—so that is Read more…
As I was reading sociologist Sarah Damaske’s new book, The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America, I was struck by a realization: though I’ve spent a good deal of the past 11 years interviewing working-class young adults in Ohio, I have met relatively few who have received unemployment insurance (UI).
There’s something weird, and maybe even wrong, about a policy that seeks to support families, but leaves out families who have the least support and are the most disconnected from the helpful institutions of work and marriage.
Gina, a single mother of three in southwestern Ohio, recently told me that being a mom saved her from despair and addiction. “It’s my life. It’s everything to me. It’s Read more…
An injection of cash to poor families might be less of a handout and more of a hand up, acting as much-needed capital for families by allowing them to afford the things necessary to stay employed.
In our populist moment, the categories of left and right are losing their currency. Underlying recent events—the Capitol riot of Jan 6 (a populist political uprising) and the GameStop saga (“the first populist uprising in finance”)—is the belief that the system is rotten. It’s a belief shared by populists on both sides, even as party labels are becoming less meaningful for many working people who see reality as primarily shaped by the interests of a powerful, wealthy, global elite vs. the needs of ordinary people.
We watched the Inauguration on a laptop at our kitchen table while two toddlers nibbled chicken quesadillas and the baby fussed intermittently.
n a recent post about the relationship between family trends and the skills gap I noted that for some of the young adults my husband David and I interviewed in southwestern Ohio, trauma and addiction make it difficult to take advantage of the employment opportunities that do exist.
In a recent conversation hosted by American Compass, “What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism,” Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez discussed the skills gap. “[T]he number one issue that I hear from employers is, I have jobs, I could hire 10 people tomorrow, but either the folks don’t want to do the work that we have, or I just can’t find the right people.”
In the weeks leading up to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as Supreme Court Justice, much was written about the new conservative feminism that Barrett arguably embodies. But as Ross Douthat asked in his column at The New York Times, “can there be a conservative feminism that’s distinctive, coherent and influential, at least beyond quirky religious subcultures like the faculty at the University of Notre Dame?”
After working as a manager at Chick-Fil-A for four years, Elizabeth Nowowiejski, a married mother of two living in Toledo, began a new job as a patient coordinator at a Read more…
Earlier this month my husband David and I wrote about Alex, a worker at an Ohio-based unionized factory, and the way the union saved his job after conflict with a supervisor.
During his growing up years, Mark, an underemployed contract laborer in his 30s, often heard his mother describe their town as “the devil’s thumbprint.” The name alluded to both its literal location in a valley and its social stigma as the watering hole of riffraff. “You gotta go up the hill and get out,” Mark said of the place and his aspirations.
Meet Alex and Lance, two blue-collar workers in southwestern Ohio. One had union representation as he sought a foothold in the labor market; the other did not. Their lives remind us that there is still power in a union.
In less than 24 hours I will be wheeling my bag through the large revolving doors of the hospital, through the Covid screening point, and up the elevator to the ninth floor to deliver my fifth child due to a medically-necessary induction.
Earlier this month I visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, located at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. often stayed and where on April 4, 1968 he was assassinated while standing on the outside balcony, chatting with colleagues and getting ready for dinner.
At the beginning of a lane of public housing units pink balloons mark the mailbox and a disposable tablecloth flutters in the wind, held down on a plastic table by a box of sprinkled cupcakes with high-topped icing and another box of assorted party favors.
In March as Ohio began to shut down, Emily—a thirtysomething mom who asked that I not use her real name—worried about her family, her neighbors, and especially the elderly. She posted on her town’s Facebook page offering to grocery shop for those unable to go to the store, or to share a meal with anyone who might be hungry, saying that she’d feed them whatever she could out of her own kitchen.