Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801477799
ISBN-10: 0801477794
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$18.15 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$19.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
29 New from $13.54 48 Used from $1.49
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Popular & highly-rated in Biographies & Memoirs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
$19.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America
  • +
  • Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider's Journey
  • +
  • Theft of a Nation: Wall Street Looting and Federal Regulatory Colluding (Issues in Crime and Justice)
Total price: $86.95
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"With keen insights into the values, attitudes, and struggles of both the working and middle classes, she has written a work that seamlessly melds the personal with the theoretical. . . . An enlightening read on the consequences of classism in America, for the middle class this book effectively shatters the myopic cultural lens through which they often view, judge, and justify the subjugation of the working class. For the working class, it is an affirmation of their cultures, lifestyles, and labors. A companion for the class 'cross-overs,' it's a must-read for teachers, psychologists, and social workers."―Elissa Mugianis, ForeWord Reviews (Fall 2012)



"Working-class culture is an important topic, but it is most often treated as something to overcome. Barbara Jensen's approach is different: she speaks of working-class life from its strengths, without eliding its pain and oppression. Moreover, she writes beautifully."―Jean Anyon, Graduate Center, City University of New York, author of Marx and Education



"Like Barbara Jensen, I was born in the working class but moved into the middle class. That journey is rife with perils, as a person must move away from the very people who launched him or her to go on to become something completely different. Coming from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, I was eager to move on with my life. But Jensen, with her stories about the love and decency of her working-class forebears, showed me another way to be working class. It made me rethink some of my core assumptions and reevaluate my initial judgments about where I came from and who I am. Working-class people moving into the middle class rarely see their lives represented. Here, then, is a great example of that kind of life, that kind of experience. Jensen's personal story, combined with her training as a psychologist, make her the perfect person to write this book."―Al Lubrano, author of Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams



"Whether you're middle class or working class, you need to read this book. And if you’re an upwardly mobile 'crossover,' this book could save your sanity. Barbara Jensen has pulled off something extraordinary: she exemplifies her ideas about the strengths of working-class and middle-class cultures by writing in both voices. A crossover herself, she analyzes previous theories and creates a memorable framework, and she tells us heartfelt stories and uses colorful analogies. This powerful book walks its talk."―Betsy Leondar-Wright, author of Class Matters, director of Class Action (classism.org)

About the Author

Barbara Jensen is a Licensed Counseling and Community Psychologist who counsels mixed-class couples and professionals from working-class backgrounds in Minneapolis. She also works in a variety of community settings including schools, psychiatric facilities, and homeless shelters.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: ILR Press; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801477794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801477799
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,013,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
67%
4 star
33%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Regina on July 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting combination of a personal memoir and an analysis of theoretical and sociological studies addressing class issues in the US. The author is a psychologist who grew up in a working class family and due to her education and job has "crossed over" (her terminology) to the middle class. Her experience seems to be primarily rooted in the Midwest. She writes about class bias in the US, mainly as it effects school children and patients in counseling but as to others as well. The author's theory is, "the most common form of classism is solipsism, or my-world-is-the whole-world, what I call class-blinder. The inability to see beyond one's own world. The unspoken assumption is that everyone could know these things but that some are too primitive or unevolved to want to know.. Solipsism is often accompanied by judgments of taste: another form of classism. `Oh my God, she had plastic flowers and the couch was orange plaid! So tacky ....' "

One of the characteristics of people in the middle class, posits the author, v. working class, is that work and careers are the center of the middle class adult's life, rather than working to live - a career defines a life. "For middle class people like me, too often, work is our life. Not only is this lonelier, it leads to problems like workaholism and emotional devastation if one loses one's jobs." I for one can completely identify with this. My career and its demands swallows everything up; it seems like my family revolves around my job demands. But when I visit with family and friends where I grew up, this concept just seems so foreign to them. I can't help wondering who has it better?

Class is something I think about a lot.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a book that can help the working class and middle class better understand and learn from each other. Talking about class in America is difficult, in part because the middle and upper classes refuse to acknowledge the existence of any authentic working class culture. The fact that our political leaders can only talk about helping the middle class is the latest example of how working class lives are ignored. Those who raise the issue of class are often shouted down with cries of "class warfare!"

Jensen's book is a thoughtful, well written story about working class and middle class lives that show us how we live apart yet share much in common. It's a positive, funny, heartbreaking, personal book that can be enjoyed by the casual reader as well as someone with an academic background.

Jensen's book discusses how the working class and middle class are shaped and defined through the lens of our education system from preschool through college. Jensen is uniquely qualified to write this story because she came from the working class and then "crossed over" to the middle class to become a psychologist. Her book is unique in that she speaks from both sides of the class divide. She is courageous enough to share her personal story and those of her family to help us understand and appreciate working class life. She can also speak authoritatively about what shapes the culture of the middle class. Her descriptions of how hard (and rewarding!) it can be to move back and forth between her two lives are the most moving parts of the book.

Jensen does not romanticize the working class nor make the middle class feel guilty - quite an achievement. Highly recommended.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in AmericaI was deeply impressed with this book. I love how well she weaves her own life story (and other people's) into the otherwise academic narrative; by doing this, she practices what she preaches, and writes a book that is accessible to people who are culturally working class. I also love how thoroughly and convincingly she explains the academic side of her research. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I knew her, her family, and some of her interview subjects, and I also knew a great deal more about the topic. I hope the book is widely read and widely taught.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading Classes by Barbara Jensen is posed as a psychological text but is really a personal working-through of Jensen's own place in a classed society. She struggles through stories of the back-and-forth of academics and professionals and their class identities: is she working class or middle class? What is middle class? Noting the animosity that grows between families when one member of the family transcends through the ceiling of the working class and into the middle class, she simultaneously leads you to address your own classism while also questioning your class position in society and how you identify. While the book had several issues in terms of generalizations that were not fully substantiated, I wholly enjoyed reading it. My Kindle version of the text, though, did not have the original page numbers as stated, which is extremely disappointing since I now cannot cite it properly in my academic work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I am so proud of my old friend for becoming a published author. I am also proud that my family inspired her, especially my older sister Barbara, who was certainly an inspiration to many, including myself. There is something, however, that I need to clarify. We were not a middle class family as she claims in the book. We were working class just like her family. My father was a civil servant just like her father was. My mother worked low paying jobs just like her mother did. It wasn't until my parent's divorce that my mother decided to go to college where she obtained a bachelors degree in library science, not a masters degree. My family descended from farmers just like her father's side of the family, albeit it curious, intelligent farmers. Having literature, music and art in the home does not a middle class family make. Intelligent, curious people come from all walks of life. Class is just a state of mind. It can be limiting or limitless, depending on the mindset of the individual. Barbara Jensen is living proof of that statement. An individual can attend the finest schools and inherit millions and still develop into an adult with a very limited mindset. On the other hand, history shows that many of our finest artists and intellectuals came from very humble beginnings. Best of luck to her success as an author. - "Jeanie"
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America