Educated fools: Why Democratic leaders still misunderstand the Politics of Social Class, by Thomas Geoghegan.
"Yes, there’s race, and immigration, and globalization, but there’s something even scarier, and hard to address directly: this Knowledge Economy, which belongs to us in the postgraduate elite, who cannot imagine the working class ever being part of it. In that sense, the vote for Trump in 2016 was the Luddite equivalent of taking a hammer to all that human capital belonging to us.
It’s true that just under 70 percent of high school graduates now go on to college. But it’s also true that this is why we have so many dropouts, people who tried to imitate us and now carry so much shame and debt. It’s hard to think of a better way of creating a social explosion. "
"Mary Douglas, the cultural anthropologist whose book Natural Symbols shows the gulf between the ways professional-class parents and their working-class counterparts raise their children. Douglas’s findings illustrate what happens to children whose parents are stuck in authoritarian workplaces where they learn to take orders and pass on that culture to their children. In short, they raise their children in the same way that they experience their working lives. Working-class children are not given reasons for things, Douglas writes; they are simply told that this is how things are, much the way that their parents are told at work. In her typology, these children grow up as prisoners of a speech code—what Douglas calls “restricted” speech. By contrast, the children of the postgraduates and professionals, the ones in the school districts with per-pupil expenditures of $24,000 a year, are encouraged to inquire, and do get answers to their questions—and these children grow up with a sense of agency nearly parallel to the one that their parents enjoy at work. These are the children who grow up able to engage in elongated speech codes, where they learn to rationalize and give reasons.