middle class

"Down the Up Staircase" tells the story of one Harlem family across three generations, connecting its journey to the historical and social forces that transformed Harlem over the past century.

Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch capture the tides of change that pushed blacks forward through the twentieth century as well as the many forces that ravaged black communities, including Haynes's own.

As an authority on race and urban communities, Haynes brings unique sociological insights to the American mobility saga and the tenuous nature of status and success among the black middle class. Bruce Haynes joins us.

Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Williams’s work includes What Works for Women at Work, coauthored with Rachel Dempsey; Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It. Williams is frequently featured as an expert on social class.

Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite - journalists, managers, and establishment politicians - are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having “something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.

Lisa Servon's The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives is an indictment of America’s banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. 

    Income for the vast majority of Americans has stagnated.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the middle class is being ill-served on many counts.

  The income gap is wider than ever.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that it’s time to ask the 1 percent to do its fair share.

    Journalist, Joshua Kurlantzick, joins us to talk about his book, Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government.