This is at once a playful text with a serious purpose: to provide the reader with the theoretical lenses to analyse the dynamics of social class. It will appeal to students, and indeed anyone interested in how class mediates relationships in higher education, both because of its engaging tone, and because it uses the college campus as a microcosm for observing and analysing the concept of class - and does so in a way that will prompt the reader to reflect on her or his location in the continuum of class, and understand how every member of the campus community helps co-construct social class.
Will Barratt starts from the premise that there is more than one way to study any idea; and that the more tools we use to examine a concept, the more fully we understand it in all its complexity and ambiguity. To illustrate salient features of class on campus, he introduces five fictional European-American women - Whitney Page, Louise, Misty, Ursula, and Eleanor - and also includes the real stories of students who represent a diversity of backgrounds.
Social class is often neglected or ignored as an important issue in the lives of students. The book provides the reader with a language for analysing class, with theories of class that go beyond standard economic and sociological models, and examples of the manifestation of class - all toward the end of helping the reader have more agency in working with this difficult and challenging concept.
This book is suitable for students going to college for the first time, for courses exploring multicultural issues in contemporary society, and for anyone professionally involved with students. Each chapter includes a suggested experience and reflection questions to prompt readers to explore their thinking and feeling about class, as well as class discussion questions.
Will Barratt has taught in the Departments of Counseling and Educational Leadership at Indiana State University over the past 20 years. He was the Holmstedt Distinguished Professor in the Bayh College of Education in 2006-2007 and was given the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. During 1998-1999 he was Associate Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies before returning to the classroom. He received degrees from Beloit College, Miami University, and The University of Iowa. He lived in Budapest in 1987-1988 and in Beijing in 1995-1996.