How Class Works 2012

Starting Date: 06-07-2012
Ending Date: 06-09-2012

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York 11794
United States
Purpose and orientation: The conference seeks to explore ways in which an explicit
recognition of class helps to understand the social world in which we live, and ways in which
analysis of society can deepen our understanding of class as a social relationship. Presentations
should take as their point of reference the lived experience of class; proposed theoretical
contributions should be rooted in and illuminate social realities. Presentations are welcome from
people outside academic life when they sum up social experience in a way that contributes to the
themes of the conference. Formal papers will be welcome but are not required. All presentations
should be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.
Conference themes: The conference welcomes proposals for presentations that advance our
understanding of any of the following themes.
The mosaic of class, race, and gender. To explore how class shapes racial, gender, and
ethnic experience and how different racial, gender, and ethnic experiences within various
classes shape the meaning of class.
Class, power, and social structure. To explore the social content of working, middle, and
capitalist classes in terms of various aspects of power; to explore ways in which class and
structures of power interact, at the workplace and in the broader society.
Class and community. To explore ways in which class operates outside the workplace in the
communities where people of various classes live.
Class in a global economy. To explore how class identity and class dynamics are influenced
by globalization, including experience of cross-border organizing, capitalist class dynamics,
international labor standards.
Middle class? Working class? What's the difference and why does it matter? To explore
the claim that the U.S. is a middle class society and contrast it with the notion that the
working class is the majority; to explore the relationships between the middle class and the
working class, and between the middle class and the capitalist class.
Class, public policy, and electoral politics. To explore how class affects public policy, with
special attention to health care, the criminal justice system, labor law, poverty, tax and other
economic policy, housing, and education; to explore the place of electoral politics in the
arrangement of class forces on policy matters.
Class and culture: To explore ways in which culture transmits and transforms class
Pedagogy of class. To explore techniques and materials useful for teaching about class, at K-
12 levels, in college and university courses, and in labor studies and adult education courses.
Geographical Scope: State


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