Members of Working Class Academics Section of WCSA Join ASA Task Force on First-Generation and Working-Class Persons in Sociology

This past spring, sociologists and members of the WCSA’s Working-Class Academics Section Allison L. Hurst, Colby R. King, Jenny Stuber, and Deborah M. Warnock proposed that the American Sociological Association (ASA) form an ASA status committee for first-generation and working-class people in sociology. The ASA responded enthusiastically, and has formed a 14-member Task Force chair by Vincent Roscigno of the Ohio State University.

Among other efforts, the Task Force is charged to “Solicit feedback from first-generation/working-class persons in sociology (at every level, from graduate student through full professor status) regarding issues or concerns related to their status within the profession,” and to “Make recommendations to ASA Council as to how the Association can best address the challenge of integrating this population into our discipline in a way that maximizes equity.”

WCSA members Allison L. Hurst, Deborah M. Warnock, and Colby R. King are among the Task Force members.

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New book on class and the academy

Working in Class: Recognizing How Social Class Shapes Our Academic Work, edited by Allison L. Hurst and Sandia Kawecka Nenga, has just been published  by Rowman & Littlefield.  The volume features essays by several WCSA members including Sara Appel, Lynn Arner, and Deborah M. Warnock.  According to Rowman’s website, “More students today are financing college through debt, but the burdens of debt are not equally shared. The least privileged students are those most encumbered and the least able to repay. All of this has implications for those who work in academia, especially those who are themselves from less advantaged backgrounds. Warnock argues that it is difficult to reconcile the goals of facilitating upward mobility for students from similar backgrounds while being aware that the goals of many colleges and universities stand in contrast to the recruitment and support of these students. This, combined with the fact that campuses are increasingly reliant on adjunct labor, makes it difficult for the contemporary tenure-track or tenured working-class academic to reconcile his or her position in the academy.”