Fear of Falling
The Inner Life of the Middle Class

Ehrenreich, Barbara
Publisher:  Harper Perennial
Year First Published:  {26672 Fear of Falling FEAR OF FALLING The Inner Life of the Middle Class Ehrenreich, Barbara Harper Perennial Examines the insecurities of the middle class in an attempt to explain its turn to the right during the past two decades. Fear of Falling traces the myths about the middle class to their roots in the ambition and anxieties that torment it and that have led to its retreat from a responsible leadership role. 1989 1990 292pp BC26672s-FearofFalling.jpg B Book Barbara Ehrenreich's Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class examines the position of the middle class in America from the 1950s to 1980s. Ehrenreich discusses the middle class and its journey, "intellectual, political, and moral - from the sixties to the eighties." What began as a generous and optimistic class, believes Ehrenriech, ended up as a selfish group, hostile to the aspirations of those deemed less fortunate. During the 1950s, America seemed to be comprised of an all-encompassing middle-class population. The postwar decades witnessed an economic boom as never before and the availability of material goods and products rapidly increased for the majority of the population. The author discusses "what could be called the class-consciousness of the professional middle class, and how this consciousness has developed over the past three decades." Examining their insecurities, the author attempts to understand the influences leading parts of the middle class to join forces with the right. The civil rights movement, student revolts in the 1960s, the war in Vietnam and America's identity crises helped to fuel a growing divide amongst the white and blue collar workers. Fear of Falling explores how the upper middle class transformed, looking towards the rich Americans to model their identity and secure their status in society. Among other topics, Ehrenreich touches on the polarization of American politics and the rise of neo-conservatism. Her work presents an excellent perspective on the growing social and political divide between Americans and the increasing stratification of society. <br> <br>[Abstract by William Stevenson] <br> <br> <br>Table of Contents <br> <br>Acknowledgements <br> <br>INTRODUCTION: THE CLASS IN THE MIDDLE <br> <br>CHAPTER ONE: AFFLUENCE, DREAD, AND THE DISCOVERY OF POVERTY <br>The Problem of Problemlessness <br>Sociology and the Specter of Class <br>The Blight of Affluence <br>The Sources of Dread <br>Feminism and "Progressive Demoralization" <br>Poverty Discovered <br>Infantilizing the Poor <br> <br>CHAPTER TWO: THE MIDDLE CLASS ON THE DEFENSE <br>The Threat of the Left <br>The Intellectual Backlash <br>"Permissiveness" Enters Politics <br>The Youth Revolt as Class Treason] <br>The Profession as Class Fortress <br>Middle-Class Childraising: Ambivalence and Anxiety <br>The Revenge of the Lower Class <br> <br>CHAPTER THREE: THE DISCOVERY OF THE WORKING CLASS <br>"Middle Americans" in the Media <br>The Blue-Collar Stereotype <br>The Stereotype on the Screen <br>Beyond the Stereotype <br>Reasons for Anger <br>An Ancient Antagonism <br> <br>CHAPTER FOUR: THE "NEW CLASS': A BLUDGEON FOR THE RIGHT <br>The Neoconservatives and the New Class <br>A Cunning Sort of Treason <br>The New Right and the New Class <br>Permissiveness: The Crime of the New Class <br>Permissiveness vs. Traditional Values <br>The Poor and the Permissive State <br> <br>CHAPTER FIVE: THE YUPPIE STRATEGY <br>The Polarization of America <br>Feminism and Class Consolidation <br>The Consumer Binge <br>The Embrace of Affluence <br>The War Against Softness <br>Yuppie Guilt <br> <br>CHAPTER SIX: THE NEXT GREAT SHIFT <br>Discovering the True Elite <br>Rediscovering the "Others" <br> <br>Notes <br>Index CX11522 1 false true false CX11522.htm [0xc000b47200 0xc0003ce720 0xc000347590 0xc000358fc0 0xc000b14750 0xc000422540 0xc0004233e0 0xc000344840 0xc000344ff0 0xc0004682d0 0xc0003d6b10 0xc0005370e0 0xc000537710 0xc000dce3c0 0xc000ae3770 0xc002006db0 0xc0020781e0 0xc00229aa50 0xc001d4c720 0xc0020c7140 0xc00085a5d0 0xc000b2ba70 0xc001419740 0xc001c73860 0xc00206e090]}
Year Published:  1990
Pages:  292pp   Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX11522

Examines the insecurities of the middle class in an attempt to explain its turn to the right during the past two decades. Fear of Falling traces the myths about the middle class to their roots in the ambition and anxieties that torment it and that have led to its retreat from a responsible leadership role.

Abstract: 
Barbara Ehrenreich's Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class examines the position of the middle class in America from the 1950s to 1980s. Ehrenreich discusses the middle class and its journey, "intellectual, political, and moral - from the sixties to the eighties." What began as a generous and optimistic class, believes Ehrenriech, ended up as a selfish group, hostile to the aspirations of those deemed less fortunate. During the 1950s, America seemed to be comprised of an all-encompassing middle-class population. The postwar decades witnessed an economic boom as never before and the availability of material goods and products rapidly increased for the majority of the population. The author discusses "what could be called the class-consciousness of the professional middle class, and how this consciousness has developed over the past three decades." Examining their insecurities, the author attempts to understand the influences leading parts of the middle class to join forces with the right. The civil rights movement, student revolts in the 1960s, the war in Vietnam and America's identity crises helped to fuel a growing divide amongst the white and blue collar workers. Fear of Falling explores how the upper middle class transformed, looking towards the rich Americans to model their identity and secure their status in society. Among other topics, Ehrenreich touches on the polarization of American politics and the rise of neo-conservatism. Her work presents an excellent perspective on the growing social and political divide between Americans and the increasing stratification of society.

[Abstract by William Stevenson]


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

INTRODUCTION: THE CLASS IN THE MIDDLE

CHAPTER ONE: AFFLUENCE, DREAD, AND THE DISCOVERY OF POVERTY
The Problem of Problemlessness
Sociology and the Specter of Class
The Blight of Affluence
The Sources of Dread
Feminism and "Progressive Demoralization"
Poverty Discovered
Infantilizing the Poor

CHAPTER TWO: THE MIDDLE CLASS ON THE DEFENSE
The Threat of the Left
The Intellectual Backlash
"Permissiveness" Enters Politics
The Youth Revolt as Class Treason]
The Profession as Class Fortress
Middle-Class Childraising: Ambivalence and Anxiety
The Revenge of the Lower Class

CHAPTER THREE: THE DISCOVERY OF THE WORKING CLASS
"Middle Americans" in the Media
The Blue-Collar Stereotype
The Stereotype on the Screen
Beyond the Stereotype
Reasons for Anger
An Ancient Antagonism

CHAPTER FOUR: THE "NEW CLASS': A BLUDGEON FOR THE RIGHT
The Neoconservatives and the New Class
A Cunning Sort of Treason
The New Right and the New Class
Permissiveness: The Crime of the New Class
Permissiveness vs. Traditional Values
The Poor and the Permissive State

CHAPTER FIVE: THE YUPPIE STRATEGY
The Polarization of America
Feminism and Class Consolidation
The Consumer Binge
The Embrace of Affluence
The War Against Softness
Yuppie Guilt

CHAPTER SIX: THE NEXT GREAT SHIFT
Discovering the True Elite
Rediscovering the "Others"

Notes
Index

Subject Headings

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