Ep 24. Joan Williams: What Elites Don't Get about the White Working Class
"They don't want your compassion, they want your respect."
Joan Williams is a Distinguished Law Professor at the University of California Hastings and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law, which promotes gender and racial equality in the workplace. She’s written extensively on gender and work, including What Works For Women At Work, Reshaping The Work-Family Debate and Unbending Gender: Why Family And Work Conflict and What To Do About It. She and others at Hastings have a new initiative to help reduce bias against women and minorities at work, called Bias Interrupters.
In this episode Stew and Joan discuss Joan’s new book, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America. It is based on a blockbuster article in the Harvard Business Review published days after the presidential election titled What So Many People Don’t’ Get About the U.S. Working Class. They focus on the matter of dignity, an essential aspect of one’s identity that affects all aspects of one’s life. Joan believes the American elite neither understands nor appreciates the working class’s struggle for a prosperous middle class life; a dream that is getting harder and harder to realize. Trump understands the need for good paying jobs for the working class and Joan believes that is why he is now POTUS instead of Hillary. Stew and Joan explore ways the elite and working class can achieve harmony instead of conflict and policy solutions that can help the working class economically. In the second half of the podcast, Stew takes calls from listeners of the radio show who share their perspective about working class dignity.