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Class and Its Others

2000

J. K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen A. Resnick, and Richard D. Wolff, editors
Foreword by Amitava Kumar

Class and Its Others

A surprising and innovative look at class that proposes new approaches to this important topic.

The authors offer new and compelling ways to look at class through examinations of such topics as sex work, the experiences of African American women as domestic laborers, and blue- and white-collar workers. Their work acknowledges that individuals may participate in various class relations at one moment or over time and that class identities are multiple and changing. Taken together, the essays in this book will prompt a rethinking of class and class subjectivity that will expand social theory.

Contributors: Enid Arvidson, Jenny Cameron, Harriet Fraad, Janet Hotch, Susan Jahoda, Amitava Kumar, Cecilia Marie Rio, Jacquelyn Southern, Marjolein van der Veen.

Class and Its Others will delight and challenge anyone concerned with the ongoing importance and permutations of class. It strikes a rare and welcome balance in an academic work: fresh, innovative, and willing to take analytical and interpretive risks. It is also solidly grounded in critical engagement with its predecessors and will stand as a lasting contribution to the literature on this crucial topic.

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Social Theory/Cultural Studies

A surprising and innovative look at class that proposes new approaches to this important topic.

While references to gender, race, and class are everywhere in social theory, class has not received the kind of theoretical and empirical attention accorded to gender and race. A welcome and much-needed corrective, this book offers a novel theoretical approach to class and an active practice of class analysis.

The authors offer new and compelling ways to look at class through examinations of such topics as sex work, the experiences of African American women as domestic laborers, and blue- and white-collar workers. Their work acknowledges that individuals may participate in various class relations at one moment or over time and that class identities are multiple and changing, interacting with other aspects of identity in contingent and unpredictable ways.

The essays in the book focus on class difference, class transformation and change, and on the intersection of class, race, gender, sexuality, and other dimensions of identity. They find class in seemingly unlikely places-in households, parent-child relationships, and self-employment-and locate class politics on the interpersonal level as well as at the level of enterprises, communities, and nations. Taken together, they will prompt a rethinking of class and class subjectivity that will expand social theory.

Contributors: Enid Arvidson, U of Texas, Arlington; Jenny Cameron, Monash U, Australia; Harriet Fraad; Janet Hotch; Susan Jahoda, U of Massachusetts, Amherst; Amitava Kumar, U of Florida; Cecilia Marie Rio; Jacquelyn Southern; Marjolein van der Veen.

Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

Class and Its Others

J. K. Gibson-Graham is the pen name of Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham, feminist economic geographers who work, respectively, at the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff are professors of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Class and Its Others

Class and Its Others will delight and challenge anyone concerned with the ongoing importance and permutations of class. It strikes a rare and welcome balance in an academic work: fresh, innovative, and willing to take analytical and interpretive risks. It is also solidly grounded in critical engagement with its predecessors and will stand as a lasting contribution to the literature on this crucial topic.

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

I see in this book an emancipatory project-of taking class seriously, but in entirely new ways. The authors ask us to reject all the old assumptions about class and power, class and injury, and to understand work, domestic, and emotional life in new ways. With discourses on questions of gender and race now threatening to fall into the repetitive stasis in which class found itself in recent times, this book can help us think about all these things freshly again.

Ann Curthoys, Australian National University, Canberra

Class and its Others offers innovative possibilities for envisioning and enacting progressive social change with essays that have impressive range and analysis that is provocative and lucid. The introductory essay's consideration of the affective aspect of class politics is, in itself, a masterful and path breaking discussion.

Carole Biewener, Simmons College

Class and its Others is superb. These essays chart an exciting new course for class analysis, bringing it into dialogue with contemporary ideas in feminist theory, queer theory, and poststructuralism.

David F. Ruccio Editor, Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture, and Society

This provocative collection takes class analyses into areas of social life where class has seldom been theorized. The contributors connect class relations in unusual ways to issues of identity, power, economic difference, and an enlarged domain of both class narratives and valuable class political affect. Here readers can find new ways to think about what is required for the end of class relations, and new possibilities for politics, as the collection expands the range of actors, emotions and relationships through which class relations are expressed and experienced.

Sandra Harding, University of California, Los Angeles

Class and Its Others

Contents

Foreword: In Class Amitava Kumar

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Class in a Poststructuralist Frame J. K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen A. Resnick, and Richard D. Wolff

1. "This Job Has No End": African American Domestic Workers and Class Becoming Cecilia Marie Rio
2. Domesticating Class: Femininity, Heterosexuality, and Household Politics Jenny Cameron
3. Exploitation in the Labor of Love Harriet Fraad
4. Spring Flowers Susan Jahoda
5. Beyond Slavery and Capitalism: Producing Class Difference in the Sex Industry Marjolein van der Veen
6. Classing the Self-Employed: New Possibilities of Power and Collectivity Janet Notch
7. Los Angeles: A Postmodern Class Mapping Enid Arvidson
8. Blue Collar, White Collar: Deconstructing Classification Jacquelyn Southern

Bibliography
Contributors
Index