When you leave the two thirds of Americans without college degrees out of your vision of the good life, they notice.’
This is the stern warning Joan C Williams issues in her new book White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America. Coming from someone like Williams, a ‘silver-spoon girl, born and bred’, and now, as a law professor at the University of California, a fully signed-up member of what she calls the professional-managerial elite (PME) (albeit alongside a working-class husband), this is not a call to blue-collar arms. It is, rather, an appeal to America’s upper classes to forgo their ‘class callousness’ and understand those outside their elite bubble. Because, as it stands, too many members of America’s upper echelons mistake their snobbery for sophistication, from sneering at Starbucks drinkers to demeaning the democratic choices of the white working class.