Things to Read

This page contains a collection of articles and books that address various experiences and challenges of being working-class in academia, as well as difficulties and innovations for handling class-based issues in terms of both pedagogy and mentoring. We hope to continue building this list as a resource for interested faculty and students. Inclusion on this list should not be considered an endorsement of any particular opinion or position; rather, we offer these resources as starting points for thinking and discussion.

If you have suggestions of things we should add to this list, please leave us a comment here. We are always eager to add new resources.


2014 Affordable Elite Colleges Ranking. Washington Monthly.

Acclimatrix. “One of these things is not like the others: on being an academic from a non-academic family.” Tenure, She Wrote. January 20, 2014.

Bailey, Thomas. “Low-Income Students Don’t Have to Get Into Harvard: But they do need to graduate from community college,” Slate. February 5, 2014.

Bellafonte, Gina. “Community College Students Face a Very Long Road to Graduation.The New York Times. October 3, 2014.

Blum, Patrick. “Agency Warns About Decline In Access to Education,” The New York Times. September 29, 2014.

Dynarski, Susan. “For the Poor, the Graduation Gap is Even Wider than the Enrollment Gap,” New York Times. June 2, 2015.

Eagan, Kevin. “Survey Finds Continued Lack of Institutional Support for Part-Time Faculty,” Huffington Post. November 13, 2014.

Flores, Antoinette. “How Public Universities Can Promote Access and Success for All Students,” Center for American Progress. September 9, 2014.

Foster, Brooke Lea. “What is it like to be poor at an Ivy League school?The Boston Globe. April 9, 2015.

Korn, Melissa. “For U.S. Universities, the Rich Get Richer Faster,” Wall Street Journal. April 16, 2015.

Lewin, Tamar. “Student Debt Grows Faster at Universities with Highest-Paid Leaders, Study Finds,” The New York Times. May 19, 2014.

Leonhardt, David. “Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor,” The New York Times. Mach 16, 2013.

Leonhardt, David. “To Colleges that Enroll Rich, Middle Class, and Poor” The New York Times. September 8, 2014.

Leonhardt, David. College for the Masses. The New York Times. April 24, 2015.

Leonhardt, David. “‘A National Admissions Office’ for Low-Income Strivers” The New York Times. September 16, 2014.

Madden, Vicki. “Why Poor Students Struggle,” The New York Times. September 21, 2014.

McCarthy, Colman. “Adjunct Professors Fight for Crumbs on Campus,” The Washington Post. August 22, 2014.

Pérez-Peña, Richard. “Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges,” The New York Times. August 25, 2014.

Piuma, Chris. “Pedagogical implications of inequalities (social and other) at the graduate level” — fascinating notes for a talk that raises important questions about how faculty mentor students to ensure that obstacles counter to the pedagogical purposes of a graduate education do not hamper progress

Princhep, Deena. “A Campus More Colorful Than Reality: Beware That College Brochure.” December 29, 2013.

Saccaro, Matt. “Professors on Food Stamps.” Salon. September 21, 2014.

Sanchez, Claudio. “Part-Time Professors Demand Higher Pay; Will Colleges Listen?” NPR. Feburary 3, 2014.

Sarcozona. “Poverty in the Ivory Tower.” Tenure, She Wrote. January 16, 2014.

Seagran, Elizabeth. “The Adjunct Revolt: How Poor Professors are Fighting Back.” The Atlantic. April 28, 2014.

Simmons, Andrew. “The Danger of Telling Poor Kids that College is the Key to Social Mobility.” The Atlantic. January 16, 2014.

Steiger, Kay. “The Pink Collar Workforce of Academia,” The Nation. July 11, 2013.

Warrick, Carrie. “Should We Fear Release of Pell Grant Grad Rates?” National College Access Network. June 13, 2o14.

Weissmann, Jordan. “Loan-aggeddon” Slate. March 2, 2014. (Is graduate school debt a crisis?)


Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Armstrong and Hamilton, 2013)

Reflections from the Wrong Side of the Tracks: Class, Identity, and the Working Class Experience in Academe (eds. Muzzatti and Samarco, 2006)

Teaching Working Class (ed. Linkon, 1999)

This Fine Place So Far From Home (ed. Dews, 1995)

Liberating Memory: Our Work and Our Working-Class Consciousness (ed. Zandy, 1995)

Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory (eds. Tokarczyk and Fay, 1993)

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