Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Making of a Teenage Service Class (Excerpts)

I'm considering assigning The Making of a Teenage Service Class, an ethnography by Ranita Ray, for my Social Stratification class next semester. Good impression so far.

Update 1/4/18: I decided to assign this book to my Social Stratification class (SOC 312) at Niagara University. I'll assign portions of the book to students to present. And I'll have a paper assignment that will be based on the book. I like the book. "Good solid sociology" is the phrase I hear myself using to describe it.

Update 4/20/18: Very happy I assigned this book. My class did a great job presenting portions of the book. It's a compassionate analysis of young people living in poverty.

Some excerpts:

"The immediate allure of low-wage work":

Two excellent examples of emotional labor below, featuring Cassy at her coffee shop job. In the first instance we see Cassy being patient with a difficult customer. The second example is flat out funny and illustrates how humor is a key element of emotional labor.

On the violence of poverty:

On the violent experience of hunger:

In the follow passage we see Ashley expressing enthusiasm for sushi, a food she associates with a higher class status. Leading up to this was an instance when Domino's wouldn't deliver to a housing project in Port City after dark. In response to this, Ashley asserted "I don't even eat Domino's and pizza....I would rather eat sushi." Ashley prefers sushi and distances herself from Domino's.

Here we see the importance of having a clean home. For Brianna, a clean home means it isn't a "ghetto" home:

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