Call for Presentations: 2023 WCSA Symposium & Leadership Retreat

Hello All! 

The Conference Organizing Committee is happy to announce the Call for Presentations for our upcoming event in Chicago and on Zoom, June 15-17th 2023! 

Please help us organize and grow by taking a minute to think about who you’d like to be there and then… invite them to come! 

We look forward to seeing you!

Love & Solidarity, 

The Conference Organizing Committee: Jen Vernon, president-elect & chair, honored to be working with Jackie Gabriel, Sarah Attfield, Michael Zweig, Christie Launius, Kim McAloney, Tim Sheard, Michelle Tokarczyk, and Lisa Kirby (what a crew!)

Working-Class Perspectives, October

Working 9 to 5: Class Diversity and Clerical Organizing by Ellen Cassedy

“The early 1970s was a time of profound economic transformation. Women from across the class spectrum were flooding into the workforce by the millions. I was one of them.  At the age of 22, I was among ten women standing outside Boston’s subway stops handing out the first issue of a new newsletter aimed at women office workers.  Our goal was to shake things up in the banks, insurance companies, law firms, and universities that dominated the city’s economy.  We were young and green, but we sensed that we were on to something big.”

Democracy Is on the Ballot by Joseph A. McCartin

“Fortunately, whether democracy survives this time of peril will not depend only on what happens when the votes are counted on November 8, as important as those results will be. Electoral democracy can also be strengthened by another form of democracy that is also on ballots this fall: union elections and strike votes.  In those exercises of the democratic voice, we are currently witnessing a renaissance of majority rule. “

How Big Is the Working Class – and Why Does It Matter? by Jack Metzgar

“So instead of one intractable problem – class bias among the political and communications elites – I see two.  Democrats need to resist that class bias within their own ranks and at the same time find ways to speak to both working-class needs and values and professional class interests, and without ignoring their own and voters’ interests as women, people of color, and more.”

Deadbeat Creditors and Other Tales of Moral Hazard by Allison Hurst

“We dreamed about debt relief and what it would be like if we could get a fresh start.  Maybe this would allow us to move someplace more congenial or find a job with a real career path.  On hearing this discussion, however, one attendee took to chastising us for trying to avoid our debts.  ‘Even if they told me I wouldn’t have to repay my loans, I would!’ he said fiercely.  We all hung our heads, shamed.”

Free Webinar on Working-Class Voters!

WCSA is excited to sponsor this free webinar on Oct. 30 at 8pm EST. Here’s a note from one of the hosts, Besty Leondar-Wright!

“Hello friends,

Anxious about the midterm elections? Wondering what’s the story behind surprising voting behavior?

I hope you’ll join me, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Farah Stockman and author Jack Metzgar as we break stereotypes of white working-class voters and encourage cross-class alliances during this free webinar, sponsored by the Working-Class Studies Association on Sunday October 30 at 8 pm Eastern. Register here:

Hope to see you there,


Calling all working-class and first-gen sociologists!

If you would be willing to participate in a qualitative study of the impacts of class background on our lives and work as sociologists, please send an email to Allison Hurst at  

We are looking for about five more people to interview before we conclude data collection! 

*Note: Our sample includes sociologists at all levels of their career, including graduate students, who either grew up working class/identify as a WCA OR were the first in their families to graduate from college OR grew up poor.

This Week’s Working-Class Perspectives

We understand war through the stories and images available to us, which may not always capture the economic hardships that war brings. In the case of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, videos and photographs offer stories of collective efforts by Ukrainians but also the individual characters of Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.

As media critic James V. Catano writes in this week’s Working-Class Perspectives, they have been presented in terms that reflect contrasting versions of masculinity, one an elitist executive and the other the heroic leader of a group of equals. Yet as Catano reminds us, the war’s primary victims are those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Journal of Working-Class Studies

Did you know that the Journal of Working-Class Studies is open access and available online? Well, now you do. Keep your eyes peeled for more insightful quotes on working-class lives and experiences.

You can access the journal here.

FAQs for Conference Goers

Are you getting ready to arrive in Corvallis?

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with answers from the Conference Organizers!

Where do I sign inWe will have a registration table set up at 3pm Monday in the International Living and Learning Building, conference dormitory space.  If you are staying in the dorms, just walk downstairs and find the table!  If you are coming from the Hilton Garden Inn, it’s a short walk.  Registration will end at 5pm.  Registration will resume the following morning in the Memorial Union, the main conference site.

How can I park on campus?  Hopefully, you will not need to! If you are staying in the dorms or the conference hotel, the campus is right there and the conference site a short walk.  If you are coming from elsewhere in or out of town, you will need to arrange to purchase a parking pass for the day(s).  They are about $10 per day and you can find information here

How do I get to the downtown opening reception? Our opening reception is a pretty casual get together at a food truck court called Common Fields.  It is easily walkable from campus (0.7 miles from the dorms. 1 mile from the MU conference site).  Corvallis is flat and the weather is expected to be perfectly lovely (low 70s).  The nicest walking path is down Campus Way, which then becomes Madison Avenue.  There is parking downtown if you are driving.  And we also have free city buses, although they only run until 6pm.  You can find information on the bus routes here.

Are there any special tricks to getting around Corvallis in general?  YES!  Avenues are named after US Presidents in sequential order running West-East, with Washington the furthest South.  The main avenue north of campus is Monroe (President #5).  Cross-streets are numbers, with 1st running North-South against the Willamette River. Downtown is essentially 1st to 5th, Jefferson to Jackson.  OSU sits mostly between 15th to the East and 26th to the West, and then Monroe to the North and Washington to the South.  If you take 9th street North past the first 15 presidents, you get to the area of town that has big box stores and franchise restaurants. 

Where can I eat?  We will provide a list of breakfast and lunch restaurant options for you when you register. We hope you will join us for the Banquet Wednesday night.  For other dinners, we recommend going downtown and seeing what strikes your fancy.  Corvallis has a lot to offer!

And for those of you getting ready to attend the parallel ZOOM ONLY Conference:

When do I get the zoom links for the panels?  We will be sending those out to all zoom registrants shortly before the start of the conference.  We will be sending those to you using the email you registered with.  If you do not receive those zoom links before Monday afternoon, please contact us at