In recent years, the world has been re-introduced to the constituency of "white working class" people. In a wave of revolutionary populism, far right parties have scored victories across the transatlantic political world: Britain voted to leave the European Union, the United States elected President Donald Trump to enact an "America First" agenda, and Radical Right movements are threatening European centrists in elections across the Continent. In each case, white working class people are driving a broad reaction to the inequities and social change brought by globalization, and its cosmopolitan champions. In the midst of this rebellion, a new group consciousness has emerged among the very people who not so long ago could take their political, economic, and cultural primacy for granted.
Who are white working class people? What do they believe? Are white working class people an "interest group"? What has driven them to break so sharply with the world's trajectory toward a more borderless, interconnected meritocracy? How can a group with such enduring power feel marginalized? This perplexing constituency must be understood if the world is to address and respond to the social and political backlash they are driving. The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides the context for understanding the politics of this large, perplexing group of people. The book begins by explaining what "white working class" means in terms of demographics, history, and geography, as well as the ways in which this group defines itself and has been defined by others. It will address whether white identity is on the rise, why white people perceive themselves as marginalized, and the roles of racism and xenophobia in white consciousness. It will also look at whether the white working class has distinct political attitudes, their voting behavior, and their prospects for the future. This accessible book provides a nuanced view into the forces driving one of the most complicated and consequential political constituencies today.