The Weekly Stripe – 02.06.17

A crop of links devoted to understanding modern America: three books (two new, one old), a new report and a visualisation based on a large data set. Looking at the top and bottom social strata, at the young and the working they provide a good starting point to disentangling American culture.  

The Sum of Small Things explores America’s aspsirational class. Simon Kuper did a nice review of its main ideas, and here’s a more critical review on what it misses.

The need for respect drives the White Working Class argues Joan Williams in a new book about how to fix cluelesssness about this social class

Anthropologist Sherry Ortner published New Jersey Dreaming back in 2003. It’s a study of some central themes in US sociology, not least class consciousness, through the lens of her high school Class of ’58.

If you’re bored of trite marketing generalisations about ‘Millenials’ read this new report from the US Census. Fascinating how late young Americans are now hitting milestones of adulthood such as marriage, living independently and working.  

A Day in the Life of Americans is a wonderful visualisation based on the 2014  American Time Use Survey which asked thousands of people what they did during a 24-hour period.