Jessica FentressThis bibliography focuses on the potential differences that exist between the writing of working class students and their more affluent peers. I seek to provide teachers, my future self included, with a list of characteristics that may need to be taken into account when teaching composition to students of the working class. I also wish to illuminate some of the discussion about preferred pedagogies to help students of the working class succeed in the composition classroom. Other teachers of working class students would be interested in this research. I sought to include newer sources or sources that provided me with the most overview of the unique challenges faced by working class students and their teachers.
Lindquist, Julie. “Class Affects Classroom Affectations: Working Through the Paradoxes of Strategic Empathy.” College English. 67.2 (2004): 187-209. JSTOR. JSTOR. U
In this article, Lindquist, a professor at
While this book chapter is a bit old, I felt that it served as a good basis for understanding how people conceptualized class differences in writing prior to 1983. It is a very well-referenced review of literature and meta-analysis that closely examines previous research and attempts to draw a conclusion about whether or not differences between classes exist in written English. While I thought that the overview of the research presented was very informative, I was unable to understand why, after pages of listing studies that indicate differences between the classes,
Seitz, David. “Making Work Visable: Reconsidering Working Class Students’ Instrumentalist Motives.” College English. 67.2 (2004): 210-221. JSTOR. JSTOR. U
This article discusses the fact that working class students may be incorrectly perceived in a cultural/critical studies classroom as refusing to participate in class discussions or lacking in critical thought. Seitz, an English professor at Wright State University, states that in the “work narratives” that he has his working class students compose there are common themes of control (or lack thereof), and a common emotion of pain related to the physical pain experienced by the students’ parents. Seitz discusses the fact that his working class students favor inductive reasoning, drawing conclusions from their life experiences. He also states that, while critical/cultural studies instructors generally criticize working class students for using cliché phrases, these phrases are in fact part of a coping system that empowers and sustains those students. Seitz advocates a critical/cultural studies pedagogy that takes into account that students from the working class may have different motives for their education, and therefore may react differently in the classroom.
Shor, Ira. “Illegal Literacy.” Journal of Basic Writing 19.1(2000): 100-112.
In this article, Shor, rather angrily, claims that current composition instruction works to protect the elite and uphold social inequality. Shor accuses a formalist pedagogy that focuses on skills learning of forcing assimilation of working class or minority students or excluding them from the learning process by making them take remedial courses that charge tuition, but do not grant them any credits. Shor’s main attack in this article is on formal language policies that limit student ability to be fully integrated into traditional composition classrooms because they limit the classes they can take based on biased standardized tests. Shor strongly advocates a critical cultural studies pedagogy that allows students to come to terms with their own class differences and recognize what he calls the “regime” intent upon maintaining, in his words, “white supremacy.” While Shor, a professor of English at the City University of New York, presents a convincing argument, I was left wondering what proof he had that the policies to be implemented there in 2001 were truly intended to limit the advancement opportunities of minority and working class students.
Tingle, Nick. “Opinion: The Vexation of Class.” College English. 67.2 (2004): 222-230. JSTOR. JSTOR. U
In this opinion piece, Tingle, an English lecturer at