Phil writes at Racing in the Street on his perspective on a discussion we had here a couple weeks ago about Alfred Lubrano’s book Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams. Phil is coming at this topic from the other end, which is what makes his post worth reading. (The original Limbo post and discussion can be found here.)
A quick further comment of my own on this discussion. I always thought the “middle class” was not supposed to be a rung on a ladder, so much as a breathing-space or workspace for all Americans, regardless of where they came from in life. It was supposed to be a “place” where the ordinary process or “rules” of the so-called “class struggle” were suspended. Therefore, no matter where one’s personal story originates, one has a right to participate in this space where the American experiment takes place (and it’s important to “come as you are”). I personally feel that today, this vision of the American middle class has been somehow lost and that it has become more of a “class,” a mere ladder-rung, and less of a workspace or breathing space… if that makes any sense. I do not relish the possibility of a backlash in the other direction. Perhaps the “limbo” of which Lubrano writes (and which we’ve commented on from various angles) is not a purgatory, but indeed is the whole point.
On the subject of steel and struggle, via BuffaloPundit I discovered
Burgh Diaspora, a Pittsburgh-area blog seeking solidarity among Rust Belt bloggers. They don’t seem to be thinking as far east as Syracuse, but I thought I’d pass along their call anyway. The thinking of this blog is kind of interesting:
Pittsburgh is more than a city or a region. Recent decades of out-migration have resulted in a significant diaspora population that retains strong ties to its homeland. The aim of GlobalBurgh is to intensify this network in hopes of realizing a new geographic understanding of Pittsburgh.
Substitute “Syracuse” for Pittsburgh and I think you’re onto something. (I know this blog is read by at least a few North Carolinians…)