Thursday, August 04, 2005


I haven’t finished reading Julie Lindquist’s A Place to Stand: Politics and Persuasion in a Working Class Bar, so I may be jumping ahead of myself, trying to question points she is making that she later in the book addresses, complicates, and/or answers.

Still, I have questions:

On page 74 Lindquist states that “Smokehouse ideologies of class are highly narratizable, yet stubbornly unnamable.” (Background: The Smokehouse is the working class bar, which Lindquist is referring to in the title. She works there as a bartender while attaining her doctorate. In part, Lindquist is looking at the ways in which the Smokehouse regulars—“Smokehousers”—express and/or interpret class/experience through their daily discussions.) What ideologies of class are nameable? At numerous points in the book (so far), Lindquist comes to the (seemingly surprising, to her) conclusion that the Smokehousers lack a language for class, yet don’t most people? Not just working class, bar regulars…?

I am constantly running into this predicament—not having a language with which to speak about class, not having a framework for the unsatisfactory language that we do have. Because, from the folk who frequent the Smokehouse to the students who sit in our classrooms—the people don’t read class theory.

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