Law prof proposes 'white middle-class studies' discipline
- George Washington University Law School professor John Banzhaf is proposing that universities create "Blue Collar Studies" programs to help scholars better understand Trump voters.
A George Washington University Law School professor thinks colleges should offer “white middle-class studies” or “blue collar studies” in the age of President Trump.
According to The Daily Caller, John Banzhaf was scheduled to present his plan for the new academic field at the Fifteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities being held in London this week.
The courses are loosely modeled on the progressive identity-focused studies that examine the experiences of minority groups in the U.S., which Banzhaf argues is necessary because most scholars have little or no understanding of the perspectives that drove people to vote for Donald Trump.
“The abject failure of academics and other key members of the knowledge society to predict, much less to understand, the views of the six-in-ten Americans without college degrees who provided Trump’s primary support in the U.S. presidential election dramatically illustrates the urgent need for at least one new direction for critical studies: Blue Collar (or non-degree) Studies,” the professor contends in an abstract to his upcoming presentation.
“Such new studies are needed for exactly the same reasons we have Black Studies, LGBT Studies, and others: that we urgently need to understand more about these subcultures, even though the interaction and knowledge gaps between cultures are greater regarding people without degrees than with these other groups,” he adds.
Banzhaf told TheDC that the discipline is important “in light of the unexpected election of Donald Trump and alarming reports that life expectancy is surprisingly tumbling among white middle-class Americans,” speculating that “Blue Collar Studies” programs would also help governments to better comprehend the problems faced by middle-class Americans.
“Truly comprehending their concerns and views would help politicians and society generally to better address and respect them, and enhance the all-important element of predictability regarding public policy, both in the U.S. and in other major countries where the same sheepskin divisions seem to exist and create similar problems,” the abstract concludes.
“Those of us who help guide the knowledge society must better understand those who so strongly feel that they are being left behind, and harmed by it, to help heal growing rifts, improve communications, and close vital gaps in both cultural and political studies.”
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