Jennifer Silva: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America

Submitted by mcesch on Fri, 02/17/2023 - 19:18
Pink firework erupts.

Join us at the Center for Work and Democracy in welcoming Jennifer Silva to our campus for this hybrid event, hosted on Friday, March 31st from 10:30am-12:00pm.

Jennifer M. Silva’s research examines how working-class people construct their political identities in the wake of the decline of mediating institutions such as stable work, unions, nuclear family structures, and religion. Through in-depth interviews with working-class residents of a declining coal town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Silva traces how participants construct narratives that make connections between economic decline, emotional despair, and political realignment. She demonstrates how individual strategies for managing suffering organize the working-class self in ways that justify disengagement from conventional politics and a turn toward self-help and conspiracy theories. She also explores differences within the sample by racial identity and gender identity, tracing how different histories of oppression and differing expectations of moral self-worth possibly contribute to the political realm.



West Hall Room 135, Tempe Campus; Zoom