A Tale of Two Psyches
Upper-Class and Working-Class Psychology

Socialism 2015

July 02, 2015

This talk will explore fascinating recent research on psychological differences between social classes in the US. Although working and lower class people are more likely to suffer physical and mental health difficulties under capitalism, working class individuals exhibit greater empathy and prosocial behavior than those in the upper class, develop a more communal sense of self and agency, and are more likely to perceive social categories (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity) as socially constructed. Using Vygotsky’s Marxist approach to psychology, I will argue that the unique psychology that emerges from working class life highlights our potential for collective struggle and revolutionary transformation of society.

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