Washington’s rural communities are rapidly changing. Formerly reliant on working-class industries like mining, oil, and agriculture, an influx of wealthy urbanites is looking for a different kind of experience that includes natural amenities, outdoor recreation, and cultural activities. But in doing so, these newcomers are causing new inequalities.
Join Jennifer Sherman, professor of sociology, to discuss both the glaring and the hidden effects of rural gentrification. Through the lens of a rural Washington community, Sherman explains how “class blindness” protects those with more privilege from fully recognizing social class inequalities. She advocates for the importance of getting to know the neighbors who are least like us so that we can minimize destructive social divides together.
Jennifer Sherman (she/her) is a professor of sociology at Washington State University. Her qualitative research focuses on poverty and inequality, mainly in the rural Northwest. She is the author of two books, the most recent of which is titled Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream (2021), and the coeditor of the 2017 volume, Rural Poverty in the United States.
Sherman lives in Moscow, Idaho.
This talk is presented in partnership with The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, which educates citizens across the state about democratic institutions and public affairs, and is based at Washington State University. For more information, visit The Foley Institute’s website.
- October 5, 2021
- Whatcom County Library System
About Speakers Bureau Events
Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau roster is made up of professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted by a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.