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Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams

ISBN: 978-1-118-03972-4
256 pages
December 2010
Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams (1118039726) cover image


In Limbo, award-winning journalist Alfred Lubrano identifies and describes an overlooked cultural phenomenon: the internal conflict within individuals raised in blue-collar homes, now living white-collar lives. These people often find that the values of the working class are not sufficient guidance to navigate the white-collar world, where unspoken rules reflect primarily upper-class values. Torn between the world they were raised in and the life they aspire too, they hover between worlds, not quite accepted in either. Himself the son of a Brooklyn bricklayer, Lubrano informs his account with personal experience and interviews with other professionals living in limbo. For millions of Americans, these stories will serve as familiar reminders of the struggles of achieving the American Dream.
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Table of Contents


1. Bricklayer’s Son: The Birth and Clash of Values.

2. Crawling Out of the Black Hole: The Pain of Transition.

3. The Shock of Education: How College Corrupts.

4. Culture Conflicts: First Encounters with the Upper Classes.

5. Going Home: An Identity Changed Forever.

6. Office Politics: The Blue-Collar Way.

7. Class, Love and Progeny: The Ultimate Battle.

8. Duality: The Never-Ending Struggle with Identity.



Source Notes.



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Author Information

ALFRED LUBRANO is a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a contributing editor to GQ, and a commentator for National Public Radio since 1992. He has won six national journalism awards, and has contributed to several magazines and anthologies on writing.
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