Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Duchess Harris, JD, PhD
Publisher: Abdo Publishing
What will careers look like in 2050? Harris winds her way through the past to unravel the economic trends of today to predict the future work infrastructure. The middle class, made possible by the industrial revolution and several wars in the past two centuries, erodes quickly in the face of the technological revolution, globalization, and rise of the gig economy. Generation after generation are increasingly prone to switch jobs and even careers throughout their lives. Retirement is becoming a thing of the past, as the life expectancy in the United States increases. Innovative solutions for future employment, benefits, and careers are being tested as we speak, and training in specific fields, like technology and health, are being made accessible to the downtrodden middle class.
The last sentence in the book proper is “All we can know for sure is that the future of work in America is changing, and adaptation will be necessary to keep up.” As a summary and as a snapshot of the book, this sentence is a perfect sample. While packed with legitimate sources and important information, Class in America is a more exploratory and less informative piece than Harris’ other books. However, akin to her other works, the organization leaves something to be desired. While the chapters, supplementary materials, and pages are structured perfectly for the attention span of a middle-grade child, redundant chapter titles and other organizational choices aren’t the most helpful education tool.