"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Key FeaturesDiscusses existing applications in many different fields and disciplines along with state-of-the-art coverage of the strengths and limitations of these techniquesDemonstrates further inventive ways of using QCA techniquesProvides advice on how to develop a comparative research design (case and variable selection) as well as a specific technique called MSDO/MDSO (most similar, different outcome/most different, same outcome).Shows how to perform the technical operations linked to three specific QCA techniques: csQCA, mvQCA, and fsQCAIncludes a glossary, an extensive bibliography, and a detailed list of good practices at every stage of the research process
A must for any student or researcher who wants to engage in systematic cross-case comparison in the social and behavioral sciences, the book is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level social science research methods courses.