Varieties of White Working-Class Identity

Eric D. Knowles, Monica McDermott, Jennifer A. Richeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work demonstrates that, contrary to popular political narratives, working-class White Americans are far from monolithic in their class identities, social attitudes, and political preferences. Latent profile analysis is used to distinguish three types of identity in a nationally representative sample of working-class Whites: Working Class Patriots, who valorize responsibility, embrace national identity, and disparage the poor; Class Conflict Aware, who regard social class as a structural phenomenon and ascribe elitist attitudes to higher classes; and Working Class Connected, who embrace working-class identity, sympathize with the poor, and feel disrespected because of the work they do. This identity typology appears unique to working-class Whites and is associated with distinct patterns of attitudes regarding immigration, race, and politics, such that Class Conflict Aware and Working Class Connected Whites are considerably more progressive than are Working Class Patriots. Implications for electoral politics and race relations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-452
Number of pages21
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • identity
  • immigration
  • latent profile analysis
  • politics
  • race
  • social class
  • whites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Varieties of White Working-Class Identity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this