Professor of Sociology Dennis Gilbert was interviewed about America’s middle class for CNBC.com and for l'Unità, an Italian newspaper. Gilbert is the author of The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality (Sage, 2011)
In the article on CNBC, which was about defining “middle class” in the context of the presidential election, Gilbert said, "The whole attraction of middle class … is it doesn’t mean anything. Middle class means anybody who might vote for you." The piece also appeared on the NBCNews.com website.
In L’Unita's Sept. 19 edition, Gilbert said, “For the political class, the term is useful because everyone uses it without giving it a clear meaning, and each can listen to thinking: ‘Are they talking about me?’” He explained, “There are at least two middle classes and do not share the same fate. White collar workers, teachers, insurance agents, programmers have a degree and - if they have a job - earn enough to live without worries. Then there is the middle class of people with professional qualifications of high profile successful entrepreneurs or small. This category is much better.”
Gilbert noted, “I would say that the middle class is high at around 15% of the population, while the middle class low 30%. In this portion we can include some of the workers, of what we would call the working class. But in politics these are subtleties: middle class is always and collects all those who are not rich nor poor.”