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Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute, Boston

Alienated White Americans: Where the American Dream is Dying

with Janet Van Zandt


Schedule: This course will take place on Tuesdays at 10:30 AM for five weeks during Session 1 (9/14/21 - 10/12/21).  This course will be on Zoom.

Course Description:

This course reviews distressing trends in the lives of working-class whites and the overlap with support for Trump. We will review work status, trends in personal lives, and the rise in deaths of despair. We will then look at societal influences and the rise of angry racial, anti-elite and anti-government responses. We will also explore the role of the more educated professionals. Finally, we will discuss possible healing directions. The course is meant to provide information that will be the basis for discussions.

The instructor may send one or two articles ahead of some of the classes which would enhance class members’ understanding of the topic to be discussed. She will also include a bibliography of books and articles so that if people are interested, they can pursue any of the subtopics of the course.

Enrollment Limit: Unlimitted

Course Leader:

Janet Van Zandt: Janet has a master’s degree but not in an area related to this topic. Her professional work was in mental health, low-income housing and international development. For the past 5 years she has read extensively about the topic of this course, ever since being shocked by the dramatic rise in deaths of despair in this country and then discovering the overlap with support for Trump. She did a first attempt of this course for friends last winter.

Janet has been running a current affairs discussion group for the past four years which addresses a wide variety of topics.

  • Sep 14 - Oct 12th, 2021
    Tue for 5 weeks from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Online Class

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