“You Can’t Be a Class Ally If You’re An Upper-Class Person Because You Don’t Understand”: Working-Class Students’ Definitions and Perceptions of Social Class Allyship


Although the concept of allyship has been used in relation to multiple marginalized groups within higher education, it is rarely applied to social class. In this study, I used narrative inquiry to understand how working-class students define and perceive social class allyship. Findings revealed that working class students identified social class allyship primarily through affinity spaces, resources, and navigational support. However, many struggled to conceptualize social class related to broader systemic change. From this research, I redefine allyship as a layered, multifaceted concept in which forms of oppression are interconnected and outline implications for individual and systemic change.

Publication Title

Review of Higher Education