Independent Study on Class
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir that focuses on the differences in economic and social classes and the impacts of those differences as they apply to upward mobility. Have students complete their own studies that examine the wealth/poverty ratios within their immediate community and discuss the differences between these ratios in your region versus those of the book.
Culture in Appalachia versus the Rust Belt
In Hillbilly Elegy, author J. D. Vance examines two main settings where he grew up: Jackson, Kentucky, and Middletown, Ohio. Give students the opportunity to research these settings and create a project that compares and contrasts them in terms of culture, economy, and values.
Look in your local newspaper or archives for an article that involves some aspect of the memoir and bring it to class. You will present it in front of the class and explain...
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