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31 December 2007 @ 08:55 am
The "Class" Meme  
I note that only one or two people in my flist have expressly identified this as a "Class Meme". I confess that I never thought much in terms of "class" when I was a kid -- but that's the most insidious thing about Social Privilege. You don't think of yourself as "special" in any way -- and you're completely clueless as to just how that gives you an advantage in the world.

Bold the ones that apply to you. I put my comments in italics, but some people prefer footnotes.

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college (She went back to school for her LVN right after I went off to college)
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor (Uncle and cousin, both physicians; Uncle, college professor)
Were the same or higher social class than your high school teachers A far more complicated question than one would think.
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home (I think I have that many NOW, and we only have a fraction of the library space my childhood home had.)
Were read children's books by a parent (Learned to read really early, though, and after that, not so much.)
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (I'm tempted to say that's just starting to happen, since I identify as "geek", not "suburban white guy". On the other claw, as a family, we pretty much lived around the corner from the Bradys and the Partridges.)
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp (I went to summer school at the L.A. museum for several years. Not quite a "camp", but in the same arena.)
Had a private tutor before you turned 18 (Um... never needed one.)
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
You and your family lived in a single-family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home (Paid off before we sold it? I honestly don't know.)
You had your own room as a child (Only boy -- but my sisters each had their own rooms.)
You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course (See "Private Tutor", above. Stuff like that was cheating.)
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (I'd have to count on my fingers to be sure, but I think I flew more before I was 16 than I have since.)
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (Odd how that's considered a "class" thing, when most museums are free.)
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (Um... Southern California. Not a big issue.)

It's odd how some of this skews, though. After my mother's divorce, we moved in with my grandmother, who was still teaching. We then moved into a Much Larger House -- but in 1972, a household with two professional-level incomes was still an outlier, and "Teacher" and "X-Ray Tech" were still comfortably middle class. When Mom got remarried, we had three incomes in the house -- and that kind of multi-generational working household was rare in that time period.

I don't think a household with two X-Ray techs and a grade school teacher would be quite so comfortable these days.
I feel: thoughtfulthoughtful
Bobyourbob on December 31st, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Looking over the list is interesting. I'm wondering how some of these actually relate to class. I've known some really wealthy lower class people, and some really poor aristocracy.

What is staying in a hotel? Higher because it can be afforded, or lower because your relatives don't have room for you?

Had your own TV or phone in HS? No one did when I was in HS.

And cruises? QE2 or Princess? Does Disney's Jungle Cruise count?

silussa on December 31st, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
Kind of amusing for me, although not for the reason you'd expect.

I grew up POOR. The heating bill came from buying kerosene for space heaters, or wood for a wood-burning stove (not a fireplace, an actual stove). Earlier on, used the gas range for heat as well.

Summer camp? Does Boy Scouts count, I wonder? ;)

Over 50 books, less then 500. self-taught reader, from among other sources a sample book on intro to business law.

Immediate relatives, no college graduates....but going back up the family tree, quite a few college graduates, and a few medical doctors. One of whom was at one time the head of the AMA.

I'm not sure if 1970s television could ever be accused of having a positive look at poor white folk. (my father fell as a cross between Archie Bunker and Fred Sanford...and he couldn't stand either of them. Wonder why...;) )
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on January 1st, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
Did you go to Boy Scout CAMP? Then it counts.