Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Unconcious classism

Jeanne Burns at Social Class & Quakers has made a few really good and insightful comments on my page. Often, when I have vented about my frustrations at the soon-to-be-vacated-job house, she has offered some food for thought.

She has pointed out that many of the things I am frustrated about with my employees
- not doing a job well, not caring to do a job well, acting out behaviorally, not using time wisely, poor problem-solving, etc. are perhaps because such tasks or performance measures require more middle and owning class skills.
Skills like - networking, research, asking the right questions and of the right persons, constructive critique, socially-accepted behaviors, etc.

She suggested that I may have class blinders on - expecting my employees (and some students I have had the past) - behave "middle class" so that they can succeed or at least take advantage of opportunities presented to them. So in spite of wanting to help, my blinders hinder me.

This blog is about class so this topic is right on topic. And it's completely fair to vet my own short-sightedness and inadequacies. I'll accept that I have class blinders on. (Wow. who'd've guessed. I grew up poor and working class and I'm trying to reach out and I've got the unconscious nerve to be snobbish).

But that still leaves me wondering.
How do I remove these blinders? and What do I do to make an impact/help others?

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