Thursday, May 29, 2008

Class Privilege

Over at Education & Class, there is an on-going discussion about Middle Class Privilege. In other words there are some benefits or privileges associated with being middle class or “better off” than some people. Class is a very touchy subject. For a variety of reasons, people like to *think* that class doesn’t exist here in the States – that’s a very European thing. Maybe it is a residual from our European colonists, and we are definitely dealing with it. And this year’s Presidential Contest is really bringing it up more and more. I am linking to another Blog –Young Black Professional Guide that commented about this matter of “class privilege” looking the polarizing voting patterns of West Virginia and Kentucky voters. In short, there are many “white Americans” who are not experiencing what is/once thought of as white privilege. There is a growing class divide within white America.
There’s even a Middle Class Privilege Meme. Here’s how it works: List Privileges experienced by Middle Class people. Now, the complicated part for me is teasing out race/ethnic influences on SES class.

Here are my submissions:
1. My children’s teachers and the administrators treat me with respect and listen to what I have to say.
2. People accept what I have to say about important subjects (like politics, medicine, and commentary) and that I am an expert and any credentials I offer verbally without doubt or challenge.
3. When I visit “fine establishments” I know I will be treated with respect and responded to promptly.
4. When I interact with civil servants (police, court room officials, and city clerks) I know I will be taken seriously and not unduly harassed by them.
5. When my children “act out” in public, people don’t attribute it to my class.

I'll continue exploring class matters over the next few days.