Sunday, 18 March 2012

Class System

When reading many articles about America’s Class System the major thing that kept reoccurring was that it’s very much a touchy subject, which many people have views/ opinions on but are sometimes reluctant to talk about unless probed or asked.

‘When, recently, asked what I am writing, I have answered, A book about social class in America, people tend first to straighten their ties and sneak a glance at their cuffs to see how far fraying has advanced there. Then, a few minutes later, they silently get up and walk away. It is not just that I am feared as a class spy. It is as if I had said, I am working on a book urging the beating to death of baby whales using the dead bodies of baby seals.’

This is a very interesting topic that some people have a hard time addressing as some people tend to shy their heads away from it or stick their heads in the sand and try to act like something it’s wrong with America’s class system. Actually, you reveal a great deal about your social class by the amount of annoyance or fury you feel when the subject is brought up. A tendency to get very anxious suggests that you are middle class and nervous about slipping down a rung or two. On the other hand, upper-class people love to topic to come up: the more attention paid to the
matter the better off they seem to be.

‘If you reveal your class by your outrage at the very topic, you reveal it also by the way that you define the thing that's outraging you. At the bottom, people tend to believe that class is defined by the amount of money you have. In the middle, people grant that money has something to do with it, but think education and the kind of work you do almost equally important. Nearer the top, people perceive that taste, values, ideas, style, and behaviour are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation or education.’
In America they lack a European system of inheritance titles and ranks. The society changes faster than any other on earth and Americans seem to be almost puzzled about where, in the society, he or she stands. The things that confirmed class in the 1930's - white linen, golf knickers, chrome cocktail shakers, vests with white piping - are, unlikely to do so today. Belonging to a rapidly changing rather than a traditional society, Americans find knowing where you stand or what class you belong to harder than the Europeans, something that they don’t like to be reminded of as they see themselves as ‘a shining city on a hill/lighthouse beacon to all other nations’.

No comments:

Post a Comment