The poor, middle class, and upper class are different. However, poorer people are often more passive and fatalistic towards life than either the middle and/or upper classes. Poorer people teach their children that life is often harsh, punitive, and that they are at the mercy of society. Education is seldom emphasized in the environments of pooer people. The inundation is to live from day to day. Middle, especially the upper middle, and upper classes have a vastly different viewpoint of education and success. They teach their children that anything is possible and that the world is their oyster. Middle class and upper class people view life as a challenge to overcome. They also believe in long term and long range planning which poor people do not do as they prefer to live from moment to moment without concern about the future. Furthermore, they are proactive regarding life and believe in the value of education, especially tertiary education. While poor people inundate their children to take JOBS, the middle and upper class inundate their children to have CAREERS.
Hi Ms. Williams. I thank you for posing such an interesting premise. The first sentence quoted above begs for a verifiable notation. I hope you have one to share.
While I respect your background and experiences, there is an obvious inference that class mobility is the product of class attitudes toward education. This may be true in some countries. However, in the U.S., I found considerable data to challenge this notion. Social advancement in America suffers more today because of growing inequality, i.e. the gap between the class rungs on the economic ladder are growing much further apart. Statistically, the average American is more likely to slide down the ladder than to climb higher.
Studies show the poor are not being hampered by their attitudes toward education but by the education system itself. An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report reveals the main cause of social immobility in the US is America's public schools. Rather than lifting poor children up, they are instead holding them down. The research shows children from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their prospects and benefit more from an increase of social mix within the schools. It was found to boost performance of disadvantaged students without any apparent negative effects on overall performance. Tracking and grouping students, on the other hand, has been proven to work against the most needy. (1)
There seems to be significant evidence to challenge the assumption class attitudes toward education are the leading factors affecting economic advancement.
Once again, my sincere thanks for launching this thread.
Education is relative. What is wrong with aborigines and the way they teach their children hunting traditions and survival in the desert? Are they poor people? Wealth and education mean different things to different people. Certain western medicine is useless in many cases for asians who believe in chinese medicine. What works for some, may not work for others. We cannot say that a Thai Chi Master is not educated.
Sounds to me like you are using a lot of words to basically say laziness makes people poor--with the implication that this is somehow innate or "fitting".
My grandfather was an illiterate manual laborer, but cheerful, optimistic, a great Santa every year. Every one of his many kids graduated high school, three of them have university degrees. All are now middle class and above.
People are not "types" of a "class". They are just people. They changes within and between generations *but only if* they are given reasonable access to a safe home, good food and an education.
And "poor people" harvest food and coal and do crucial jobs that just don't happen to pay well. Making lots of money is not everything.
"What began as the documentary “Seven Up” in 1964 has turned into a lifelong chronicle, with director Michael Apted revisiting the subjects every seven years to create one of the most unusual real-life narratives in film history."
The last one I saw, maybe the 35 one: not one had mobilized out of their class except the
A documentary of 14 kids, 12 still taking part and a most ofthem started off middle to upper class. I remember the kid who started in a one room country school and became a university professor. But as a sample of social mobility it is limited. As a measure of personal motivation, even more so as wealth effects opportunity.
Even using the word "class" implies one has a station at birth. I would reject that.
My grandads kids had free healthcare and schooling of a good quality. I would suggest that most kids these days don't.
it is cyclical, but then you need to get out of the cycle, you have a choice to better yourself. Status maybe transferred from one generation to the other by virtue of being in the family, but it is your choice to strive so that you can surpass the poor status of your family. The end thing is to be happy when you first satisfy your basic needs. Statuses are only based on the changing perceptions in the society and it can be a combination of profession/education wealth or whatever is deemed important in that society.
This is an interesting thread. I cannot and will not pretend to understand what occupies the minds of individuals from a particular "class" I can only speak of my own experience. My parents were poor, white and working class. My father passed what was known as an "11+" exam which offered a place at a grammar school in the early 1940's. Unfortunately, his parents could not afford the required uniform so he was unable to attend. Both my mother and father left school at the age of 14 years, my mother barely literate as she missed so much time at school due to ill health.
They both worked hard and always placed great emphasis on the value of education. Both my sisters and brother entered the world of work at the age of 15 years. I left school at 16, but found higher education at the age of thirty. The only person in my family to go to university. It wasn't poverty that stalled my education, it was my mindset and peer influence. I disregarded my parent's wise words.
Children do not grow up in a vacuum, there are so many other factors that will influence the decisions they make. Finding a good school can be difficult for those who live in socially deprived areas, but educated parents can hold that school to account and demand a quality education for that child, I know, I have been a lone parent for the past nine years and I have. Likewise, which ever class we are born into, we can and should instill in our children the need to work hard and achieve as much as they are capable of. I'm a tough parent, I guess.
The most basic definition of class might be social mores, or how one behaves in social situations and one's knowledge of same therein.
Some very poor people I have met have had the most class as best manners and demeanor, and some rich people I have met had no clue how to behave
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