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Meme sheepage

Gacked from xochiquetzl

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. (If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.)

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college Briefly.
Mother finished college. Dropped out.
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 Swimming, guitar, piano
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 See above.
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
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. Never paid anything.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs. No, really. Never paid anything.
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18 For Russian, of all things.
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
There was original art in your house when you were a child Painted by my mother.
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home. They had it on fixed interest. The bank begged them to pay it off. They refused.
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
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
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
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family The place got pretty cold in winter sometimes. They still have no a/c (and neither do I.)



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
1st Jan, 2008 17:12 (UTC)
I'd get skewed results on this one for so many reasons. No heating bills here, my father *worked* for an airline & at the time tickets were a perk on the order of getting free burgers when you flipped them, and since I was the only daughter & thrift shops hadn't yet moved into the neighborhood there was no possibility of hand-me-down clothes (or believe me, I'd have had them). And how do you figure your 'class' against your teachers? People don't have labels.

Good. I don't have to procrastinate using this meme, can get to my laundry, etc.
1st Jan, 2008 20:04 (UTC)
I couldn't figure that either. Also, I don't know what an IRA is.
1st Jan, 2008 20:16 (UTC)
I *think* an IRA is an Independently funded Retirement Account? Money that you invest for your retirement?
2nd Jan, 2008 00:52 (UTC)
That list is very skewed. It looks as though it was drawn up by Americans who are themselves sufficiently privileged that they can't actually think of circumstances that significantly differentiate poverty class from working class from lower middle class - they seem to start their measurement of class somwhere in the middle. Even though it was apparently intended for use in an university course, it still seems to me that it's an unwarranted assumption to make that folks at university are middle class or higher.

An IRA is, I believe, an American registered and hence tax-free private investment account.

If you are at all curious, there is an interesing discussion of just how limited the list's assumptions concerning privilege are, even for Americans, at the livejounal of sf writer Elizabeth Bear (matociquala).
2nd Jan, 2008 09:38 (UTC)
I don't normally take these things very seriously. I fondly remember a high school incident when I used a biology class plant classification scheme to classify a house brick.

A number of people have quite rightly pointed out the profoundly American tilt of the questions. We don't have SAT/ACT here in Australia, for one thing. We don't have individual retirement accounts as such either. What we have is superannuation, into which your employer pays 9% of your earnings. I believe this is like your RRSP is Canada, but it is compulsory.

The bit about universities was interesting to me. I read an article about how Yale University has a "needs blind" admission system and yet still carries out its mission of educating the children of the elite through clever use of early admission and legacy entry schemes. This didn't surprise me much because I went to the University of Melbourne which still managed to achieve much the same effect even without these things.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )