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  1. #41
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    Ok, I'll use an anecdote from Austria (if Austria has a lot of class, and I'm full of it, anyone who knows feel free to correct me).

    I went to visit a friend in Austria when I was ten. Thier dad was a delievery truck driver (I don't remember if it was mail or food), and thier mom worked at a convenience store. In America, those two job descriptions would equal lower middle class, or possibly just plain poor. But these people in Austria lived in a nice house, the dad owned a frickin BMW convertible, they both got lots of time off thier jobs, and the parents went on vacations to Egypt. So it's sort of hard to lable them in a class in the American sense

    I think that's the difference

    And that is what I was saying. In the United States, it's really all about money. In Europe, other things (neighborhood, property to hand down, hereditary titles, accent, the school you attended) are more indicative of class status. In other words, the socioeconomic is more social in Europe, more economic in North America.
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  2. #42
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And that is what I was saying. In the United States, it's really all about money. In Europe, other things (neighborhood, property to hand down, hereditary titles, accent, the school you attended) are more indicative of class status. In other words, the socioeconomic is more social in Europe, more economic in North America.
    Yeah, that's right. I wonder: is it easier to socially move in a purely social sense or is it easier to do it in an economic sense? (I personally think it's harder to reach a much higher income+wealth level given the level of income+wealth of your parents, rather than accent+schooling, but there might be research that says otherwise)
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  3. #43
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    It's not all about money. We tell ourselves this, much like we do other myths about the American socioeconmic structure. "America doesn't have class" being the primary amongst these.

  4. #44
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's not all about money. We tell ourselves this, much like we do other myths about the American socioeconmic structure. "America doesn't have class" being the primary amongst these.
    Perhaps we think this way because many of the wealthy became wealthy themselves, and just because your parents were wealthy doesn't mean you will be wealthy, and just because your parents are poor doesn't mean you will be poor.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #45
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Perhaps we think this way because many of the wealthy became wealthy themselves, and just because your parents were wealthy doesn't mean you will be wealthy, and just because your parents are poor doesn't mean you will be poor.
    I think this is a case where the exception proves the rule... in the US, there is a strong link between your parents' economic status (as adults) and your own (as an adult). I'm pretty sure that it's the single most strongly correlating factor. Obviously people *do* move up or down the economic ladder, but for the most part, it takes a circumstance that most of us would see as out-of-the-ordinary, either good or bad, for it to happen.

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  6. #46
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yeah, that's right. I wonder: is it easier to socially move in a purely social sense or is it easier to do it in an economic sense? (I personally think it's harder to reach a much higher income+wealth level given the level of income+wealth of your parents, rather than accent+schooling, but there might be research that says otherwise)
    I think it depends on the person and their situation. It's probably a little easier for a lower-middle-class intelligent young person in America to better their economic standing of their parents (and perhaps even become quite wealthy) than it is in Europe. At the same time, it's extremely difficult for those at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder here to rise to the top. I am not talking about just inner-city minorities, either. I mean Native Americans on reservations, poor rural whites, illegal immigrants, etc. So, perhaps the social ease is easier to affect?
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  7. #47
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    I think this is a case where the exception proves the rule... in the US, there is a strong link between your parents' economic status (as adults) and your own (as an adult). I'm pretty sure that it's the single most strongly correlating factor. Obviously people *do* move up or down the economic ladder, but for the most part, it takes a circumstance that most of us would see as out-of-the-ordinary, either good or bad, for it to happen.

    NY Times link
    Wow, my family must be extremely exceptional, then. I should probably just leave this argument due to my family's freakishness.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #48
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Wow, my family must be extremely exceptional, then. I should probably just leave this argument due to my family's freakishness.
    Not freakish; just lucky. There's nothing wrong with that, either.

  9. #49
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Not freakish; just lucky. There's nothing wrong with that, either.
    No.

    My great grandparents were poor immigrants. Some of them were *gasp!* illegal. My grandmother is wealthy. My family is comfortably middle class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    Ok, I'll use an anecdote from Austria (if Austria has a lot of class, and I'm full of it, anyone who knows feel free to correct me).

    I went to visit a friend in Austria when I was ten. Thier dad was a delievery truck driver (I don't remember if it was mail or food), and thier mom worked at a convenience store. In America, those two job descriptions would equal lower middle class, or possibly just plain poor. But these people in Austria lived in a nice house, the dad owned a frickin BMW convertible, they both got lots of time off thier jobs, and the parents went on vacations to Egypt. So it's sort of hard to lable them in a class in the American sense

    I think that's the difference
    Fuck this life, then! I'm moving to Austria to work at a convenience store! My dad's a fucking lawyer and even we don't get that!
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #50
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    No.

    My great grandparents were poor immigrants. Some of them were *gasp!* illegal. My grandmother is wealthy. My family is comfortably middle class.
    Good for your family. Glad they had plenty of luck upon entering this country.

    The general affluence level of the United States rose significantly over the last 60 years. We have a tendency to conflate our collective increase in riches with individual class advancement.

    Immigrants to this country often went from peasant to proletarian. That's a significant difference in status. Some became small-business owners. That's an even more significant difference in status. However, hardly any of them broke into the upper class. We just tend to pay great notice to the ones who did, for how unusual they are.

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