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  1. #11
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    My personality trips me up more than socio-economic class.
    this
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    And some persons I like more than others.
    that too

    what i do find interesting is that i have found a particular ease of communication with people of similar socioeconomic backgrounds. it's like a potential area of awkwardness is just not present, which can be comfortable - there's less hesitation in talking about our childhoods or worrying about offending. but there are snobby and crude people of all SES backgrounds.

    and that goes hand in hand with cultural background too. i can pinpoint a new york long islander in a crowd just because i've grown up around them, and i know how to talk with them. it's a somewhat superficial level of understanding, i guess, but it's still pleasant in a lot of ways.

    all that said, i've never had an experience where socioeconomic or cultural background was very significant in me liking or not liking a person.

  2. #12
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Class distinction appears to have greater impact on the more socially competitive individuals.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Class distinction appears to have greater impact on the more socially competitive individuals.
    People who want to be popular?

  4. #14
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    A few hours ago I translated a meeting between a group of managers of a large corporation and some Spanish farmers. And yes, the difference was palpable. In Germany, class is very much alive. But not exactly in the traditional way (wealth of family).

    This is how it seems to work here: Whether you´re parent went to university (the socalled Akademiker, basically a social caste as in the classic hindu system) strongly influences whether or not you will end up going to college. There is a link between income and education as well, in that education will help you to earn more and money helps making it through university. But you can smell the difference between somebody who makes money, but has very little education or intellectual interests, and somebody who might starve but have a PhD. There is a tendency between people with education and no money to look down on people with money but less academic education.

    The other day on another interpreting job, this time a meeting of managers with small salesmen, one of the managers drove me to the train station afterwards and went on about how you could notice that they were only little salesmen and how he had recently been on a safari and how he had spend the weekend at a friends villa and how the friend had his own helicopter...and all the time I thought that while that guy apparently made several times what I make, I did not at all feel intimidated socially, because he seemed to have hurried through business classes without picking up much culture and I flattered myself to think that he wasn´t exactly my intellectual superior, to put it nicely.

    When I talk to somebody from a "socially fragile" background, as politicians call it, I nod and smile and try to be democratic and all the while I feel like a snob for feeling a wall between us. But that wall is not so much income as it is upbringing (and mine was normal middle class) and education (6 years of weasling my way through 3 universities before finally getting into the real world, I don´t consider myself anything special in that regard, but I have several friends with PhDs and noticed that they too are human and not much smarter than people with "only" a BA or MA)

    And I don´t think it´s just me. When you grow up in a family of Akademiker - or in a family with "educational affinity" as they say - you get the kind of socialization a working class kid will never get even if they work 24/7 and get all the formal education in teh world. And the Akademiker recognize each other. As I said, it´s basically a caste. A friend of mine is a med student. You need a perfect GPA to get into medicine at this university (and most others in the country)...he got in. But his parents own a Kebab restaurant - they are Turkish - and never went to college. And you notice it very fast because he lacks the little things sons and daughters of Akademiker grow up with. It´s suptle, but it´s there!

    I´m not defending that system, just describing it. I hate it when I detect that snobism in myself.
    The situation is very similar over here. Although, if you're sufficiently smart & have managed to have "Academic" friends since childhood-early youth, you can successfuly "change class" without anyone noticing. Doesn't happen frequently, though. Generally speaking, university professors are considered the top-class. Second, anyone being in a relatively high position in a very complex institution (say, a research facility, lab, bank, etc.)...
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #15

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    Well, I come from an upper-middle/lower-upper background, and there is a natural ease in communicating with someone from the same. I find that I am easily able to bridge cultural gaps when I make friends from other countries--the commonality is that we come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. That says a lot.

    I don't mean to say that I am a class conscious individual. It has a lot to do with the kinds of people I'm around, because that's just where I am going to school, where I am traveling, where I am hanging out, etc. But when I do meet someone with whom I'm "poles apart" I actually find that we get along beautifully. Strangely I find that someone from a working class background and I have much more in common than our surface characteristics... it's some sort of shared apathy/casualness about class issues that allows us to bond, and makes for interesting conversation. That bit about "not conforming to certain expectations of grace" that you mention, I think, is a traditional middle class thing... like not following some kind of expected social behavior based upon ones class. It's that exact mentality that generally hinders me from forming friendships with someone from a typical middle class background, because in a strange way I think the middle class is much more class conscious than any other and that the rejection of friendship comes from the other end...

  6. #16
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    I think there's no distinct social class groups here in Finland. There used to be, but I think we are beyond it now.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    I think there's no distinct social class groups here in Finland. There used to be, but I think we are beyond it now.
    I'm really interested to hear you elaborate on this, is it because everyone drives the same sort of car or wears the same sort of clothes or lives in the same sorts of house? Do people rent or own their homes? Do all the kids go to the same schools or are there exclusive schools? What about university does everyone go or is it an elite thing? Are there different attitudes to drinking, smoking, drugs, sex or lifestyle choices and habits like that?

  8. #18
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm really interested to hear you elaborate on this, is it because everyone drives the same sort of car or wears the same sort of clothes or lives in the same sorts of house? Do people rent or own their homes? Do all the kids go to the same schools or are there exclusive schools? What about university does everyone go or is it an elite thing? Are there different attitudes to drinking, smoking, drugs, sex or lifestyle choices and habits like that?
    Of course, people don't look the same here, nor are their lives identical with one another. But whether you rent or own a home doesn't entitle you to a certain class. And income classes aren't of much relevancy here, because all the kids go to same schools and universities (about 40% of students go for university/college after formal school), since they are free and of high quality (best in the world, I might add ). Of course, there are some private schools, but they mostly provide an alternative methods of education, not necessarily any better.

    But then again, we do have all kinds of groups here. Students, young couples, pensioners, refugees, etc.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  9. #19
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I like interacting with people from different classes and backgrounds. Variety is the spice of life.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Of course, people don't look the same here, nor are their lives identical with one another. But whether you rent or own a home doesn't entitle you to a certain class. And income classes aren't of much relevancy here, because all the kids go to same schools and universities (about 40% of students go for university/college after formal school), since they are free and of high quality (best in the world, I might add ). Of course, there are some private schools, but they mostly provide an alternative methods of education, not necessarily any better.

    But then again, we do have all kinds of groups here. Students, young couples, pensioners, refugees, etc.

    This makes for an interesting case study... because Finland also has one of the highest suicide rates in the world!

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