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  1. #41
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    ... lousy uppity foreigners... remember your place on the global food chain.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  2. #42
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    ... lousy uppity foreigners... remember your place on the global food chain.
    We cook some nice spaghetti.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    We cook some nice...ehm...some..eh... oh, hell, we brew some decent beer! That´ll have to do.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #44
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    We cook some nice spaghetti.


    And some spicy meatballs!
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  5. #45
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    We cook some nice...ehm...some..eh...
    Jews?


    And on that note, we should return to talking about class.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  6. #46
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  7. #47
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Jews?


    And on that note, we should return to talking about class.
    Wow, that was classy!

    But back to the issue at hand: There might be something to the theory you cited about education being the middle class´idea of "class". But what exactly would "being cultured" mean, if that is the real upper class´self definition? Is it all about knowing what to talk about and what not to talk about at a fancy party? Knowing where to let your wealth show and where to prefer understatement? In other words style and etiquette? That would be rather pathetic in my (middle class) eyes, but it could be plausible. On the other hand, much of the refined tastes seem to require some form of education (which helps you to appreciate both a fine wine and a piece of art hanging on your wall). What about nouveau riches? A self made millionaire from humble beginnings? What would that person have to change in oder to belong? Can it be learned or is it part of an upbringing that can´t be made up for later on?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  8. #48
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Wow, that was classy!

    But back to the issue at hand: There might be something to the theory you cited about education being the middle class´idea of "class". But what exactly would "being cultured" mean, if that is the real upper class´self definition? Is it all about knowing what to talk about and what not to talk about at a fancy party? Knowing where to let your wealth show and where to prefer understatement?
    If I knew exactly what it was, I wouldn't be talking to you peasants. I'd be busy mingling with the Rockefellers instead.

    What about nouveau riches? A self made millionaire from humble beginnings? What would that person have to change in oder to belong? Can it be learned or is it part of an upbringing that can´t be made up for later on?
    The idea is that one is born into a class, and nothing that occurs later in life has any impact on it. Which would explain why old money hate new money (or at least avoid associating with them), even though there is never enough new money to threaten old money establishments (with few rare exceptions such as revolutions, etc.)

    But after a long enough time passes, new money turn into old money - meaning the descendants of the nouveau rich turn into 'legit' upper class. Kennedys being a good example - they started as bootleggers during Prohibition but now they are an epitomy of American blue blood.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    If I knew exactly what it was, I wouldn't be talking to you peasants. I'd be busy mingling with the Rockefellers instead.
    As far as I can see there really is no difference, especially in the United States.

    I do know what you mean about the lower classes equating money with being high class, thus the term (and please, nobody take this to heart) "nigger rich" implying a lower class, uneducated person who comes into wealth. And yes, the middle class equate class with education, and with good reason in the United States, because people with more degrees not only tend to be more educated and refined, but also earn more money.

    However, I don't think there is such a thing as true upper class "cultured" in the U.S. that is seperate from being educated and socially refined.

    And for the record, Paris Hilton comes from "old money" and she has neither the distinction of education nor culture to recommend her, she actually behaves like a lower-class person who came into money rather even an educated middle class person and certainly not even like old-school "cultured" which is apparently why she was rejected by the family of that Greek heir she was dating who was also named Paris.


    The idea is that one is born into a class, and nothing that occurs later in life has any impact on it. Which would explain why old money hate new money (or at least avoid associating with them), even though there is never enough new money to threaten old money establishments (with few rare exceptions such as revolutions, etc.)
    That's true in some countries, England for example for sure still has a very distinct upper class, but not so much in the U.S. Like someone else already pointed out, it's not how much money you have but what one spends it on. That also tends to have a lot to do with education.

    But after a long enough time passes, new money turn into old money - meaning the descendants of the nouveau rich turn into 'legit' upper class. Kennedys being a good example - they started as bootleggers during Prohibition but now they are an epitomy of American blue blood.
    *epitome

    ...and I'm also thinking of the American "old money" Sedgwicks, and their "blue blood." One of the reasons that blue blood doesn't count for as much in the U.S. is because of what becomes of families like that, they often end up behaving in a manner that doesn't even seperate them from a lower class person who won the lottery. Which brings us back to Paris Hilton, who seems much less "cultured" than even little miss Edie.

  10. #50
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenue View Post
    Expanding on the above poster's comments, I want to add that a better indicator of ones class in the US is not necessarily how much money one makes/has but how one spends it. For example, what proportion of your earnings go towards, say, food versus entertainment? home improvement versus travel?--with a positive correlation to a larger proportion towards entertainment and travel. Also, how does one spend? Restaurants, theatre, informal education... or large-screen TV, cars, sporting events? There is something to be said about the tastes of people making such purchases, even if on a sheer income level the people purchasing from either appear similar. I would imagine that people who come from different income brackets but who share similarities in spending habits are more inclined to develop rapport, than the inverse.
    My immediate reaction to the OP is - who cares about this "class". Then after reflecting on it a bit more, I think people very much do care about this in the US though as someone else stated, they pretend to think they don't. In addition to how one spends their money, I think where somebody lives has a lot to do with this. There are privileged neighborhoods or towns and those on the opposite side of the spectrum. Where you live determines where you go to school, what kinds of people you are surrounded by when you are growing up, and the value system of those individuals.

    The US is different than other countries I think. I recall being in Columbia at one point and it was clear they had a class system there. You were born into a particular class and it followed you your entire life - which is different than the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Read CLASS by Paul Fussell, it's still very relevant even though it was written decades ago. Amongst other things, he explains that proles (lower class) determine class by the amount of money one has, middle class determine class by the amount and quality of education one has, and upper class determine class by how "cultured" a person is.
    This is interesting. I agree with the high end and low end but am not sure it fully captures things for the middle class though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Wow, that was classy!

    But back to the issue at hand: There might be something to the theory you cited about education being the middle class´idea of "class". But what exactly would "being cultured" mean, if that is the real upper class´self definition? Is it all about knowing what to talk about and what not to talk about at a fancy party? Knowing where to let your wealth show and where to prefer understatement? In other words style and etiquette? That would be rather pathetic in my (middle class) eyes, but it could be plausible. On the other hand, much of the refined tastes seem to require some form of education (which helps you to appreciate both a fine wine and a piece of art hanging on your wall). What about nouveau riches? A self made millionaire from humble beginnings? What would that person have to change in oder to belong? Can it be learned or is it part of an upbringing that can´t be made up for later on?
    These points about belonging, etiquette, keeping up with the Joneses, and being refined - they bother me - that this is a goal we have in our society. Why do we have to be lemmings? Why do we have to be so shallow? We're inundated with advertising and messaging in media which has shaped us as a society. I wonder if this will change in the upcoming years. We have DVRs and skip commercials. We ignore advertising on the Internet. How will media and corporations help to shape the values of society moving forward? I think this does tie to class. Class structures have been around for a very long time - far before the advent of modern media. The manipulation of society to earn as much as possible and spend money you don't have seems like a more recent thing. It is interesting then that class now is becoming more closely aligned with how one spends their money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post

    The idea is that one is born into a class, and nothing that occurs later in life has any impact on it. Which would explain why old money hate new money (or at least avoid associating with them), even though there is never enough new money to threaten old money establishments (with few rare exceptions such as revolutions, etc.)

    But after a long enough time passes, new money turn into old money - meaning the descendants of the nouveau rich turn into 'legit' upper class. Kennedys being a good example - they started as bootleggers during Prohibition but now they are an epitomy of American blue blood.
    This seems very much right.

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