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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Does class or social class trip you up?

    Does class or social class ever trip you up or become an obsticle to social interaction? I mean have you ever begun a conversation and realised that you're poles apart from the person you're talking to and class, status or strata is the root cause?

    When you think of or use the word class is it positive or negative? Is it mainly one or the other or can you switch? What do you mean by it usually? On the one hand class is used to shut people down or off but on the other being classy or having some class are things which people, all people, seem to desire.

    The world is more declasse than it ever was and while the very idea seems a bit worn, in practice I do tend to encounter it as pretty real, not simply because the UK still has some deference to "toffs", at least some of the english ones, despite the BBC radio and BBC radio worldservice dispensing with particular tone and eloquition (spelling) in its spoken word programming.

    Sometimes its more apparent when people of particular status and rank dont conform to a certain expectation of grace or respectability, the tendency of some people with a lot of wealth to behave like hobos or low rent derelicts tends to shore up the worst sort of class warrior prejudice from my teens. I'm not sure if that's a reaction to a certain sort of "class fail" rather than "class" per se though and I dont like generally ill mannered behaviour.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Does class or social class ever trip you up or become an obsticle to social interaction?
    What's an obsticle?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    What's an obsticle?
    In this case, it's a capitalist Popsicle.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Does class or social class ever trip you up or become an obsticle to social interaction? I mean have you ever begun a conversation and realised that you're poles apart from the person you're talking to and class, status or strata is the root cause?
    No, because where I live, everyone is homogeneous in every single way. We all wear grey clothes and live in grey houses. We all work at Pink Dildo factories, so we all customize our license plates with the tag PINKDILDO. Then, when one of us breaks the law, the cops (who we all re, btw) chase everyone.

  4. #4
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    Does class or social class ever trip you up or become an obsticle to social interaction?
    Never... I'm one classy son of a bitch

  5. #5
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Does class or social class ever trip you up or become an obstacle to social interaction? I mean have you ever begun a conversation and realised that you're poles apart from the person you're talking to and class, status or strata is the root cause?
    No. I would imagine that part of this has to do with the fact that the people I’ve interacted with have tended to be younger teenagers, and have thus not cemented into the particular social class that they’ll end up in. So it’s not uncommon for me to have met a person from a poor family whose attitudes to education and career focus are more commonly associated with the upper class.

    When you think of or use the word class is it positive or negative? Is it mainly one or the other or can you switch? What do you mean by it usually? On the one hand class is used to shut people down or off but on the other being classy or having some class are things which people, all people, seem to desire.
    Neither. It’s completely neutral like most social scientific and economic terms that I use. When I use the term “class” I’m generally referring to the socio-economical strata of lower class, middle class, upper class, and the superrich, individuals who have inherited wealth and can generally afford to live on it.

    The world is more declasse than it ever was and while the very idea seems a bit worn, in practice I do tend to encounter it as pretty real, not simply because the UK still has some deference to "toffs", at least some of the english ones, despite the BBC radio and BBC radio worldservice dispensing with particular tone and eloquition (spelling) in its spoken word programming.
    Here in the United States the class system still exists, but we all like to pretend as if we’re middle class. And there are still large segments of attitudes and lifestyles that are associated with each class. It’s an unavoidable facet of human nature.

    Sometimes its more apparent when people of particular status and rank dont conform to a certain expectation of grace or respectability, the tendency of some people with a lot of wealth to behave like hobos or low rent derelicts tends to shore up the worst sort of class warrior prejudice from my teens. I'm not sure if that's a reaction to a certain sort of "class fail" rather than "class" per se though and I dont like generally ill mannered behaviour
    I would actually say that it’s the opposite. The trust fund babies who have had the pleasure of inheritance and prenatal social connections to wipe their rumps tend to be the most classist and to frown upon the nouveau rich. This prejudice has faded as tech entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs have risen into prominence. It’s still there, however, and people who have obtained wealth through lottery winnings and musical acclaim still tend to be frowned upon.
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  6. #6
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    My personality trips me up more than socio-economic class.

  7. #7
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    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.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Trentham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    My personality trips me up more than socio-economic class.
    ^^^ This.

    However, in my work I'm sometimes required to interact with individuals who are several "social strata" higher than me. I was raised in a distinctly blue collar environment so it can be tough to relate to someone with a $50 million net worth simply because our backgrounds differ so widely. Of course I don't find myself relating to very many ordinary people either, so personality probably has more to do with it.
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  9. #9
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    I am certainly aware of social class but I find I look for quicksilver response and emotional depth.

    I find I speak to all kinds of people during the day, and I now take the initiative with almost everyone, from school children, to modest muslim ladies, to tradesmen, to librarians, public servants and academics, even the odd soldier, and almost always I get a positive response. Of course I probably avoid those likely to give a negative response.

    I allow myself to be quicksilver and emotionally spontaneous, which is pleasurable for me, and brings me smiles and conversation during the day.

    Have I always been like this? It's hard to say but I think this is a recent but slow development. I must have been different when I was younger because my parents bought me the book, "How to Make Friends and Influence People". But I don't know. I think I have always been happy within myself but perhaps I was unable to convey it to others. Or it may be that I am just free to do what I want now.

    However I do think social class is very important particularly for children who are very impressionable.

    But behind social class is the person. And some persons I like more than others. But there is something mysterious about myself and other persons. What it is, I don't know. But quicksilver response give me quick access and emotional depth lets me reach the heart.

  10. #10
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I'm not interested in or effected by social class. My family was poor when I was growing up, and my grandparents were farmers, so I looks for other qualities rather than class in my interactions with others.
    Class is more important to the people on the top of the economic strata, so they can quickly decide who is a competitor or a servant.
    When I was 15, I visited my sister in NYC, where she was working as a classical clarinetist. She knew someone affiliated with the arts, and when they heard that her little brother was coming from Montana, they invited her to bring me up to their penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park. The Apartment was decorated with sculptures the host had made, and diplomas from her husband's medical career. It was truly amazing to be this scruffy kid from the mountains, wearing an old sweatshirt, looking down on the biggest city I had ever seen. They were very polite and asked me lots of questions about the music I played (jazz and punk rock). they seemed quiet delighted by this strange boy, from a completely different world from their own. I eat caviar on little pieces of toast. Actually, I eat all of the caviar, but they seemed to be ok with that. They just smiled and opened another jar.
    It was delightful to me, and I didn't feel any sense of superiority from them, or class distinction at all. We were all there because a higher motive, which was an interest in music and the arts.
    Later on that same trip, I met Aaron Copland. I felt a distinction in class then, as he was a god of American music, and I was just a boy in a sweatshirt.

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