I found this meme by reading a fellow-babbler’s blog (jesdraggon — hi!), then I followed up with a bit of research… you will see some links at the bottom of this. Here is the meme. The bold items are the ones that I know to have been true for me.

To participate in this blog game, copy and paste the list into your blog, and bold the items that are true for you.

* Father went to college He was one of the first to attend college in his family (except for one grandfather; his mother and his elder sister attended just before he did — almost concurrent).

* Father finished college He has always been proud of this, and of the Master’s degree he obtained when I was about 12.

* Mother went to college Except for her mother, who attended and graduated from a two-year junior college, she was the first we know of in her family to receive higher education.

* Mother finished college And also has a Master’s and considerable credits toward an abandoned PhD as well, she studied mostly because she loved her field (education) and believes in life-long learning!

* Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.

* Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers. Middle class, all!

* Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

* Had more than 500 books in your childhood home. I am including the magazines like National Geographic as well as my own collection of books that was easily close to 200 before I was a teenager…

* Were read children’s books by a parent.

* Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18.

* Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18. Horseback riding when I was about ten, piano lessons as a teen, ballet lessons sporadically between the ages of 4 and 12, swimming lessons here and there… some “summer school” elective courses. But see the comment above about my mother’s profession and interest in education!

* 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. Actually, my parents had set some money aside when I was young, and so my first year of college was paid for, partly by that and partly by them. The remaining years I was on my own… and I highly recommend letting young people figure out how to finance their education. It meant so much more to me because I was responsible for getting myself there.

* Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

* Went to a private high school.

* Went to summer camp. Only once, a girlscout camp for two weeks, and I HATED it.

* Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

* Family vacations involved staying at hotels. At least often enough that I have always felt comfortable in hotels, but we also did a lot of camping. TENT camping.

* Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18. or my mother made the clothes; we didn’t have much money at times, but she always made sure we had something nice to wear when we started school each autumn.

* 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. Some was original, some were rubbings of ancient asian stone carvings. Nothing big, nothing highly valuable, but enough to make art seem as necessary as air. We did have a piano…

* 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.

* You had your own room as a child. Almost had to, my only sibling was a boy!

* Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course. Didn’t do this, but did successfully take two AP tests for college credit as a senior…

* 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. This was part of being a military brat though, relocations often entailed going very long distances.

* 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. I have a caveat on this. I know that after I turned 13 things were really tight for the family and the cost of everything was unspoken but understood… We heated in part with a large woodstove.

It occurs to me that I will want to follow up with my own thoughts on what these questions highlight… but not tonight. The original author of the meme did some followups, which I think you can find by following the first link below. It is curious how social status and “class” are such immense issues in our world, even in a nation which styles itself as a “democracy” (yes, I know it’s a democratic republic, but still…).

This meme was originally started by N. Jeanne Burns of Social Class and Quakers, using (at least in large part) the work of Will Barrett, et al at Illinois State University. I tend to be interested in demographics and personality stuff anyway, so this meme appealed to me. If you use this on your own blog, please include the following paragraph somewhere in the post.

The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

One Interaction on “Social Class — How Privileged are you?

  1. Well, obviously I lived in a different world than the designers of this list! (Even though my daughter attends that university!) We never owned our home (although my mother did scrimp and save to build a cabin on a lake–with an outhouse), I never had any lessons (until I took piano lessons in my 30’s and horseback riding in my 40’s), put myself through college (ended up in debt, of course), never had a phone or TV in my room, never stayed in a hotel on vacations (we tent camped only–or didn’t travel!), public schools all the way, and many of my clothes were hand made or hand-me-downs. On the other hand, everyone in my family has at least a BA, we had thousands of books, spent every summer on a lake (waterskiing, fishing)! My children, on the other hand have a completely different experience. Life!

    Hi Stid!

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