PBS has been running a documentary called “People Like Us” this past week. It deals with class in America. Some of the findings aren’t too revelatory - ooh WASPs are snobs! But the fact that wheat bread versus white bread can basically be boiled down to a class issue is fascinating.
They interviewed a woman who grew up lower class and married rich who now hires herself out to help other women marry rich. Another woman who was interviewed lived in a trailer with her three sons in Ohio. They didn’t have any heat or car and she walked to work at Burger King. One of her sons constantly belittled her and mentioned how ashamed he was of their living conditions. Quite a stark contrast in inerviewees.
I’ve felt that a lot of the problems in America basically stem from class issues. Acquaintances, who grew up well-off, flatly deny that there’s a class system in America. Working class/middle class acquaintances acknowledge the American class system and usually there is a level of hostility/resentment. According to this quiz, I’m middle, middle class.
Since I saw the documentary, I chatted with my parents about class. My mom’s family was basically working class and my dad’s was landed gentry in Europe. So, I teased my dad for marrying below his station. We basically agreed that our family was middle class with a yearning for serfs to do our dirty work. How do you stack up?