2.16.2009

The "C" word

Warning, this post is all about the "C" word.

I'm working on my very brief introductory comments for my World Lit class as we enter a unit on "Class, Race, and Ethnicity".

Here is my working draft. Your comments are very much wanted.


I've always found it rather amusing that we are a culture which will discuss, promote, and visually present most any sexual behavior or detail and yet can hardly manage to acknowledge class, much less discuss it.

Many factors contribute to class: income, education, boundaries of what is considered appropriate for public behavior, civility or the absence thereof, syntax and diction, race, ethnicity, geography of address, religious participation or absence thereof, education level and occupation of parents and siblings, wardrobe choices, height/weight ratio, hair & grooming choices, body alternations, and [what else, gentle reader?].

All of these factors contribute to class or social standing via an intricate and highly-personalized formula. Factors that weigh heavily in my book my be irrelevant in yours and visa versa, yet we all (even if we won't admit it nor discuss it) use class categorizations to help us navigate our contact with others.

In this unit we will be reading a variety of selections that hold up to our attention class concerns [ blah blah blah ].

Along with whatever else you have to say, please think about, and let me know what details matter to you in assessing class.


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7 much appreciated comments :

Kelli Christianson said...

I also want to be your mother. P.S. I think you are very much like grandma. She is real hard to become.

Heather said...

I really think you hit them all or you could add "or anything else that makes one person "different" than others.

Specifically for me it is whether people believe what they see on television, how internet literate they are, their language use, and their reaction to others.

Heather said...

It just occurred to me that I also judge class based on wisdom or lack thereof. When soeone shows great lack of wisdom they instantly lose class in my mind.

Recent blog post: Happy Valentine’s Day

Suzanne said...

Oh yes, foolish choices are heavily weighted in my mind too.
[sent from my iTouch]

Shelby said...

"[what else, gentle reader?]"

Perceived age, friends and associates, and ability or disability come to mind.

Annie said...

Kindness and - yes, "gentleness" (says the gentle reader). The minute I see someone grab their child by the arm and whip them around, or bellow at them, or if I see someone take a parking spot when someone else is obviously waiting for it, or when someone slams a door in someone else's face, or yells angrily at a waitress or employee when a mere statement or question would do.....that's when I think "what a low-class person!"

teteps1 said...

Class in my mind is not as much a state, as a state of mind. I classify folks, we all do, even if we do not admit it, by the behavior that person uses interacting with others.
A person that has class seldom knows they have it, it is just a way of life. They are the people that listen rather than talk, wait rather than jump in front of someone.
Class would also include how people handle the hard stuff in life, death, divorce, loss of a dream. I agree with Annie, it is about kindness, thoughtful consideration of all of the others in our world we have to deal with. Class does include the things you pointed out, but what puts people in one class or another is generally how they behave rather than how much money is in thier pockets, or what clothing they have on. A very poor person may be in the upper class of any socitey by behaving in a certain manner, in my mind. Having said that I think that classes of people, and what puts them into a catergory are attitudes from various learned rules.

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