Saturday, February 23, 2008

On privilege

I thought I would hop on the so-called privilege meme floating around these days. When you think about how much farther some people have to go in order to achieve, it's kind of shocking. To be sure, this list works best for people in first world nations. Obviously.

Reminds me of this quote I read somewhere from Barry Switzer: "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple." (Thanks Will!) Likewise, there are some people born in the dugout who never even get up to bat. I like to think I'm somewhere in the middle.

all that are true for you.

  1. Father went to college
  2. Father finished college
  3. Mother went to college
  4. Mother finished college
  5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
  6. Were the same or higher socioeconomic class than your high school teachers
  7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
  8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
  9. Were read children’s books by a parent (Hands down, my favorite childhood memories involve bedtime stories. She always gave in to my pleas of "just one more!")
  10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
  11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
  12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (I'm not sure the media portrays anyone positively anymore...)
  13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
  14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
  15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
  16. Went to a private high school (on scholarship and lots of debt incurred by my mother)
  17. Went to summer camp (basketball)
  18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
  19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
  20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
  21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them (I busted my ass serving pizza and bought my own car thankyouverymuch!)
  22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
  23. You and your family lived in a single family house (after age 11)
  24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
  25. You had your own room as a child (for the most part)
  26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.
  27. Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course (Maybe that's why I didn't even get a 1300. Or maybe it's because I was lazy and didn't study.)
  28. Had your own TV in your room in High School
  29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
  30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
  31. Went on a cruise with your family
  32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
  33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (The first time I went to a museum was last September when my bf took me to The Met. It was boring.)
  34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

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.)

Hmm! I expected to have more than 9 bolded here. I guess I'm snobbier than my upbringing would imply. How many do you have? Leave it in teh commentz!

Update: Will Barratt, one of the creators of this exercise, has a blog on the subject of class where he dissects it all in a typically academic fashion. Sound boring? It's actually really fascinating and worthy of checking out, especially if the list above made you think twice.

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Anonymous said...

I got 20. I never thought I was so well-off.

Michael T said...

17. Wow.

Good move, posting this.

Will Barratt said...

Barry Switzer - Great quote

Nice comments on the meme. Thanks.


Geoff said...

I got 16. I've seen this on other blogs. It's interesting how this short list can really make us think about who we are and where we came from.

Hops said...

Anon, Michael, Geoff - awesome! Thanks!

Will - Thanks for stopping by! This is a very cool project.

Michael T said...

Will's blog really is an easy read. And interesting. Check it out!