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Lng 242 Week Three Individual Project Classism

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Information about Lng 242 Week Three Individual Project Classism

Published on September 3, 2008

Author: BethTheve

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This is not my best presentation, and is probably something I did on the fly fifteen minutes before class. But I liked the ideas held within, so I'm sharing it anyway. :o)
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Classism in the United States By Beth Theve

What is Classism? Classism is any form of prejudice or oppression against people as a result of their actual or perceived social class (especially in the form of lower or higher socioeconomic status). It is similar to social elitism. Bottom of the pile: Impoverished, unsophisticated, unskilled, dumb. Superior, but not: Upper middle class, nice houses but not mansions…middle management.. Next step up: Good for simple tasks, but basically worthless. Cream of the Crop: Wealthy, well-educated, savvy, intelligent, good leaders. Perfect!!

Classism is any form of prejudice or oppression against people as a result of their actual or perceived social class (especially in the form of lower or higher socioeconomic status). It is similar to social elitism.

Elitism? Isn’t that just one person being snobby? Maybe! Sometimes, an entire community can have Classist beliefs and actions. These beliefs affects their behavior towards and treatment of people of “lower classes”. Some people claim that Classism is really nothing more than “class envy”, a way to accuse a group of people who are more affluent than others of wronging someone based on feelings of jealousy. It can be hard to define if actions taken are truly based on class discrimination, or if they are based on prejudice against the races, ethnicities or religions of the communities living in lower-income and affluence.

Maybe!

Sometimes, an entire community can have Classist beliefs and actions. These beliefs affects their behavior towards and treatment of people of “lower classes”.

Some people claim that Classism is really nothing more than “class envy”, a way to accuse a group of people who are more affluent than others of wronging someone based on feelings of jealousy.

It can be hard to define if actions taken are truly based on class discrimination, or if they are based on prejudice against the races, ethnicities or religions of the communities living in lower-income and affluence.

How is different in the US? In many countries, there is an accepted and publicly recognized Caste system in place. The Caste you belong to determines your treatment in society and your opportunities as well. India, Africa, Bali, Japan, Korea…all these countries and many more have common Caste systems. In the United States, we are all created equal….sort of. Assigning classes to and identifying people by their classes is an unspoken tradition in America. Poor people are often referred to as “Trailer Trash”, for example. Or “Ghetto Divas”. Regardless of their true personalities or behaviors, people are identified by their level of income and where they live in the community. Shame causes silence - Americans like to think that Castes and class delineations are relics from the old world that have been left behind. This makes Classism the dirty little secret of the new world.

In many countries, there is an accepted and publicly recognized Caste system in place. The Caste you belong to determines your treatment in society and your opportunities as well.

India, Africa, Bali, Japan, Korea…all these countries and many more have common Caste systems.

In the United States, we are all created equal….sort of.

Assigning classes to and identifying people by their classes is an unspoken tradition in America.

Poor people are often referred to as “Trailer Trash”, for example. Or “Ghetto Divas”. Regardless of their true personalities or behaviors, people are identified by their level of income and where they live in the community.

Shame causes silence - Americans like to think that Castes and class delineations are relics from the old world that have been left behind. This makes Classism the dirty little secret of the new world.

So what’s the effect? There are many effects of this hidden form of prejudicial belief. The people who are classed as lower class citizens may not believe in themselves enough to strive for better positions in society. Even if they do strive for better positions, the people in a position to hire them may refuse to, because of the class that they come from. Because the bias is unspoken and unacknowledged, it is unaddressed and unresolved.

There are many effects of this hidden form of prejudicial belief.

The people who are classed as lower class citizens may not believe in themselves enough to strive for better positions in society.

Even if they do strive for better positions, the people in a position to hire them may refuse to, because of the class that they come from.

Because the bias is unspoken and unacknowledged, it is unaddressed and unresolved.

What does Classism look like? “ The horrible tragedy that emerges from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is another example of Classism in America. Those with the means to evacuate were able to do so. But those without means were left behind to bear the brunt of the storm. They were the ones left behind to suffer tragedy and to die. It was known for decades that a major Hurricane like Katrina would inevitably devastate the city of New Orleans. It was a statistical certainty. That day has arrived. And there were no provisions in place to help those millions of working poor who had no money to evacuate the city. Only the people of means mattered. In America it is always the poor, the disenfranchised, who suffer the consequences of Classism.” - By Charles Sullivan “ Do we have a hierarchy of isms? Is it acceptable to discriminate across class lines but not racial ones? Can we go on mistreating people because they are poor but not if they’re black? Are we, in 2006, still unaware of the inextricable connection between class discrimination and racism?” – By Gabriella Beckles

“ The horrible tragedy that emerges from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is another example of Classism in America. Those with the means to evacuate were able to do so. But those without means were left behind to bear the brunt of the storm. They were the ones left behind to suffer tragedy and to die. It was known for decades that a major Hurricane like Katrina would inevitably devastate the city of New Orleans. It was a statistical certainty. That day has arrived. And there were no provisions in place to help those millions of working poor who had no money to evacuate the city. Only the people of means mattered. In America it is always the poor, the disenfranchised, who suffer the consequences of Classism.” - By Charles Sullivan

“ Do we have a hierarchy of isms? Is it acceptable to discriminate across class lines but not racial ones? Can we go on mistreating people because they are poor but not if they’re black? Are we, in 2006, still unaware of the inextricable connection between class discrimination and racism?” – By Gabriella Beckles

Examples of Classist Comments: “ I always go to the other Kroger. It’s further away, but it’s not in that poor neighborhood. I never feel safe around those people.” “ Someone applied for the position yesterday, but I noticed he went to Pohfolks Public High School. Obviously, he’d never be smart enough to catch on, so I threw his application away.” “ Well, my fiancé doesn’t really have all the personality traits I was looking for, but…her parents own a $500,00 house in Good Neighborhood, and she went to Well Off Private College. So she’s a good match.”

“ I always go to the other Kroger. It’s further away, but it’s not in that poor neighborhood. I never feel safe around those people.”

“ Someone applied for the position yesterday, but I noticed he went to Pohfolks Public High School. Obviously, he’d never be smart enough to catch on, so I threw his application away.”

“ Well, my fiancé doesn’t really have all the personality traits I was looking for, but…her parents own a $500,00 house in Good Neighborhood, and she went to Well Off Private College. So she’s a good match.”

Is Anyone Bringing Attention to the Issue? “ As the gap between rich and poor has widened since 1970s, the odds that a child born to poverty will climb to wealth -or a rich children will fall into the middle class -remain stuck.” – The Wall Street Journal A New York Times article chronicles three New York City individuals who suffer heart attacks within several weeks of one another. The health and longevity prognosis for each of them varies widely and is largely dictated by their class differences: working poor, middle class, and wealthy. But according to a Google Blog search, there are only 2,574 blog references to Classism and America. Compared to the number of blogs Google has indexed, that’s incredibly low – nobody is talking about Classism in America!

“ As the gap between rich and poor has widened since 1970s, the odds that a child born to poverty will climb to wealth -or a rich children will fall into the middle class -remain stuck.” – The Wall Street Journal

A New York Times article chronicles three New York City individuals who suffer heart attacks within several weeks of one another. The health and longevity prognosis for each of them varies widely and is largely dictated by their class differences: working poor, middle class, and wealthy.

But according to a Google Blog search, there are only 2,574 blog references to Classism and America. Compared to the number of blogs Google has indexed, that’s incredibly low – nobody is talking about Classism in America!

But there are more people starting to talk…

So how do we move past it? Talk about it!! Accept your own beliefs for what they are, and address them openly and honestly. When you hear a comment, don’t ignore it…say something. Remember what’s important, and forget what’s irrelevant. Make decisions based on actual truths, not assumptions and stereotypes. Don’t lump together whole groups of people into one caricature…it’s inaccurate and unfair to both you and them.

Talk about it!!

Accept your own beliefs for what they are, and address them openly and honestly.

When you hear a comment, don’t ignore it…say something.

Remember what’s important, and forget what’s irrelevant.

Make decisions based on actual truths, not assumptions and stereotypes.

Don’t lump together whole groups of people into one caricature…it’s inaccurate and unfair to both you and them.

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