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Old 06-30-2013, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey
386 posts, read 613,220 times
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Interesting post, thanks!

I started the "You Know You Were Raised Working Class" thread, and find this stuff fascinating. I notice a lot of people tend to criticize these types of threads, although, naturally, they are only generalizations to which there are bound to be exceptions. But I can definitely see these describing, for example, people whom I know in Princeton. Some readers also tend to get defensive ("I'm not upper middle class and I still like Brie cheese, you jerk!!"), which goes to show how personal this issue, which is still a bit taboo in the US, can be.

I was raised in a working class environment, and now I am solidly middle middle, at best, but I share some of these traits listed. But the difference between myself and many upper middle class folks, I think, is that I wasn't raised to appreciate gourmet food, travel, the arts, etc.; these were things I was driven to learn about later in life, due to my own curiosity.

A neat related post from PBS Newshour:

Do You Live in a Bubble? A Quiz | PBS NewsHour
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Folsom
5,093 posts, read 8,222,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
......
interesting....Where did you find that list of generalizations? I was somewhat surprised to see how many of those applied since I was raised lower middle class. It does make a difference to be raised in a loving family that teaches strong values irregardless of social status.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:25 PM
 
27,961 posts, read 30,454,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Well, where I live the original post fits middle class. It also fits my sister who lives in Virginia and she is middle class. Her husband teaches in a college, probably not a full professor, and they're very middle class, not upper middle. Her kids did go to public schools but they took AP classes. Our parents both went to college and we fit the description--she backpacks and kayaks, etc.

We love art museums and her husband is interested in music--he directs a choir and plays some instrument. I've been to many classical music concerts and once, to an opera in NYC. We do it out of interest, though, not out of social pressure. I love museums of all kinds, especially art museums but it's out of interest, not to see and be seen. We're just middle class. But there is also a lower middle class and I guess there's a lower class and that class would also have its divisions. If there really ARE classes anymore and I think there are, at least where I live. Maybe a lot of lower middle class people are being considered middle class?

Upper middle class, from what I've seen, might have a small yacht and probably have two homes in nice places, travel extensively around the world, have the expensive foreign cars, a private plane. My husband knows a few--they share a private plane, they have a huge house, they have many foreign cars and just buy them whenever they feel like it for the fun of it, they belong to many country clubs--not just one. They fly their wives in the private plane to Martha's Vinyard to go shopping. They're not trying to keep up with the Joneses like the middle class, they ARE the Joneses. They do work though, they work a lot and are hardly ever home--their jobs seem very important. I have relatives who are upper middle--very successful lawyers who won't even speak to us, homes all over the place, extensive world travelers, extremely well dressed, etc.

Then there is the upper class who are mostly invisible. Probably most of us have probably never even met a true upper class person. I wouldn't even know who they are but they are the higher ups. From old money, dress and act a certain way, go to very very correct schools, even their prep schools are the best. Large second homes in extremely private areas that cannot be accessed by ordinary people. Maybe a third and a fourth home. Drivers to take them where they want to go. They have strong old ties to institutions like Harvard and Yale and belong to clubs that we don't even know about. They network and help each other to stay upper class and elitist. I don't thing there is much movement in or out of the true upper class, you are born into it. I'd say Rockefellers and people like that?

For the true upper class it's about elitism. For everybody else it's somewhat about money but more about what your interests are, how you conduct yourself, how you dress, your values, things like that. If I, as a middle class person, were put in a room with some upper middle class people, the differences would be obvious. My purse didn't cost $1000 and I would think it was stupid to pay that price. I'd go somewhere and get a much cheaper brand--and get it on sale. I think most people are versions of middle class.
I disagree with you here. I think most college professors would qualify as upper middle class, unless they are part time "adjunct" professors with minimal benefits. Professors tend to live modest lifestyles compared to other professions. That's partly because it takes a while before they earn good incomes and they probably earn less than some other professions. But if you read "The Millionaire Next Door", you'll also find they are one of the professions where people tend to save more and actually accumulate more wealth than would be expected based on their incomes. That's because they live more modest lifestyles than people of similar incomes in other jobs/professions.

I think the people you're describing as "upper middle class" are actually the various strata of rich.

This is another example of "comparing up". Once people hit the upper economic echelons, they tend to underestimate where they are in the social/economic strata because it's human nature to compare yourself to people who have more than you and forget about all the people who have less.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:28 PM
 
Location: So Cal
43,019 posts, read 42,373,658 times
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LOL, bunch of horseshyt...


I'm solidly middle class and a good chunk of those apply to me.....
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:37 PM
 
27,961 posts, read 30,454,479 times
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I do think there is a fair amount of overlap between middle and upper middle class in terms of values, tastes & lifestyles. The middle class often has similar tastes but has to forgo some things or do them on a scaled down level. I fit a fair number of the descriptions in the original post, but even people who make less than I would never consider me upper middle class if going by income. The things that don't cost money or don't cost a lot (i.e. value systems such as the importance of education; going to museums; shopping for couscous & risotto) can often be adopted by the middle class. The things that do cost money have to be scaled down. E.G. There might be fewer extracurricular activities for the kids; going to a state university instead of a private school; living in a smaller than 2500 square foot house, etc.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 07-01-2013 at 12:08 AM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:07 AM
 
27,961 posts, read 30,454,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caligirlz View Post
interesting....Where did you find that list of generalizations? I was somewhat surprised to see how many of those applied since I was raised lower middle class. It does make a difference to be raised in a loving family that teaches strong values irregardless of social status.
I agree with this completely Lower middle class but raised in a nurturing household (especially a 2 parent household) makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, most of today's lower middle class and poor are raised in single parent households, which reduces their chances of ever breaking into the middle class.

The guy who came up with that bubble quiz mentioned in post #21 also said something similar about single parenthood:

We have so much evidence that is agreed to by liberal social scientists as well as conservative ones saying on average, after controlling for socioeconomic status, race and everything else, kids born to single women do worse in life on average
. Nobody wants to say that because as soon as you say that, you are ignoring all those women who are doing their damnedest to raise their children well in the face of difficulties. You don't want to make them feel bad, you don't want to make the kids feel bad because they aren't in a married family, and yet there is this stubborn fact out there that is very damaging to kids, to be born into certain kinds of family structures. And nobody's willing to say that.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/business...ss-societ.html

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 07-01-2013 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:53 AM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,993,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
13. If you're a female, you don sunglasses even when it isn't that sunny out.
That one made me laugh.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:07 AM
 
1,102 posts, read 1,633,098 times
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Interesting and entertaining Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 26,473,206 times
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I make enough money to do most of those things. But I have problems with much of that list.

- I don't care about the arts per se. I don't think we should be funding museums (or stadiums). I love live music and see it when I can. But ticket prices sure hurt a lot these days.
- I am a car person. But I have no fascination with brands or countries of origin. I buy my cars, not lease them. And I work on them.
- I shop both Nordstrom and Walmart occasionally.
- I am a sushi snob (never ever put mayo in a sushi roll), but I will occasionally eat an Egg McMuffin.
- I am a beer snob. I would rather drink water than any pale lager from the US, Canada, Mexico, or Asia.
- I despise the view that density is good and that urban lifestyles are superior
- I love food, but have a hard time with spending $100/person for a meal. So I appreciate when a place like Chipotle can do something tasty for much less.
- I have a boat and two jetskis. I also have many lawn power tools.
- I strongly resist wearing clothes with an obvious brand or label on them. No horses on my shirts.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:33 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,836 posts, read 20,945,438 times
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So according to the bubble quiz I'm upper middle class but I still say I'm a mere middle class. Maybe upper middle values without the money. As someone said, it's free or cheap to go to an art museum. I have never eaten at any of those junk food places. We would never drink watery American beer in a can.

If you grew up in a family where your dad or mom took you to museums (with me it was a science museum) and you had a garden with home grown vegetables (so you will NEVER understand why anyone would eat fast food)--things like that, you'll have what seem to be considered upper middle class values. Even if your financial status puts you practically into the poverty class.
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