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Old 07-03-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,884,790 times
Reputation: 4030

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5pyg1a55 View Post
What of families and extended families that are "mixed-class"?

For instance, someone from the working class marrying a person of the upper class?

Or someone making a 1% income, but is supporting adult children bums living at home in their 30's, AND grandchildren, and their income/wealth is actually being spread across 3 generations/households?

Are those adult children bums part of the upper middle class because they live in the same mansion as the 1% parents? Or are they "working class" because they have no/little income, no GEDs, and exhibit working-class behaviors?

What of an upper middle-class person has children so troubled, they can't seem to get through community college, can't get off drugs, can't hold even a medial job, or even was arrested/jailed?

What of regional cultures: 1% folks who eat McDonalds, shop at Walmart without hesitation, generally avoid nature/health food, buy gas guzzling SUVs or engage in conspicuous consumption/material waste because they don't care about environment?

What of very poor technophiles/computer minded folks, or even more rare, the poor individual who "pulls themselves up by the bootstraps" with no assistance/luck?

In my experience, most families, or at least extended families, are a great mix of different types of people with different backgrounds and "class" assignments.

There's a great book on the OP's topic called "Unequal Childhoods"- VERY interesting.
Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, 2nd Edition with an Update a Decade Later: Annette Lareau: 9780520271425: Amazon.com: Books
Looks like a very interesting book, thanks for the recommendation! Since I am not upper middle class, I am going to search for a used copy.

I agree that there are a lot of families that are mixed and don't "fit" into these categories so neatly. My ex husband fits into one of your scenarios above, actually. While not quite raised in a 1% household (more like in the top 10% income wise), he carried many ways of thinking from his upbringing along with him and yet apparently rejected others (um, work ethic anyone?) and he is supported largely by his parents to this day.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 6,265,381 times
Reputation: 2979
ooh...oo.. can I play????


Quote:
1. You own a large, flat-screen TV, but it's NOT in the living room. Your living room perhaps contains books or a grand piano.
I use my flat screen as a scarf rack.

Quote:
2. Your father went to college, your mother most likely went to college, all your brothers and sisters and cousins except the black sheep of the extended family attended at least some college, and your family's college education stretches back generations (except if you're newly upper middle class).

I was the first person to go to college, but my sis has two masters degrees...I dont have any.

Quote:
3. When traveling, you prefer to choose destinations that are "not touristy" and give an "authentic" taste of local life.
Yes.
Quote:

4. You listen to NPR in the car.

I dislike and never listen to NPR, but do listen to classsical and public radio (americana format) in the car.

Quote:
5. If 35 or older, you participate in the community through being on the board of some local chapter of an organization, or extensively volunteering for it with your valuable free time.
no

Quote:
6. If you're male, you golf, if not for the love of it than because of social pressure.
no

Quote:
7. You are familiar with the following food items, even if you're from flyover country: hummus, couscous, sashimi, banh mi, and risotto.
well, never heard of sashimi.
Quote:

8. You sometimes watch foreign films, and consider dubbing an abomination - you would much prefer subtitles.

yes

Quote:
9. You strongly identify with your career.
no

Quote:
10. From preschool or a younger age, you enroll your children in a multitude of extracurricular activities - piano lessons, ballet, tennis, water polo, etc.

Quote:
11. Your children's academic success is paramount to you, and you set very high standards. If they get a "C" in a class, either their teacher or the child has much to answer for. When in high school, you make sure they take lots of AP courses, and unless they are the brightest of the bunch, you hire a SAT tutor. Deep down inside, there's a burning desire to boast that your children went to a high-ranked university, or at least NOT one of the lesser state colleges, and certainly not a community college.
no kids

Quote:
12. You love "nature", the "outdoors", and the "wilderness", and like tread softly through the woods in your $250 hiking boots with your $250 bag and perhaps sleep in your $1,000 tent, or if a northern clime, in your expensive cross-country skis. It can suck losing iPhone connectivity, though.
Yes, except for the hiking boots (I used work boots from Wal Mart) , bag, and no to skiing.

Quote:
13. If you're a female, you don sunglasses even when it isn't that sunny out.

14. You drive only foreign cars, preferably Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
male and no foregin car. And yes, if I could AFFORD a car it would be an older Mercedes or BMW, when they still looked like Mercedes and BMW.

Quote:
15. Staying in shape and in style is a priority to you. You have a gym membership, perhaps in addition to a road bike you paid a pretty penny for.
yes, except I abhor gyms and my bike is a schwinn bought at a pawn shop.


Quote:
16. You like, or feign to like, the fine arts, and have attended a classical music concert, opera, or play at least once or twice (going on a field trip as a kid not included). You consider it perfectly natural to listen to classical music or jazz radio and patronize art-house cinema.
Yes, except the SOB is out of my budget nowadays...more a ballet/dance fan....

Quote:
17. Planning for your retirement is important, and you fully understand such things as 401Ks and Roth IRAs. You might even have a financial advisor. You watch the stock market and probably participate in it somehow.

I plan on working till I drop or go senile. Cant afford to retire.

Quote:
18. If you're 40 or older, your house measures over 2,500 square feet in area. If you designed it, you made sure to implement "green" features. The kitchen is spacious. Especially if in a southwestern state, you probably have some paid help cleaning it, perhaps full-time.
no house

Quote:
19. You probably don't live in one, unless you are in your 20s or early 30s, but you love "authentic" and "vibrant" urban spaces such as those found in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, with plentiful pedestrian traffic, ample public transportation, narrow streets, and storefronts that are right up to the sidewalk rather than behind a sea of parking.
YES YES YES...love city life!

Quote:
20. You don't like the homogenization of the United States through chain stores and franchises, but deep down you love Trader Joe's, REI, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Macy's, IKEA, Target, and Fogo de Chao

Dont really care too much one way or another. Wal-Mart and Aldi are my go-to stores for basic food shopping...so there....Chipolte is OK for fast food but I dont eat out, so....

Quote:
21. You want your children to be creative, imaginative, think out-of-the-box, and tolerant of differences. You perhaps even enjoy when they question one of your rules.

again, no kids.

Quote:
22. You regularly go to or host dinner parties. You have separate kitchen and dining rooms.
no and well...not really.....

Quote:
23. You have read, for leisure, at least one non-fiction title that does not fall into the category of self-help, automotive/technical, or religious books in the past year, and are familiar with authors, whom you often name-drop at above parties.

Yes mostly true....I don't go to parties but I only read non-fiction (well, sometimes poetry). Not super familiar with modern authors....unless they are in a specialty im into....

Quote:
24. When your children are young, intellectual stimulation and creative expression is the primary goal of your toy-buying practices. No or limited cheap electronic playthings or radio-controlled monster trucks.
no kids.

Quote:
25. You have a rather refined taste in alcohol. You are familiar with local breweries, micro-brews, >$10 / bottle wines, and refined cocktails with non-obscene names
Only in beer,...and some oddball stuff like Campari....and since I'm part German this sort of "comes with the territory", knowhattamean, Vern?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:21 AM
 
663 posts, read 667,438 times
Reputation: 498
What class do I belong in?

Myself:
-26
-$41K income
-$80 000 networth

Family:
-Family owns a $600K 5 bedroom house (but I moved out and I am renting at a cheap place)
-Family income $125K (mum and dad)
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,242 posts, read 5,594,993 times
Reputation: 3850
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
1. You own a large, flat-screen TV, but it's NOT in the living room. Your living room perhaps contains books or a grand piano.

2. Your father went to college, your mother most likely went to college, all your brothers and sisters and cousins except the black sheep of the extended family attended at least some college, and your family's college education stretches back generations (except if you're newly upper middle class).

3. When traveling, you prefer to choose destinations that are "not touristy" and give an "authentic" taste of local life.

4. You listen to NPR in the car.

5. If 35 or older, you participate in the community through being on the board of some local chapter of an organization, or extensively volunteering for it with your valuable free time.

6. If you're male, you golf, if not for the love of it than because of social pressure.

7. You are familiar with the following food items, even if you're from flyover country: hummus, couscous, sashimi, banh mi, and risotto.

8. You sometimes watch foreign films, and consider dubbing an abomination - you would much prefer subtitles.

9. You strongly identify with your career.

10. From preschool or a younger age, you enroll your children in a multitude of extracurricular activities - piano lessons, ballet, tennis, water polo, etc.

11. Your children's academic success is paramount to you, and you set very high standards. If they get a "C" in a class, either their teacher or the child has much to answer for. When in high school, you make sure they take lots of AP courses, and unless they are the brightest of the bunch, you hire a SAT tutor. Deep down inside, there's a burning desire to boast that your children went to a high-ranked university, or at least NOT one of the lesser state colleges, and certainly not a community college.

12. You love "nature", the "outdoors", and the "wilderness", and like tread softly through the woods in your $250 hiking boots with your $250 bag and perhaps sleep in your $1,000 tent, or if a northern clime, in your expensive cross-country skis. It can suck losing iPhone connectivity, though.

13. If you're a female, you don sunglasses even when it isn't that sunny out.

14. You drive only foreign cars, preferably Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

15. Staying in shape and in style is a priority to you. You have a gym membership, perhaps in addition to a road bike you paid a pretty penny for.

16. You like, or feign to like, the fine arts, and have attended a classical music concert, opera, or play at least once or twice (going on a field trip as a kid not included). You consider it perfectly natural to listen to classical music or jazz radio and patronize art-house cinema.

17. Planning for your retirement is important, and you fully understand such things as 401Ks and Roth IRAs. You might even have a financial advisor. You watch the stock market and probably participate in it somehow.

18. If you're 40 or older, your house measures over 2,500 square feet in area. If you designed it, you made sure to implement "green" features. The kitchen is spacious. Especially if in a southwestern state, you probably have some paid help cleaning it, perhaps full-time.

19. You probably don't live in one, unless you are in your 20s or early 30s, but you love "authentic" and "vibrant" urban spaces such as those found in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, with plentiful pedestrian traffic, ample public transportation, narrow streets, and storefronts that are right up to the sidewalk rather than behind a sea of parking.

20. You don't like the homogenization of the United States through chain stores and franchises, but deep down you love Trader Joe's, REI, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Macy's, IKEA, Target, and Fogo de Chao.

21. You want your children to be creative, imaginative, think out-of-the-box, and tolerant of differences. You perhaps even enjoy when they question one of your rules.

22. You regularly go to or host dinner parties. You have separate kitchen and dining rooms.

23. You have read, for leisure, at least one non-fiction title that does not fall into the category of self-help, automotive/technical, or religious books in the past year, and are familiar with authors, whom you often name-drop at above parties.

24. When your children are young, intellectual stimulation and creative expression is the primary goal of your toy-buying practices. No or limited cheap electronic playthings or radio-controlled monster trucks.

25. You have a rather refined taste in alcohol. You are familiar with local breweries, micro-brews, >$10 / bottle wines, and refined cocktails with non-obscene names.
Let me sum this one up: You know you're upper middle class if you make a combined household income of $90K or more or if you are single person making $51K or more. Give or take a few grand.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:00 PM
 
Location: NY
7,777 posts, read 14,879,252 times
Reputation: 10731
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiGuy2.5 View Post
Let me sum this one up: You know you're upper middle class if you make a combined household income of $90K or more or if you are single person making $51K or more. Give or take a few grand.
Maybe where you live, but not in my neck of the woods. That's middle class income.

But if you are defining middle class by lifestyle, to accommodate the cost of living in Manhattan, that salary would have to fall between $80,000 and $235,000. This means someone making $70,000 a year in other parts of the country would need to make $166,000 in Manhattan to enjoy the same purchasing power.

(link to NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/re...pagewanted=all)

I would say the above excerpt holds true for much of the NY metro area.

Last edited by TheImportersWife; 07-09-2013 at 12:11 PM.. Reason: trying to fix broken link
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:08 PM
 
1,171 posts, read 2,030,193 times
Reputation: 1095
We live in the woods, husband hunts with a flintlock and rolls his own unfiltered cigarettes. I bake my own bread and coupon at the addiction level. We drive cars that are more than a decade old. We often shop at garage sales and Goodwill and are proud of it.

Yet we make well over $100K, our kids go to private schools, and our careers are successful by anyone's definition.

Stereotypes have grains of truth, but people are more complex than most of them.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:17 PM
 
5,507 posts, read 9,562,946 times
Reputation: 2292
Best way to measure would be networth by age. At age 30 you have this much in networth. Etc.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,720 posts, read 9,051,327 times
Reputation: 6914
Some of this list describes me... Depending on the year (and who you ask), I could be described as upper middle class, middle class, sometimes upper class, sometimes lower class... These threads always confuse me... I think class in America is very fluid and people are often hard to categorize...

I went to a lowly state university, live in a very old, small house without granite countertops, and have no TV at all... I have friends who are of the lowest classes and friends of the highest classes... I can BS about fishing, monster truck, tattoo art, heavy metal, cheap beer, and KOA campgrounds. I can also BS about golf, polo, Parisian bed and breakfasts, European jazz shows, intl. politics, fine wine, and estate planning.

I usually make fun of NPR and hipsters... I shop sales and use coupons. I don't overly identify with my career. I do like to make money though. I work for myself and could live off of my investments, but I don't want to. I could draw a large ("upper class") salary if I chose to, but that is not financially advisable. I have a good net worth - but even that could change - I do take some risks, sometimes overly leveraging bank money. Markets can change.

I don't think I fit into this whole defined social class system. Maybe I'm an outlier member of the merchantile class. Or maybe most people are like me - hard to pin down. I don't really know.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:05 PM
 
Location: moved
9,563 posts, read 5,892,943 times
Reputation: 16186
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
... I think class in America is very fluid and people are often hard to categorize...

I don't think I fit into this whole defined social class system. Maybe I'm an outlier member of the merchantile class. Or maybe most people are like me - hard to pin down. I don't really know.
The central point of these "what class am I" discussions isn't to claim that everybody neatly fits into a specific class, as indeed the definition of "class" is murky and inchoate. Rather, the claim is that try as we might, most people live and die in the same class into which they were born. America, the ostensibly classless society, on the contrary has a rigid class system, where it is both difficult to rise or to fall. People born into affluence who make stupid financial decisions and decline in financial terms still retain the trappings of the class of their childhood and upbringing. "Middle class millionaires" who start from nothing but thrive in business might attain the financial status commensurate with that of the upper classes, but culturally they remain middle-class or Prole.

We often hear these days that upward mobility in America is now lower than that in ossified Old Europe, land of former serfs and hereditary nobles. This crushing of opportunity is attributed to globalization, rapacious American businesses, tax-schedules and laws tilted towards the wealthy, and so forth. While there may be some truth to these assertions, the main point, I think, is that America was never really upwardly mobile in terms of social class. Current economic travesties merely accentuate that point.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:14 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
84,552 posts, read 77,728,732 times
Reputation: 85748
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
We often hear these days that upward mobility in America is now lower than that in ossified Old Europe, land of former serfs and hereditary nobles. This crushing of opportunity is attributed to globalization, rapacious American businesses, tax-schedules and laws tilted towards the wealthy, and so forth. While there may be some truth to these assertions, the main point, I think, is that America was never really upwardly mobile in terms of social class. Current economic travesties merely accentuate that point.
I disagree. The GI Bill after WWII catapulted many lower-class people into middle class, if not higher, due to access to education. Union jobs in the auto industry had a similar effect. And the generous college scholarships and grants available in the 1st half of the 20th Century also allowed the poor to attain middle or even upper-middle-class standard of living. Some, not all, but a fair amount of those were eager to leave the trappings and "culture" of poverty behind and adopt high culture (enjoying the opera, symphony, fine dining, international cuisine, etc.)
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