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Old 04-29-2009, 08:57 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,022,103 times
Reputation: 6741

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
You're arguing denotation vs connotation. The denotation is just what the poster you quoted said. The connotation tends to refer to those who are somewhat more privilaged and educated, but is often more broadly applied to anyone who's white, doesn't appear "ethnic" in any way (e.g. darker skin, hair, etc.) and isn't a stereotypical hillbilly. (Though I've heard of the NASCAR crowd referred to as WASPs, too, so it depends on who you ask.)

The connotation of this particular term is pretty nebulous.
I've heard of the NASCAR crowd decribed as WASPs - not saying that people don't say that, of course, but that apparently there are several very different definitions going on.

SharpHawkeye, I agree with you - Bush I is the epitome of what WASP means to me.

My definition, updated for the current decade, is:
1. white (anything non "ethnic," as the poster above described)
2. Upper-middle to upper class
3. Protestant, but not Evagelical
4. Tends to be involvement with stereotypical WASP activities: country clubs, Junior League, etc.
5. Educated, but the education itself isn't necessarily a focus.
6. Tend to be old money, and often not very flashy about it (not into McMansions, etc.) At least some ancestors have been in the country a long time - I think it's tough to really live the WASP lifestyle if you or your parents or even grandparents were immigrants. (I think your WASP heritage had to be in place prior to WWII, as WASP identity started to gradually die out post-War as the US made a gradual shift to an increasingly merit-based, and not so much old-boys-club-based, society, at least in theory).

I don't think you can be Catholic or Jewish and be a WASP. You can have WASPy traits, but you'd fit into another category. I also think that a true WASP wouldn't admit to watching NASCAR. For the most part WASPs are now part of a larger, more diverse group identified more by economic level rather than other traits, but I still think describing someone as a WASP can be descriptive. (and, if it matters, I don't think being a WASP is a good or a bad thing - it's neutral).

As someone working in the nonprofit field, I have met many, many WASPs over the course of my career. Boards are filled with WASPs. There are plenty of other board members too, of course, but philanthropy (often through board membership and charitable fundraisers) has also been a part of the historic (and current) WASP lifestyle.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:06 PM
 
3,644 posts, read 9,836,391 times
Reputation: 1875
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I've heard of the NASCAR crowd decribed as WASPs - not saying that people don't say that, of course, but that apparently there are several very different definitions going on.

SharpHawkeye, I agree with you - Bush I is the epitome of what WASP means to me.

My definition, updated for the current decade, is:
1. white (anything non "ethnic," as the poster above described)
2. Upper-middle to upper class
3. Protestant, but not Evagelical
4. Tends to be involvement with stereotypical WASP activities: country clubs, Junior League, etc.
5. Educated, but the education itself isn't necessarily a focus.
6. Tend to be old money, and often not very flashy about it (not into McMansions, etc.) At least some ancestors have been in the country a long time - I think it's tough to really live the WASP lifestyle if you or your parents or even grandparents were immigrants. (I think your WASP heritage had to be in place prior to WWII, as WASP identity started to gradually die out post-War as the US made a gradual shift to an increasingly merit-based, and not so much old-boys-club-based, society, at least in theory).

I don't think you can be Catholic or Jewish and be a WASP. You can have WASPy traits, but you'd fit into another category. I also think that a true WASP wouldn't admit to watching NASCAR. For the most part WASPs are now part of a larger, more diverse group identified more by economic level rather than other traits, but I still think describing someone as a WASP can be descriptive. (and, if it matters, I don't think being a WASP is a good or a bad thing - it's neutral).

As someone working in the nonprofit field, I have met many, many WASPs over the course of my career. Boards are filled with WASPs. There are plenty of other board members too, of course, but philanthropy (often through board membership and charitable fundraisers) has also been a part of the historic (and current) WASP lifestyle.
True stuff
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:02 PM
 
Location: British Columbia.
343 posts, read 1,322,861 times
Reputation: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I've heard of the NASCAR crowd decribed as WASPs - not saying that people don't say that, of course, but that apparently there are several very different definitions going on.

SharpHawkeye, I agree with you - Bush I is the epitome of what WASP means to me.

My definition, updated for the current decade, is:
1. white (anything non "ethnic," as the poster above described)
2. Upper-middle to upper class
3. Protestant, but not Evagelical
4. Tends to be involvement with stereotypical WASP activities: country clubs, Junior League, etc.
5. Educated, but the education itself isn't necessarily a focus.
6. Tend to be old money, and often not very flashy about it (not into McMansions, etc.) At least some ancestors have been in the country a long time - I think it's tough to really live the WASP lifestyle if you or your parents or even grandparents were immigrants. (I think your WASP heritage had to be in place prior to WWII, as WASP identity started to gradually die out post-War as the US made a gradual shift to an increasingly merit-based, and not so much old-boys-club-based, society, at least in theory).

I don't think you can be Catholic or Jewish and be a WASP. You can have WASPy traits, but you'd fit into another category. I also think that a true WASP wouldn't admit to watching NASCAR. For the most part WASPs are now part of a larger, more diverse group identified more by economic level rather than other traits, but I still think describing someone as a WASP can be descriptive. (and, if it matters, I don't think being a WASP is a good or a bad thing - it's neutral).

As someone working in the nonprofit field, I have met many, many WASPs over the course of my career. Boards are filled with WASPs. There are plenty of other board members too, of course, but philanthropy (often through board membership and charitable fundraisers) has also been a part of the historic (and current) WASP lifestyle.
Thats the best definition i've heard so far.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
8,057 posts, read 11,320,320 times
Reputation: 6232
I thought this term and the social relevance of it died out in the 60's/70's.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:27 AM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 11,906,564 times
Reputation: 1499
WASP ancestry is northern Europe but mostly England. I guess Lutherans could be considered WASP but Presbyterian\ Methodist\ Episcopalians are more typically considered WASP [English-speaking ancestry also which puts Lutherans outside the group]. Catholics, of-course, could never be considered true WASP's because they were more likely to come from non-English speaking Europe [and looked down on by WASP's]. In-fact, WASP's pretty much were snobs & racists against any group other than themselves. That's why even Southern whites were considered less than true-blood WASP's [Baptists, evangelicals\ Mormons were all considered as people who live across the "other side of the tracks."

I think in the U.S. that WASP's were more an East Coast\ Great Lakes regional thing.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,133 posts, read 8,794,760 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I've heard of the NASCAR crowd decribed as WASPs - not saying that people don't say that, of course, but that apparently there are several very different definitions going on.

SharpHawkeye, I agree with you - Bush I is the epitome of what WASP means to me.

My definition, updated for the current decade, is:
1. white (anything non "ethnic," as the poster above described)
2. Upper-middle to upper class
3. Protestant, but not Evagelical
4. Tends to be involvement with stereotypical WASP activities: country clubs, Junior League, etc.
5. Educated, but the education itself isn't necessarily a focus.
6. Tend to be old money, and often not very flashy about it (not into McMansions, etc.) At least some ancestors have been in the country a long time - I think it's tough to really live the WASP lifestyle if you or your parents or even grandparents were immigrants. (I think your WASP heritage had to be in place prior to WWII, as WASP identity started to gradually die out post-War as the US made a gradual shift to an increasingly merit-based, and not so much old-boys-club-based, society, at least in theory).

I don't think you can be Catholic or Jewish and be a WASP. You can have WASPy traits, but you'd fit into another category. I also think that a true WASP wouldn't admit to watching NASCAR. For the most part WASPs are now part of a larger, more diverse group identified more by economic level rather than other traits, but I still think describing someone as a WASP can be descriptive. (and, if it matters, I don't think being a WASP is a good or a bad thing - it's neutral).

As someone working in the nonprofit field, I have met many, many WASPs over the course of my career. Boards are filled with WASPs. There are plenty of other board members too, of course, but philanthropy (often through board membership and charitable fundraisers) has also been a part of the historic (and current) WASP lifestyle.
Excellent!
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:04 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,118 posts, read 38,977,157 times
Reputation: 15719
The definitive work on the subject:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/120254.The_Official_Preppy_Handbook
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:09 AM
 
969 posts, read 2,752,651 times
Reputation: 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimzyMusic View Post
My family is Irish Catholic but half English blood. They are pretty rich. I wouldn't call them WASPS exactly, being they're fairly liberal and not too religious.
By definition, WASP's are Protestant only. No Catholics or Jews.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:34 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 28,560,277 times
Reputation: 14655
I don't use the term. When others use it, I assume they mean "White Protestant" rather than "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant," since I am skeptical whether the man on the street can determine whether or not your ancestors are predominantly from southern England.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,118 posts, read 38,977,157 times
Reputation: 15719
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
I don't use the term. When others use it, I assume they mean "White Protestant" rather than "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant," since I am skeptical whether the man on the street can determine whether or not your ancestors are predominantly from southern England.
Very true. No one in this country has a complete handle on their ancestry. I have been surprised over and over with new information about my bloodline that relatives continue to provide. Pure WASP, I'm not.
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