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Old 12-11-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,793 posts, read 4,576,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaraka66 View Post
Interesting how Americans relate occupation to class,
I agree, and I'm American, so I can only imagine how silly it must look from the outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makaraka66 View Post
now I own my own business but because I have to work I am working class, and so are all Americans who need to work for a living.
That's a very literal definition, and one that makes sense to me, but in America "working class" more-or-less means lower middle class. Some people even use it to mean poor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makaraka66 View Post
But one is curious, what is the American upper middle class ?
What we call upper middle class in the U.S. is what people elsewhere might call petite bourgeoisie. These are people who generally have to work for a living, but make relatively high salaries. They may use that money to buy status symbols to attempt to portray themselves as wealthy, or they may choose to live a middle class lifestyle and sock away large amounts of money so they can retire early. The ones who don't save well might be one paycheck away from being flat broke, but would never refer to themselves as working class.

People in the lower middle and upper middle classes tend to just refer to themselves as middle class, though. This is because, other than the very rich and very poor, we don't really like to acknowledge class in the U.S. A person who makes $25,000 per year and a person who make $250,000 per year are both likely to consider themselves to be middle class.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
48,237 posts, read 34,342,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaraka66 View Post
Interesting how Americans relate occupation to class, now I own my own business but because I have to work I am working class, and so are all Americans who need to work for a living.

But one is curious, what is the American upper middle class ? do they have a posh accent like mine ? or does money and money alone put a person into the American upper class ?
Not "class" as in "that person has a lot of class", but working class IS everyone who has to work. That's usually divided into blue collar and white collar. Blue collar being police/fire, factory workers etc. Usually blue collar jobs do not require a college degree, and white collar jobs do.

I'm curious what country you are from as most European countries haves "classes" also. I believe about a year ago, many European countries were having issues between the classes, England comes to mind due to the extreme violence of some of those protests. Of course, most European countries are much, much smaller in population so they probably don't have as many terms as we do, due to a greater population.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,793 posts, read 4,576,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Not "class" as in "that person has a lot of class", but working class IS everyone who has to work. That's usually divided into blue collar and white collar. Blue collar being police/fire, factory workers etc. Usually blue collar jobs do not require a college degree, and white collar jobs do.

I'm curious what country you are from as most European countries haves "classes" also. I believe about a year ago, many European countries were having issues between the classes, England comes to mind due to the extreme violence of some of those protests. Of course, most European countries are much, much smaller in population so they probably don't have as many terms as we do, due to a greater population.
The poster to whom you're responding wasn't saying European countries don't have classes. He was just saying they're more honest about it than Americans (I tend to agree), and that they don't tie them strictly to occupation as much as we Americans attempt to do. We do this in the U.S. because we like to think we have a high level of upward mobility, where anyone can change their social class just by changing their career path. In reality, many other countries (including much of Europe) have a higher degree of class mobility than we do in the U.S. these days.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: USA
30,378 posts, read 21,612,098 times
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Like some people say "This is a first world Problem". We have the time and luxury to make problems out of nothing.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:03 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,665 posts, read 19,878,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socially Inept View Post
When there is conversation in the family gatherings I have been to with my wife's family (99% of the time we just watch TV), it is about how terrible management or white collar people are who don't deserve to be making good money and aren't really working when they sit in an office doing research (directed by her family towards my wife) and they tell me college is a waste of time (directed at me the College Instructor).

So there is plenty of snobbery directed at white collar people from working class people too.
.

Obviously, your income gap vs them, and what that can provide you is good for the last laugh. They can talk a "snobby game", but when earning McWages, their bitterness towards those who aren't, plus $1, will get them an item on the McD's Value Menu.

Your wife, via her success, showed them education is the path out, but if they are too stupid to take it, well..they can hate the white collar folks to their hearts content, and in 5 generations, they will still be dirt poor. I'd enjoy the bitterness show if I were you, as it displays their envy at your success.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: moved
13,559 posts, read 9,561,883 times
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The issues raised in this thread are eerily reminiscent of Paul Fussell's book, "Class: a Guide through the American Status System" (see for example Class: A Guide Through the American Status System - Paul Fussell - Google Buku). Class tensions, class prejudices, preferences and modes of behavior... it's all so saucily captured in that book.

Playing armchair psychologist for a moment, I wonder if the OP is second-guessing himself for marrying into a Prole family (I love that term - "Prole" - codified by Fussell, but of course originally introduced by George Orwell in "1984"). It's not that he necessarily minds those brief times when he's forced to interact with his in-laws, but that he can't shake a slight but annoying and burdensome feeling of having gotten mixed up with what might be termed the wrong sort. It's akin to the feeling that one gets after getting an excellent deal on a substandard product; the price was fantastic, but the product is, after all, inferior. Maybe it would have been better for forego that deal and to have paid more.

My own experience bears resemblance to the OP's, save that there are no overt tensions or recriminations. The significant other's relations (I am not married) regard me as a somewhat pompous but amusing eccentric, useful for answering the history and culture questions in bar-room trivia contests, but otherwise best kept at a polite distance.

As others have said, the practice of empathy and the basic arts of politeness should ameliorate direct personal tensions. Reasonable people can agree to disagree. What won't go away is the aforementioned nagging feeling of having settled for something beneath one's station.

And there it is again, that rancid monster of the dating-world: "settling"!
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,793 posts, read 4,576,280 times
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^That book looks interesting. I'm going to have to look into it.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: So Cal
51,811 posts, read 52,197,770 times
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I'm kind of between a blue collar and white collar guy. Just based on my job, I'd say.

Personally I'm more comfortable being around middle class types, I don't think I'd feel comfortable around very rich types, unless of course they are down to earth types....

Money seems to cause a lot of problems in marriage.....I don't know if the OP is defining white/blue collar by money levels though....
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,284 posts, read 12,869,279 times
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OP: I don't mean to be mean or snobby myself, but your writing skills leave a lot to be desired (fragmented sentence in the OP, sentence structure and grammatical problems, galore, in the posts I've read) . . .

I would rarely comment on this type of thing, but I find it quite ironic that you are complaining about your wife's blue collar roots - compared to your superior white collar roots, while illustrating inferior English language sentence structure . . . and you are a professor, to boot?

You also didn't say what your complaint is about your wife. I understand you think her family is beneath you, but what is it about her that irks you?
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 845 times
Reputation: 15
OP, I get you. I also knew as soon as I read your post that a lot of people who may or may not recognize their own blue collar values would attack you and call you a snob. Whether you are or you aren't doesn't change the reality that class chasms in relationships are tricky, even on your best, well-meaning days.

I experience the "guns blazing" tactic we've seen here already anytime I bring up (what amounts to) the cultural divide in my own marriage. It's a knee-jerk and I think it's b/c ALL the other person's perspective allows him/her to hear is that he/she is being diminished. People lash out when they feel that way. I get that, too.

(Wait let me check to ensure that I have no typos b/c that equals someone "who ought not comment on the perceived intellectual bent." The period does go on the inside of the quotation marks, right?)

What I do not get, OP (Socially Inept) is how best to resolve this b/c although I agree with Nila Jones that counseling is a civil way to get the matter before a training, objective third party, I am not convinced -given that counseling is a cognitive process vs. a hands-on something that can be enumerated or tallied- that she will respect it as a valid forum for resolution. She has a degree, and right now earns more than I do. It's been a tough conversation to (not) have since almost every way that some of us are raised to believe is an appropriate way to approach an issue - diplomatic with attention to assertiveness and compassion - gets shut down or ridiculed as "snobbery," "condescending," or "patronizing." It's an undesirable class battle and in my house it is truly down to "if your good leather, smooth talking and good manners are not producing more widgets than I am, you have limited value." It hasn't been articulated, but I totally relate to you with experiencing rejection from the working class folks, too. Maybe we "dismiss" each other rather than figuring out how to be more inclusive, except... never mind. I'm chasing my tail there.

Each group has the capacity to "talk over the others' " head, BUT each is typically talking about stuff the other doesn't value; so, it doesn't matter. I got an award at work the other day and didn't bother to mention it at home since it doesn't translate into widgets. Yep, I'm more than a little frustrated, too.

Well, let me sit back and wait for "Scottay" to threaten violence simple b/c our values clash (except for the litterbug thing). Is this where I mention how that hoodlum Hatfield and McCoy reflex isn't "diplomatic with attention to assertiveness and compassion"? #Weary

Love the user name BTW, OP. I can be socially awkward that way, too. Do you think that's part of the reactivity to your wife (or mine for that matter)? There is this sort set idea in our minds of what behaving tastefully looks like, and when our partners blindside us with something "tacky" we can't ask them to consider doing it differently without all of this crap rising to the surface. I'm already sketchy about social situations, but I usually know and follow the (middle class) rules; so I'm probably a little too worried about "what else could go wrong" from her end. I'm also kind of formal with professional peers and I believe that people make judgments about a lot of things we do/say, even judgments about career moves... #Sleepy #Meandering

Last edited by dcparadx; 03-31-2014 at 01:36 AM..
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