PLEASE DO NOT WRITE LIKE A ESSAY HALF A PAGE IS ENOUGH YOU NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS DISCUSSION You should make an initial comment regarding the topic.should be original, thoughtful and critically analyze.
This week’s material has really forced me to a place of deep self-reflection. My family story is one of privilege and poverty. A socioeconomic dichotomy, if you will. My father was European educated with a doctorate in international commercial law. My mother completed her college degree in our country of origin. My parents had land and a large estate along with domestic staff. This was before the war, before fleeing for Europe, and before arriving to the United States.
Lacking social capital, real capital (there was no time to liquidate the estate), and the English language, life in America started at the bottom of the SES ladder. My father would have been the one to transfer over the “secrets of the upper class” to me. He spoke five languages, including French and had traveled the globe in diplomatic circles. He would have done that except that he passed while I was still relatively young. That left a single mother working two jobs to make ends meet for me and my brother. My immediate environment was poor, gang infested, and mirrored many of the environments we’ve read about this week. Needless to say, my teen years didn’t prepare me for middle-class let alone upper class. Most of my lessons of middle-class were learned by trial and error, throughout my twenties and after I moved out on my own. My twenties can be summed up by high debt, poor credit, and an old crummy car. Most of my middle-class socialization took place during my late teens and early twenties, working restaurants in a ritzy part of the city. This is where I learned by observing and built my middle-class social capital.
I found myself overcoming personal and financial obstacles in my twenties and then began to incrementally move up the income ladder in my thirties. At the current time, I find myself often faking it till I make it, as I find encounters with the upper class more and more frequent, mostly in a professional context. Lucky for me, my restaurant years taught me proper dining etiquette including how to order a bottle of wine or order in Italian or french at a restaurant, phew!. I still make embarrassing mistakes from time to time, like when I tried to peel my fried soft shell crab in front of bank executives (first world problems!). It seems like I still need a whole lot of x’s in the upper class section of the survey. I’ll need to read up on how to treat domestic servants, select private schools and jet timeshares, and choose a favorite local artist before I’m made out as a fraud! : )