Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Poor Are Not Middle Class | Russell E. Saltzman | First Things

Ruby Payne’s A Framework: Understanding Poverty demonstrates how different classes think. Let me frame this distinction as a test. Among families who still sit down together to eat, which will ask, “Did it taste good?” The wealthy, the middle class, or the poor?
That’s the middle class. The wealthy ask about presentation, “Did it look nice?” The poor will ask “Did you get enough; do you need more?” How the classes think about what’s on the plate is significant, and that’s only one among many differences, what Payne calls the “hidden rules” of class.
There is a definite variance in attitude between classes.

And while cause and effect may be difficult to disentangle, I imagine at least some attitudes are causes of membership in particular classes.

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