Class in U.S. Culture
My Position Paper Prior to this past January I had never thought about my class. I had always bought into the capitalism ideology of being a middle class country. As far as I was concerned, I was in the same class as my parents. I had failed to see that I am 22 years old and soon to be completely independent. Upon learning about social class and going through several readings I would currently place myself in the lower class. I grew up and still live on the South side of Chicago. The South side of Chicago is divided into many neighborhoods. I live in Beverly, which is predominantly white, Catholic, and Irish. Most of the people living in Beverly are blue collar: policemen, firemen, union workers, teachers, and nurses. My father is an ex marine and now Chicago policeman and my mother has always been between jobs but is currently working at a desk answering phones for Southwest Airlines; neither graduated from college. I would consider my family and almost every other family I know middle class. It’s how we were raised. Just Southeast of Beverly is Morgan Park. Morgan Park is made up mostly of African American public school kids. Morgan Park is plagued with gang violence and poverty. People from Beverly can’t help but think that people from Morgan Park are lower class. People in Beverly have more privilege (Allen, 2010) than those who live in Morgan Park. Drawing off the differences between the two neighborhoods, social class to me really meant racial, sex, religious, education, and location differences. Having been recently educated on the matter, I feel location makes a huge difference when it comes to social class. I don’t know for a fact but based on the number of kids going to college from Morgan Park High School I believe there is pedagogy of poverty (Mantsios, 2006) taking place there. These students aren’t being prepared for college as much as they are the work force. That is what social class means to me. Right now I see myself as part of the lower class. Currently I do not have a source of income and I am in over my head in student loan debt. However, I continue to build my achievements (Allen, 2010), which puts me in a better place to succeed in the future. Where I hope to land and where I will probably land when it comes to social class are two different realities. Obviously almost everyone hopes to one day be in the upper class, however, I will probably someday land in the middle class. I say this because although I will obtain a college degree, I am not graduating from a notable prestigious college, top of my class, nor do I have social capital (Mantsios, 2006). No, I will graduate Eastern Illinois University will a communications degree.