Sunday, June 13, 2010

PBS: People Like Us

Social class has to do with how people perceive others, how we perceive ourselves in comparison to others, why people feel unsatisfied with what they have if they feel they deserve more. Why does social class matter so much? Driving fancy cars, living in big homes, being of certain professions, who decided all of these things to be markers of class?
People Like Us, the PBS website was interesting. I especially liked reading people's stories about social classes. One that hit home for me was the one where the young man married up and suddenly had to face comments from his family that implied he was better than them. It reminded me of my parents' history. My father came from a large poor family where something as simple as chicken soup was a rarity. Chickens were only sacrificed if someone was sick or if it was a holiday. My mother's family on the other included judges and well respected people and my mother never went without. She led a simple life by all means but yet her experiences reflected a higher class. How I know this is because this was the topic of many conversations growing up. My dad would make comments about my mother's family being snobs and my mother would make comments about my dad's family not having class. Actually my mother's father didn't want my mother to marry my dad mostly because of his family and I believe because of how they were perceived in society. My parents have been married 37 years and are happy and my grandfather later came to respect my father very much but I know that social class played a big part in their relationship especially in the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone wants to be somewhere or someone they are not, whatever happened to just being thankful you are alive? Society judges us on material items what clothes you wear, what kind of house you live in,etc. In reality, some of the really wealthy people I have met are quite unhappy in life. I too, have a mother who came from money and a father who did not, they are still married but I remember the joking comments of "snob" or "you have no class."