Originally Posted by curlyarca
I find this so interesting. According to the chart from NYT I'm in a much higher class than I ever expected or feel like I am.

I guess when I think of class I think more socially. The three indicators they use; Education, Income and Wealth, to me, are based on choices.

I grew up poor, I got a college degree because my mother had such a hard time finding a job after my father passed away in the 80's because she didn't have one. "Do what makes you happy in life, but get that piece of paper first" she would say.

I make a good salary because I chose a good job, however I work for every dollar. Working in a Utility company means 24/7 operations. I work long days, I have to be on call so many weeks per year and if there's a storm or some other natural disaster then I'm on 16hr shifts until everything is repaired. Actually when the weather is bad, that's when we're the most needed. I've been outside doing my job in the blazing heat, freezing cold, blizzards, hurricanes...you name it.

On paper I look like a high class lady, but no one will be inviting me to any black tie galas anytime soon. I'm just too blue collar for that.
Originally Posted by cailin

Occupation, education, income, and wealth aren't purely based on choices though. However, if you do think about each in a vacuum, what's interesting is class used to be based/weighted quite a bit more on wealth, specifically inherited wealth. Not so much anymore, and one argument to explain this is increased education.

I have little wealth (inherited or otherwise), and even though I'm upper middle or higher in occupation, education, and income, I still only hit around 70/75 in class overall.

It is really interesting.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
I agree that occupation, education, income and wealth aren't always based on choice. The opportunity to advance your station in life isn't available to everyone all the time,despite our societal rhetoric saying the contrary. I do have an issue with the occupation category in how they ranked a number of jobs as it implies a bias toward professional jobs and/or business ones. I'm sure lawyers, doctors and CEOs are ranked in the 90th percentile or better. Although I am in the healthcare field, I am not a doctor. Nor a nurse for that matter. My department processes appeals and grievances at a managed care plan. The closest occupational category for what we do is health support, but it doesn't fully capture the essence of what we do and our job titles aren't included in the general office support category. So when I picked health support, it states that it's in the 45th percentile, but I can argue that what we do is vastly important. In fact, any office support job is vastly important because without them, businesses would have a hard time operating. The rest of the graphic shows that I'm all over the place-91st percentile in education, 78th percentile in income, and 43rd percentile in wealth. Overall, I'm in the 64th percentile, or upple middle class. Never would have guessed.
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