First of all, I want to share a couple of links about socioeconomic class in YA literature:
Here’s a post from the YA YA YAs. Make sure to read down through the comments!
And now a meme about privilege. This one’s been floating around the blogosphere, and I thought I’d do it.
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor. (attorney)
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home. (almost all of these are mine personally, found at various used bookstores and library booksales)
9. Were read children’s books by a parent.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18. This would never in a million years happen to me!
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs. If I was content to go to community college, sure.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18. (well, the phones are cordless, so everyone in my house has one in their room when they need it).
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college .
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.
31. Went on a cruise with your family.
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.
Based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.
I’d also like to link to Alma Alexander’s post about this. She’s right; this is about American standards. Kind of. Most middle-class Americans don’t consider a lot of these things to be privileges. But, really, they are. It’s a privilege to have food and clean water and shelter and relative safety, compared to so much of the world, forget about cruises and credit cards. We, as Americans, are privileged, no matter how many of these things apply to you.