Sunday, May 15, 2005

Social Class (and Lack Thereof)

A visit to this interesting blog, Ruminating Dude -- the latest blog creation by one of my earliest blog pals, James -- linked me to this online quiz, How Class Works. This quiz, offered by the NY Times, notes that one way to think of a person's position in society is in terms of four factors -- education, income, occupation and wealth (four commonly used criteria for gauging class).

Using my career choice as my occupation, my quiz results are;

Occupation (Biological Scientists): 79th percentile
Education: 99th percentile
Income: 18th percentile
Wealth: 29th percentile
Average: 56th percentile

When I listed my survival job as my occupation instead, I went down somewhat in social class;

Occupation (Post-secondary Teacher): 74th percentile
Education: 99th percentile
Income: 18th percentile
Wealth: 29th percentile
Average: 55th percentile

As you can see, I don't have a very high social class overall (I don't have much class?), and the primary reason is due to my (lack of) income and accumulated wealth. Basically, this quiz says that if I could take my occupation/educational respect to the bank, I would be eating steak and caviar every night, but when it comes to material matters (income/possessions), I am a social outcast. So the take-home message is that, if I want to be socially acceptable, I need to focus more on money and wealth instead of intellectual/spiritual pursuits.

[Incidentally, thanks for buying me a latte, James. After living a coffee- and milk-free existence for the past year, this morning's latte was liquid ambrosia.]


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

4 Peer Reviews:

Blogger James said...

You're most welcome on the latte front --- you earned it, and if it helps to re-invirgorate you in your quest then it's an excellent investment!

Interesting take home message, as Feri would say (I think she's been at too many journal club meetings where someone in the audience asks, "What's the take home message?") on the "class" quiz. You're right, that does seem to be the message, but then reality to me has always been the classiest people I've known tended to be (though not exclusively) those who didn't have a lot of money but we're good people, who had some interesting things to say and were otherwise just considerate sorts of people. I guess that's not exactly what the Times is getting at, in fact I still have to read the article that comes with the interactive quiz.

Well, bottom line, you have plety of class, money or no, whatever the interpretation of the Times quiz may be, and if I say so, 'tis true.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

That's an interesting analysis of class. It's a little hard for me to find myself in the list because I am retired, so I pretended I still had my job at UC santa cruz. Owning property counts for a lot.
Hey, if you still lived in Washington the Dharma Bums would you buy you a latte. Next time you're out west-- that's a promise.
I just read your comments over at Pharyngula about the dog. Well done.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

I'd buy you coffee if you were ever (stuck) in the Great Lakes State.

8:48 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Hi James and RD .. I have plenty of friends and if friends are any indication of "class", then maybe I am doing okay, despite my lack of other things.

Unfortunately, RD, the dog hullabaloo is dying down now on Panyngula, but it was entertaining while it lasted.

Miranda (and RD) .. I am always am ready to sip a latte, and I look forward to the day when I travel to your fair cities and finally have the chance to meet you!


8:47 AM  

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