This is pretty interesting. I found it here.
I’m not sure I agree that this test says that much. Some of these questions are really hard to answer – like the home one – my family and I lived under the poverty level my entire childhood – my mother cleaned rich ladies’ homes, my dad worked odd jobs to keep us afloat – I wore the cast-offs of other children – but my parents are were white and intellectuals who read books at the dinner table, and they got my grandparents to pay for me to have ballet and piano lessons, and we went to museums and listened to classical music and did theatre – I now make double if not triple the income my parents made put together – but will my child enjoy a truly different kind of privilege?
I’m posting my responses here to an exercise about looking at privilege. Here’s the relevant information for you to know:
- This exercise is based on one developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Indiana State University (see the “looking at privilege” post in the above paragraph, for additional links).
- The exercise’s developers hold the copyright and have given permission for it to be posted, with links, on the Quakers and Social Class blog. They ask that those of us who participate in this blog exercise acknowledge their copyright, which I’m doing here.
- If you cut-and-paste this exercise on your own blog, please leave a comment on the relevant post, pointing readers to your own post.
- Copy and paste the list below into your blog (or as a comment in the relevant post), remove my own personal comments, and bold the items that are true for you.
Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor (cousin is a lawyer in Lubbock, TX)
Were the same or higher [social?] class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children’s books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (not sure about this one)
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs* (ha ha ha ha ha ha)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs*
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house (yes and no – this is a tough one – we moved every two years, if not more – one year we housesat for other people, one year we lived in an office lounge… so, yes and no)
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home (for two years they did own their own home)
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (yes, b/c either we were being missionaries, so fundraising paid for it, or my grandfather paid for us to visit)
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
*These two are edited because it was pointed out that the previous wording didn’t clearly delineate between people who had their tuition paid for them and people who worked for their college expenses.
In the group exercise which was originally designed for college students, staff and faculty, everyone stands in a line and steps forward if any of these things are true for them.
If we were all in a big room, I would have taken 15 steps forward. How about you? How many would you have taken? How many steps will your kids have taken by the time they’re 18 (or how many did they take before they turned 18)?