Buriedor ignored discussionon SES

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Buriedor ignored discussionon SES
51
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 8:49am
I prefer to believe it was buried. CLW believes that SES is one of the key determining factors in how a kid turns out. I am cutting and pasting my post here..

Where? What studies? What are the criteria for turning out "well"? Is it only earnings? I am still waiting to see all of this research and I am not sure how, aside from finances, turning out well could be quantified. Would my friend, the dd of a high earning succesful business man, who dropped out of college, took an average job and spends a great portion of her time volunteering at women's shelters have turned out well? Would she not have turned out well because her earnings dropped her down in SES from where she started? Would the guy who hates what he does but earns more than his high earning parents meet the criteria for turning out well?

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 4:05pm
I totally agree with your post. With one *minor* clarification.

And that is that I would place SES above family/parental involvement at the far extremes of the spectrum. In a poverty stricken family (and I mean real poverty here) even the most involved parents would have a hard time providing their kids with many of the things required to raise them "up". (Living in a cardboard box under a bridge doesn't make for a college bound kid ...) And vice versa. Even a monumentally rich kid, with parents that' don't give a crap, can afford an education where he can go *find* that support from others. Hell, a kid like that could *buy* support.

But, except for those extremes, I agree. parental involvement can help those in say, lower middle class, overcome the SES deficit. And, lack of parental involvement can counteract the SES advantage in upper class families.

But, now this is a thought ... does SES *include* parental involvement? Is that a factor in the "socio" part of the SES? Hmmmmmmmmm......

Hollie

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 4:23pm
But I think that is the trap here. We have no problems making those moral/qualitative judgements down the scale, but up the scale we just assume that money is going or can "fix" it - whatever it happens to be. Do I think a monumentally wealthy kid with parents that don't give a crap has a better chance of being *happy* (in a moral, well adjusted, able to make connections with his/her peers) than a poor kid with a family that supports them and geniunely cares? NOPE. To that point, I did find a study that discusses the rise in drug use among the upper middle class (small sample of 600):

http://www.cyc-net.org/today/today021008.html

I think that we make that assumption all of the time though and I think it is important to this debate in general.

The wealthy and the poor are almost always exempt from these discussions/studies. Perhaps one of the reasons is ingrained prejudices based on money.

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 4:42pm
Again, I mainly agree with a little clarification.

"But I think that is the trap here. We have no problems making those moral/qualitative judgements down the scale, but up the scale we just assume that money is going or can "fix" it - whatever it happens to be."

Well, money *can* fix some things. Education opportunities for one. Adn that is a big one. But I agree, we take that assumption too far.

" Do I think a monumentally wealthy kid with parents that don't give a crap has a better chance of being *happy* (in a moral, well adjusted, able to make connections with his/her peers) than a poor kid with a family that supports them and geniunely cares? NOPE."

I agree.

"The wealthy and the poor are almost always exempt from these discussions/studies. Perhaps one of the reasons is ingrained prejudices based on money. "

I think its because *most* of us don't live in either of those worlds. The majority of people live in one of the areas in between. And so, that' what we are going to focus on. I think the prejudice is that we only really look at, and care about, the world we live in ... and that is not the wealthy or the poor one.

You know .. i think this is one of the first back-and-forth debate volleys you and I have had. I've enjoyed it.

Hollie




Edited 3/30/2003 6:35:13 PM ET by savcal

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 6:47pm
Hmm. I dunno then. I'm not sure what was intended to be the meaning of "better" in the context in which it first came up. I'm not sure one could quantify "better human being." It's subjective. There are too many people with all the trappings of high SES that are totally bankrupt as human beings. I think other things completely factor into whether one comes out "better" as in morally centered otherwise good Joe.
Avatar for 1969jets
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 7:40pm
I did not read the entire article, but the part I did read reminded me of a conversation I had with my college roomate when we were about 20. She had met me at a museum in NYC. I lived in the suburbs, she was visiting her bf in NJ. Her father was a professor and her mother a SAHM. My mother was a teacher and my father a tool and die maker. Both of us grew up in middle class households where we had enough money. We both worked in college. Her bf was from a wealthy family. Each month his father sent him money. He had a credit card (his parents) and he did not work for spending money. Nobody ever questioned him about his spending habits.

When she met me at the museum she told me R's drug use had gotten really bad and that when we returned to school she was going to break up with him. When I asked her where he got all the money to buy drugs she told me that he asked for money and his parents just gave it to him, no questions asked. They never questioned WHY he needed SO MUCH MONEY as a college student who lived on campus with a meal plan provided. I worked about 20 hrs a week, my parents paid my tuition and room and board and I rarely had to ask my parents for money. And I was happy with the amount of money I had available to me. The few times I asked my parents for money they grilled me about WHY I needed it.

This article reminded me of that conversation becauese I can see how it could happen that the parents just figure that because the have money it's ok to just spend it like it's going out of style. I see it with younger kids around here. I think that if working greatly improves the family's SES it probably has a big effect on a child's ability to pursue his interests. And that can make a difference in a person's happiness as an adult. However, I think that subtle differences (like the difference between a nice house, and a nicer house) don't necessarily make a big difference in a child's adult life.

Jenna

Avatar for taylormomma
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Registered: 03-23-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 8:19pm
If you didn't know the answer, you could have just said so (nt)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 8:48pm
What is "middle class" ,though?I have seen it usually defined as $20,000-$100,000. I just now did a search,however, and it came up with $35,000-$75,000.Maybe it would help if we all had the same definition in mind?
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:17pm
I think a good amount of unearned cash and too much free unsupervised time is a recipe for disaster with teens/young adults,no matter how "good" the kid.That happened where I last lived:teens were given access to cash,didn't have to work,and had no one at home to watch them.The parents and community were *shocked* when it surfaced that the teens had a huge drug problem(heroin).In fact,there was an overdose near my house right before we moved by a teen.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:41am
Good question. I have no idea. 20K-100K seems like such a large divide, I'm thinking 20K would put one below the poverty level, depending on the number of people in the family. Is there some federal standard that "class" corresponds to, anyone?
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 6:22am
Ah, and let's not forget the regional factor.

Here, we are middle class. In your neighborhood, we would most likely be lower class. (I am basing this strictly on housing costs)

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