Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Bubbly Class

I haven't read Coming Apart yet, but this chapter makes me want to. Take the quiz, and find out how much of an upper-middle-class bubble you live in. I scored ~22 out of a possible 100; pretty enbubbled.

Hat tip to Cafe Mom.

18 comments:

Katrina said...

I scored ~37 out of the 100.

The differences are mostly from growing up in Gates and spending time at schools like Roberts Wesleyan and BU where there are plenty of more career-oriented people. I am always shocked by how many of my fellow graduate students smoke during the work day.

Chops said...

I knew lots of smokers at Rochester, too - but none of them were Americans.

Matthew Baddorf said...

I'm pretty sure I'm a 19. Not shocking, I guess.

BarnYard said...

25. movies and chain restaurants carried me

Carol L. Douglas said...

You might be surprised that I scored a 73, but as an artist, I've known many years of poverty, and I'm from Buffalo.

Anonymous said...

So, I'm a 36.

The most interesting thing to me is that I've become less upper class since I graduated college.

Also interesting, I can guarantee you that both of my parents would score way lower on this test than I would. I'm guessing about 10-15 total score.

During that same time frame, I'm moved to progressively more southern, less urban areas and married someone who probably scores higher than this test than me. I'm debubbling!! (is this good or bad?)

To me, my parenthetical question, is what makes this most interesting. What's the point of having this test? Should we be trying to raise our scores? Lower our scores? Feel superior to people with higher scores? Feel guilty if our score is high?

It's an interesting test, but what does it actually tell us?

Jonathan

bpf said...

one of my school friends took a 57 based mostly on living in the country, despite being the child of a dentist (ie fairly affluent)

Chops said...

I think Charles Murray's argument is that the bubble is bad, since it undermines national unity in government and social action... but I haven't read the book.

I found a lot of the questions interesting in terms of making me self-aware: I've never been on a factory floor? Really, wow. And how strongly these apparently disparate behaviors correlate - the dispersion of scores is remarkable.

Meredith Ann said...

I'm surprised by my score: 40.

Anonymous said...

I scored 19. Worked one day in a factory. No points for friends who couldn't get C's in school since I grew up in elite NW Washington, but in adult life I had several friends in the "other" culture (through church) who qualify.
The upper class has always had a different culture, preferring sports like polo and tennis and consorting only with their own. It is remarkable that in America, a huge upper-middle-class culture has developed that is clearly not upper class, but is so distinct from middle class.

PGF

Chops said...

Wow - I scored higher than my father despite the fact that many of the questions have a "have you ever in your life" component. That certainly doesn't fit within Murray's metanarrative.

Anonymous said...

Assuming the bubble is bad (and I'm very interested in reading this book now), isn't the implication that the bubble needs to be either popped or expanded? What I'm getting at is either people should be come less "upper class" or less "lower class" or, I guess a mixture of both.

I'm wondering if Murray has anything helpful to say on this point. If not, his entire book is basically pointing out that Americans have vastly different life experiences which is hardly an original or insightful point (the fun test aside).

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

P.S. You should write on your blog more.

Jonathan

BPF said...

Wow - I scored higher than my father AND MY BROTHER despite the fact that many of the questions have a "have you ever in your life" component. That certainly doesn't fit within Murray's metanarrative.

Meredith Ann said...

I agree with Jonathan's PS. Been reading this blog for like a decade at this point...well, I guess not really. What did it used to be called? Anyway, good work.

Chops said...

It was Instant Replay - I sold that to some bozo for $150 of real money.

Carol L. Douglas said...

Chops, these questions have been stuck in my head all weekend... VERY thought-provoking. (I should have gotten a 15-point gimme for being from Buffalo, but being from Buffalo, I hardly needed it.)

Liz Zelie said...

I scored 53. Not sure I am positive on how clearly defined the scores are and if they are accurate for everyone but it did make me grateful for a number of things - that I know my way around a factory floor, that I've lived in affluent places like Boston and London but also been one of two Caucasians on my street in Portland, that my friends have very differing political views from me, that I survived life in a small town.

Not sure there is only one bubble, though. Feel like just as the Internet has created a long tail effect, so has American society. My bubble score of 53 would be vastly different than a Southerner's bubble score of 53 or a Midwesterner's. And my 53 might be lightyears away from a 53 of someone twice my age. Nevertheless, I found his choice of questions fascinating.