Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Just How Privileged Are You?

I got this meme from Christina over at American Expat in Deutschland. It was developed for a research project (and copyrighted) by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University (learn more here). They ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright if you use this meme.

Bold the true statements.

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.

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.

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.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private special 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. - I wouldn't wear hand-me-downs.

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them. - Pop paid half of both my first cars.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child. - I doubt that my Aunt's work is really what the meme has in mind.

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. 27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school. - Loved it... watched Showtime when I was 12!!

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. - The oil was so expensive that my family cleaned out the coal furnace and saved money by the ton!

24 out of 34.

I guess that I've led a privileged life. Let's start with the fact that I grew up in America, one of the richest countries in the world. The house I grew up in was beautiful, my parents both worked, we had two cars for three drivers. But my parents both worked and sacrificed to get what we had. I was also the youngest of five children. My oldest brother could not answer these questions the same way. He paid for his own cars/college, etc.

Of course someone from a third-world country or even sections of Europe would need a totally different survey... we simply didn't grow up the same. Perhaps the meme should stipulate that this is a factor for privilege in AMERICA, not necessarily the rest of the world.

What I like about this is that it gives a person the opportunity to see their life from a different perspective. What I don't like about it is that it is a bit time-sensitive, i.e. my oldest brother grew up at a time when most American households had only one TV, and thus having a TV in his bedroom would be MUCH different than me having a TV in my room.

As far as privilege goes, think about this... you are sitting at a computer which cost a lot of money, it is connected to the Internet which also in itself costs money, and you have enough leisure time to be able to participate in such things!

Just like Christine, I’ve given up tagging people. If you decide to complete this meme, post a comment so I can learn a bit more about ya!

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