explaining how your own past experience with classism is similar to or different from your colleagues, discussion help
By Day 5, respond to at least two colleagues’ posts by explaining how your own past experience with classism is similar to or different from your colleagues’. Also explain how issues might reveal themselves in your future social work practice in a manner similar to or different from that which your colleagues anticipate. Please use at least one reference from the book. Please do not just say you agree, go in to depth about your thoughts…at least 250 words each…please keep the repsonses separate.
Reference: Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2013).Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
CLASSMATE POST 1:
I am from a privileged white class. But I have always known it. I could see it in my everyday life. I could see how many of my friends were denied access to things to which I was granted without question. This privilege had benefited me and my family tremendously. Quite a few times I’ve been surprised at how being white gets you more in this country. I’m more surprised at how obvious it is, while all the while people talk about equality and everyone is born with the same opportunities. That is not the case. Being a white male has benefited me. I’m not saying that all I have and accomplished is from being a white male, but I know it has helped me. Here are some of things I thought of when it came to thinking about my experience with privilege and class.
I am from a non-traditional working class family in Brooklyn NY. My father and mother were high school graduates. I had access to opportunities like private school, college, stable and safe housing, reliable transport, and parents who had the resources to keep me healthy and educated. I am educated, literate, cultured, have 3 college degrees (my wife has 4) and many hobbies and interests, which I can afford and have time to participate in. I live in a 97% white neighborhood. I could live wherever I wanted if I could afford the cost without being denied access. I have more access to social, political, economic institutions than persons of color in the same class. I can leave a job and easily get a new one. “A job interview is only one of many situations where class privilege affects our financial future. Every time we walk into a bank for a loan, into a real estate broker’s office for a home, even into an important meeting at work, being a young person with wealth gives us an unspoken advantage (Adams et al., 2013).”
My view for working with clients is one where everyone has a chance to get educated, have opportunities and be valued as a human being, not just enshrined in political policies, a constitution or other laws made by powerful whites, (mainly men) with influence and wealth. If we are to be judged, let’s be judged on the content of our character and the way we treat others, rather than our class or ethnicity or any other thing. I also need to realize that different people have varying experiences regarding their privilege and class and that I cannot assume everyone has had mine. There experiences influence every aspect about them and I need to be aware of those experiences and their impact on people.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2013).Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
CLASSMATE POST 2:
As a child I was raised in a working class home. My father joined the military while earning his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and my mother was a part-time housekeeper. My mother worked nights, while my father worked various hours. Even though both of my parents worked outside of the home, they always managed to make time for us. We always had dinner together, my father always helped us with our homework and despite the fact that my mother spoke little English she read to us.
As we grew older and my father gained rank, it provided us with greater opportunities. We lived on military bases and were able to move and live in countries many people would not be able to visit. My mother no longer had to work outside of the home and aside from deployment, my father was also able to experience my accomplishments with us. Further, I was able to continue my education after high school because of the benefits from the military.
It was not until I was a junior in high school that I was able to realize the privileges that I was afforded. It was the first time that we lived outside of a military base and did not go to school with other military kids. I was asked where I went to school and came from and when they did not know, I replied with a very judgemental tone. I was fortunate enough to acknowledge that a rather young age.
In the case of classism, as Adams, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, Hackman, Peters, & Zuniga (2013) presented, “use your privilege” (p.219). Speak and listen to your clients, from there you will know where they need the most advocating. You can also work within the communities to connect people with one another to gain understanding. Walker & Sell (2001) provide the point that “there is isolation and shame at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum, and sharing power is something few of us have learned to do well. The result is a painful gap between otherwise potential allies and partners (p.7). When both ends understand the other, more work can be done for social change.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (10th ed.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. New York, NY: Routledge Press
Walker, L., & Sell, I. (2001). Out About Class: Social Change Philanthropy. Journal Of Lesbian Studies, 5(3), 179.