Friday, January 27, 2012

Low class is better than no class at all....

For fun, I did the "What Class Of White Are You" test Charles Murray's hawking. I won't link to it, but I'll link to commentaries here and here and here. The fun part is trying to guess what point he's making with each question, and then reading the scoring guide and realizing just how weird his internal cultural map is. As I pointed out at LGM, " By his own admission, backed up with statistics, most of what scores you points on this test are minority experiences, in some cases quite narrow ones (Military service. Who the hell identifies race car drivers by sight? Branson? And what’s the socioeconomic profile of people who made Inception a top-grossing film?)."

So, how did I do?

1. 5
2. 0
3. 6 (but working at a college in a small town shouldn't count, right?)
4. 0 (what do you mean, "Graduate school doesn't count"?)
5. 0
6. 0 (what do you mean "Carpal Tunnel doesn't count"?)
7. 0 (I had a friend who was a Monarchist: that ought to count for something)
8. 0
9. 4
10. 0
11. 1
12. 0
13. 0
14. 2, but only because I had guests coming who drink the stuff
15. 1
16. 3
17. 0
18. 2
19. 2
20. 0
21. 1
22. 0
23. 1
24. 0
25. 4

Total: 32

"A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents.
Range: 11–80.
Typical: 33."

Am I "upper-middle-class"? Not by income, but I certainly fall into the overeducated liberal elite category he's trying to guilt-trip into voting culture-war Republican (though anyone with a real interest in improving the lives of lower-class working folk wouldn't).  To be honest, lots of my points come from having married into a family with rather different tastes and having lived where I needed to live to pursue an academic (though not an elite) career.

Does this suggest that I need to rethink my understanding of American society? No: the logical leaps and cultural blinkers and statistical junk pseudo-science is strong with this one....


Elizabeth McClung said...

While I scored high due to living in Canada and the UK, and WORKING in a cinema (gee, that's both a uniform AND film watching for free). I notice that pretty much ALL those with significant disabilities (which is 1 in 6 Americans) would end up tagged minority/low class/low intellegence simply because he is equating aspect of the social experience (which many individuals with disabilities or high health care costs) tend to be excluded from.

He also excludes several religious groups, particularly those who are Mormon, Amish, mennonite and a lot of the religious Jews.

I don't think that simplifying the US experience by eliminating all those who are just too darn complicated to understand (or did the writer think that his friend in school with CP actually HAD....what, 'diminished intellegence') - the film Pumpkin demonstrates the extreme discomfort people feel about intermixing of those with perceived intellegence differences.

I read the last book simply because I wanted to decide for myself if it was a tedious simplification. Thankfully his notes to the test show this book to be another.

Gabriel Conroy said...

I got a 33, and while I acknowledge many problems with the quiz, in a sense, it was accurate in my case. I've written a comment about it at my blog. The link is: