《Our Kids》的笔记-Chapter 1 THE AMERICAN DREAM: MYTHS AND REALITIES
- 章节名：Chapter 1 THE AMERICAN DREAM: MYTHS AND REALITIES
- 2016-01-24 09:35:56
In the particular is contained the universal.The most rigorous economic and social history now available suggests that socioeconomic barriers in America (and in Port Clinton) in the 1950s were at their lowest ebb in more than a century: economic and educational expansion were high; income equality was relatively high; class segregation in neighborhoods and schools was low; class barriers to intermarriage and social intercourse were low; civic engagement and social solidarity were high; and opportunities for kids born in the lower echelon to scale the socioeconomic ladder were abundant."not a trampoline that boosted him ahead of his peers"Frank’s family fortune has cushioned him from some of life’s hard knocks, but it was not a trampoline that boosted him ahead of his peers from less affluent homes, like Don."made every effort to hide"Our parents, almost universally homemaker moms and breadwinner dads, were not especially well educated. Indeed, barely one in 20 of them had graduated from college, and a full third of them hadn’t even graduated from high school. (For the most part, they had completed their schooling before high school education became nearly universal.) But almost everyone in town had benefited from widely shared postwar prosperity, and few of our families were poverty-stricken. The very few kids in town who came from wealthy backgrounds, like Frank, made every effort to hide that fact.Because the transmitters of socioeconomic status that are so potent today (economic insecurity, family instability, neighborhood distress, financial and organizational barriers) were unimportant in that period, the transmission process from generation to generation was weaker, and thus mobility was higher. Over and over again members of the class of 1959 use the same words to describe the material conditions of our youth: “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.” In fact, however, in the breadth and depth of the community support we enjoyed, we were rich, but we didn’t know it.The family lived in a large hardscrabble farmhouse outside town. Libby, the sixth of ten children, often wore hand-me-downs. With many mouths to feed, money was tight. Libby never learned to bike or skate: “those things,” she says, “were not in the family budget.”American housewives' livesWhen the marriage ended after 20 years, however, Libby was left on her own. Suddenly, she found her lack of a college degree and work experience, and society’s pervasive gender bias, were holding her back. For the only time in her life, she became frightened about her future.Though none of their parents had a formal education beyond elementary school in the Jim Crow South, both Jesse and Cheryl benefited from tightly knit, hardworking, religiously observant, two-parent families.That leap from elementary-school-educated laborers to graduate-school-educated professionals in a single generation is a remarkable testament to their native talent and fortitude, and also to the relative weakness of class barriers to advancement in that era.Identities are written in your blood.they were two black kids living in a predominantly white small town in the pre–Civil Rights 1950s, and inevitably race became the most salient part of their identities, imposed on them by their social environment.
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