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Old 02-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I suppose most of the political geeks on this forum are probably aware of the book "Coming Apart"; I haven't read it yet, but I did find a neat excerpt of it online that contains the 'Bubble Quiz'.

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Basically, the quiz is a fun exercise to see where you came from and where you are currently situated in America. The questions are, of themselves, pretty funny, as are the statistical insights.

If you're curious, I got a 59, so: "a lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and moviegoing habits". Which is mostly accurate; I don't watch TV or popular movies much and I avoid chain restaurants (excepting fast food).... but, I've spent so much time in rural areas I think it's inevitable my score would have been high.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard of that book. Haven't read it though.

Those questions are interesting. I wonder if someone who lives outside the US (like in another Western industrialized nation, like Canada or the UK) could answer them and get a decent result. I guess I could try... I grew up in a in a blue collar family in suburban neighbourhood in Toronto. Some of those questions don't apply to me though, so they just get an automatic no or zero...
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hip hop bunny hop View Post
I suppose most of the political geeks on this forum are probably aware of the book "Coming Apart"; I haven't read it yet, but I did find a neat excerpt of it online that contains the 'Bubble Quiz'.

link

Basically, the quiz is a fun exercise to see where you came from and where you are currently situated in America. The questions are, of themselves, pretty funny, as are the statistical insights.

If you're curious, I got a 59, so: "a lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and moviegoing habits". Which is mostly accurate; I don't watch TV or popular movies much and I avoid chain restaurants (excepting fast food).... but, I've spent so much time in rural areas I think it's inevitable my score would have been high.
Maybe I'm misreading this thing, but it looks like a 59 can also be "a first- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and moviegoing habits" and "a first- generation upper-middle- class person with middle-class parents".

I got a 56 for what it's worth. I'm not really sure how to interpret that.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I got a 72. Apparently that's closest to the typical 77 for the very first option, "A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie-going habits".


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Old 02-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't bother to add up the score but I am definately "A life long resident of a working class blah blah blah..."
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So I just assumed that I am American and answered the questions. Most of them can be applied to Canadian life as well, I guess. Who knows if that messed up my results, but I answered every question with 100% honesty.

I scored 23.

But I don't really fit into either of the interpretations that I'm "supposed" to fit into:

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A second-generation (or more) upper-middle-class who has made a point of getting out a lot. Range 0-43. Typical: 9
Ohhhh, I'm DEFINITELY not upper-middle-class anything. Both of my parents come from generations of blue collar workers. My father has been a factory machinist, making parts for airplane engines, for almost 35 years now. Before that, he dropped out of high school, moved to Canada, and found temp jobs in different factories. He learned his vocation through apprenticeships at different companies, before he got a job with his current employer. He makes about $70,000 - 80,000 annually. And he owns his own 4 bedroom house, and is well-off enough to own a higher end vehicle (not like a BMW or anything, but more than a Corolla or something like that). Not sure exactly what my mother makes, she is self-employed (runs a daycare out of the house, gets paid per child. She can have up to 5 children at once). I believe she makes about $30,000 in a good year.

We are middle class at best.

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A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Range: 11-80. Typical: 33
So yeah. I don't believe I am upper-middle-class. I certainly don't live (and have never lived) the extremely hoity-toity lifestyle of your average upper middle class person. They are a totally different breed of people. And you know what? I'm not interested in ever living that life either. I don't care if I start earning 6 figures at some point in my life, it just won't happen. Of course, I want to be a teacher so earning 6 figures is kind of a far-fetched idea for me anyways, especially as a music teacher.

I grew up in a middle class neighbourhood, went to a high school with mostly middle class students (there were a few lower class kids there too, though), and most of my friends today are from middle class families.

Maybe it's better to be a working-class person in Canada than in the US?

Well, there you have it. Sorry for that verbal drivel, but I had to respond to those descriptions. I have always thought of my socioeconomic status as "working-class", but maybe that's not the case. I'm just a middle-class girl with working-class values, I guess.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That's a horrible presentation for an 'online' quiz but whatever.

Actually scratch that, this is a horrible quiz, I got 47 or...

A first- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and moviegoing habits.
Range: 42–100. Typical: 66.

First generation? One of my aunt's has done genealogical research to the point of tracing my maternal family back to some of the first European settlers in North America.

Middle Class? Does growing up in a single parent home, with no car ever, in rural Canada, where my mom raised two kids on $5 a hour, sound middle class to anyone?

Average TV and Movie habits? At one point about two years ago my flatmate approached me and apologized for the lack of cable tv in the place. He said it should be fixed soon and that everything should be smooth from then on. Apparently we hadn't had working tv in like 3 months, I never noticed before he apologized.

Yeah... that quiz sure is... something.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah... that quiz sure is... something.
It's inaccurate.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's no point me doing this quiz as I've never lived in North America, Out of interest why is the quiz aimed at whites? On the cover it says "The State of White America 1960-2010, or have I just misread something here?
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The book limits its data to Whites to avoid controversy, which Murray is certainly no stranger to, as he co-authored The Bell Curve. If you want to know more, read more about the book.

Anyways, Burning Down, the average household in the USA earns $50k/annually. A single person who earns $125k/annually is upper class. (edit) So, if your father and mother combined earn ~$120k/annually, more than double the American average.... you'd be upper middle class, without doubt.

And, yeah, Janszoon, you're correct. I could qualify as working class or first generation middle class.

...(edit) and, lastly, Mr. Dave, you're missing the idea of the book and what the test is to show, which is how culture and class tend to go hand in hand.
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