Her 2015 book the power of the past, the sociologist jessi streib shows that marriages between someone with a middle-class background and someone with a working-class background can involve differing views on all sorts of important thingschild-rearing, money management, career advancement, how to spend leisure time.
Explains the assignment to her students as wanting us to do something courageous, says freshman frank dimartino, who took the class.
Dating someone from class
For one thing, employees brought up in working-class families may find that the skills and values that were helpful to them growing upan ability to be spontaneous, to wait for opportunities to become available, to maintain an identity apart from workdo not necessarily translate into the professional world.
Happens when you date someone who earns way more or way less than you do.
But asking someone out on a date in broad daylight, and when you actually have to know their name, can be really scary.
Blacks, for instance, are scarce in managerial jobs and in the middle class, and thus may be less likely to find themselves in cross-class marriages.
But when asking someone out, nothing can ensure the person is going to say yes.
But streib finds that while working-class partners may have appreciated their middle-class spouses advice, they usually only followed it in times of crisis.
Some additional analysis, then, streibs work can provide a useful framework for understanding why professional jobs are mainly the province of those who are white, male, and not raised working-class.
Its easy to hook up with someone youve just met in a dark room after having a few drinks, dimartino says.
People from working-class backgrounds were no less open to advancement, but often were less actively involved in trying to create opportunities for themselves, preferring instead to take advantage of openings when they appeared.
For women from working-class backgrounds, middle-class spouses models for navigating professional environments may not trump the mommy tax, glass ceilings, or the other social processes that can limit womens mobility in male-dominated fields like law, business, and medicine.
Cross-class dynamics may compound the difficulties faced by nonwhite and/or female workers, who are underrepresented in professional environments.
And even when they do, blacks from working-class families may find that even with the well-meaning suggestions of their middle-class black spouses, cultural capital may not be enough to surmount the well-documented racial barriers to advancement in professional jobs.