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Class: A Guide Through the American Status System [Paperback]

Item : Class: A Guide Through the American Status System [Paperback]
List Price  : $16.99
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Category : Books
Author Author : Fussell, Paul
ISBN-10 ISBN-10 : 0671792253
ISBN-13 ISBN-13 : 9780671792251
Publisher Publisher : Touchstone
Pages Pages : 208
Binding Binding : Paperback
Item ID : 100374010

The bestselling, comprehensive, and carefully researched guide to the ins-and-outs of the American class system with a detailed look at the defining factors of each group, from customs to fashion to housing.

Based on careful research and told with grace and wit, Paul Fessell shows how everything people within American society do, say, and own reflects their social status. Detailing the lifestyles of each class, from the way they dress and where they live to their education and hobbies,Classis sure to entertain, enlighten, and occasionally enrage readers as they identify their own place in society and see how the other half lives.Chapter 1

A Touchy Subject

Although most Americans sense that they live within an extremely complicated system of social classes and suspect that much of what is thought and done here is prompted by considerations of status, the subject has remained murky. And always touchy. You can outrage people today simply by mentioning social class, very much the way, sipping tea among the aspidistras a century ago, you could silence a party by adverting too openly to sex. When, recently, asked what I am writing, I have answered, A book about social class in America, people tend first to straighten their ties and sneak a glance at their cuffs to see how far fraying has advanced there. Then, a few minutes later, they silently get up and walk away. It is not just that I am feared as a class spy. It is as if I had said, I am working on a book urging the beating to death of baby whales using the dead bodies of baby seals. Since I have been writing this book I have experienced many times the awful truth of R. H. Tawney's perception, in his bookEquality(1931): The word 'class' is fraught with unpleasing associations, so that to linger upon it is apt to be interpreted as the symptom of a perverted mind and a jaundiced spirit.

Especially in America, where the idea of class is notably embarrassing. Ilsb

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