HBO documentary about social class.

“Class Divide” is a fascinating documentary that takes a look at the sharp socioeconomic contrasts in the quickly gentrifying Chelsea neighborhood in New York City between the wealthy students who attend the very expensive Avenues private school and their like-aged peers who live in the projects directly across the street.   Their stories and those of their families and neighbors interweave and the real story emerges — that these kids are not all that different from each other in their hopes, dreams and aspirations.



The rich? They really are different. . .

Something I’ve suspected for a very long time has been confirmed.

The study cited in this article could explain why wealthier (mostly upper middle class, who are still trying to achieve “upper class” status) are more likely than others to be narcissistic and have scapegoat and golden child children.   I have found that many upper middle class families are extremely competitive and value material and financial success over familial compassion, a sense of “we are in this together,” and unconditional love.   Of course not all of them are like this, but many are.   Middle- to working-class and poor families are much more likely to stick together and try to help each other out, even when funds are lacking.    This article will explain why it might bode better for your future to be the loved child of a poor family than the scapegoated or rejected child of a wealthier one.   Less wealthy people tend to be more emotionally intelligent.


Here are two related articles from the same blog.

eats shoots 'n leaves

“The rich are different from you and me,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald in “The Rich Boy,” [Thanks, Postman]  and now science is proving he was right.

Keri Chiodo of the Association for Psychological Science explains:

Upper-class people have more educational opportunities, greater financial security, and better job prospects than people from lower social classes, but that doesn’t mean they’re more skilled at everything. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds surprisingly, that lower-class people are better at reading the emotions of others.

The researchers were inspired by observing that, for lower-class people, success depends more on how much they can rely on other individuals. For example, if you can’t afford to buy support services, such as daycare service for your children, you have to rely on your neighbors or relatives to watch the kids while you attend classes or run…

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Adult poverty and scapegoat-hood: a connection?


I’m copying and pasting this from the comment section under another post, because I think it’s an important issue that needs a lot more awareness and research than it currently has.

I always felt like an outsider in the world because I’m one of those rare people who came from an upper middle class family but fell into a lower class financial lifestyle. I thought I must be horribly defective for that to have happened. From everything I’d ever read until recently, it was believed the only people who would fall so far down the social ladder into poverty (who weren’t born into it) were those who were mentally challenged, drug-addicted, or insane (and even then, their wealthy families would continue to help them financially, if not support them). As a person with a high IQ, I found the theory that “people who become poor are dumb and lazy” incredibly insulting.  I’ve worked hard my entire adult life and I’m far from stupid.  I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink, and I don’t have the type of mental illness that keeps a person from being able to take care of themselves. I knew my poverty had everything to do with my dismally low self esteem and wondered why this wasn’t ever considered a cause of poverty in adulthood.

It wasn’t until I found the ACON community that I realized I wasn’t alone: this seems to be a phenomenon almost exclusively limited to adults who became the designated scapegoats of narcissistic families. It’s as if we were not only isolated from the rest of the family by our narcissists; we were also kept from being able to take our rightful places in the functioning world. Whether we’re male or female, we were castrated and crippled, then we were blamed for it. We were told we were “losers” or “stupid” or “lazy.” But we never had a chance.  To make matters even worse, once poverty befalls us, we are further isolated and rejected because we “embarrass” the family.

So many of us became poor but didn’t grow up that way. Obviously something’s significant is going on here. I think studies need to be done on family scapegoats/black sheep and poverty and find what the correlations and causes are. I would suspect the lack of normal familial support systems, isolation from others, and emotional coping tools due to horrible self esteem are the culprits. Awareness needs to be increased.

Right now, a number of ACON bloggers are writing about their own experiences with it, so it’s starting there, at the grass roots level. Hopefully, in time this very real social issue becomes more noticed and addressed in the general realm. I hope in the future there’s more empathy and tolerance toward the poor in general, who don’t all fit in the same box. We aren’t all lazy slackers and we weren’t all born poor. In fact, many of us are intelligent and college educated. We just don’t know how to navigate the practical side of life as well as others, and we lack the social support networks others have, because of what was done to our self esteem by our narcissistic families.

Further reading:

Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims

Outcasts, Scapegoats and Black Sheep of the Dysfunctional Family

Scapegoating in Families: What We Need to Know

Narcissists are all conformists.


Because narcissists don’t know who they really are and don’t have any thoughts of their own, they are all obsessed with their image, which means conforming to whatever is considered most socially acceptable in a given society (or sometimes, what isn’t). Most of them are obsessed with social class, and “put on airs” of being part of a higher social class than they actually are. This may manifest in the way they dress, the way they speak (and accounts for how affected a lot of them sound), or how intelligent or educated they want you to think they are. They are extremely snobbish and look down on anyone who doesn’t adhere to their lofty standards or fit into their chosen social group. If you dare to confront a narcissist about their actual social class, educational level, or otherwise bring them down to size, they fly into a narcissistic rage or decide to punish you by giving you the silent treatment or worse.

Even the ones who try to appear “different” or “unconventional” are actually extremely conventional. I know some hipsters, which are a common sight among young people where I live. There’s this one guy, an acqaintance of my daughter’s, who refuses to listen to any Top 40 music because to him, since it’s played on commercial radio, it must be trash. The more obscure the music, art, movie (oops–I meant film), or even food, the better it is. Having such “obscure” tastes makes him feel superior to the unwashed masses who eat McDonalds (or Olive Garden for those with more cash), shop at J.C. Penney or Belks, attend summer “blockbusters,” and listen to Adele or Florida Georgia Line.

He wears nerd glasses, a beanie, and drives a Jeep. He has tattoos and wears an earring and only eats “locally grown” foods. But so do all his friends. There isn’t an original thought in his head, but he’s quick to put down everyone else’s “plebian” tastes because the more obscure it is, the more cutting edge and cool it is, and if you like something “popular” then you’ve been brainwashed by the Military-Industrial Complex. He’s just conforming to another standard though–that of his “unconventional” friends. Now I have nothing against hipsters (and I like a lot of their music), but there are narcissists among them who only care about their “cool” image and have no original ideas of their own–they’re just trying to conform and are really no different in that regard from my mother, who always had upper class WASP pretentions and woe be to anyone who reminded her of her working class, Irish-Catholic, Southern roots.

Whether they’re hipsters, company presidents, debutantes, or hip hop wannabes, they are all fake and insincere, and they are snobs too.