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ignacio

Oct 26, 2006, 9:21 AM

Post #76 of 93 (3718 views)

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Re: [arbon] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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To answer the question:

"I wonder what class you would be classified in, if you built and sold a house every year.? "

How about 'filthy rich' or 'Sir' ??

One item that has not been mentioned is the propensity here in Mexico to call themselves by 'titles', so you address a lawyer as 'Licenciado' so and so, or 'Arquitecto', 'Ingeniero', 'Doctor' (this reminds me of the same treatment that MDs and Dentists demand in the USA).....

Do these people have and inferiority complex, or are they newly rich, or what is the reason for demanding this 'title' distinction ? They actually get angry at you if you omit their status 'title'. (I meant to say a 'superiority' complex. (edittedby Ignacio))

Thanks Maria for sharing your class distinction knowledge with us...... there are so many classes to fit into that makes one wonder where one belong
s.


(This post was edited by ignacio on Oct 26, 2006, 10:00 AM)


MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 9:37 AM

Post #77 of 93 (3713 views)

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Re: [db52] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Moreover, as a high-earning skilled tradesman, it seems to me that it is not lack of opportunity for economic betterment that keeps me stuck in the "high prole" category, but rather the insistence of snobbish, pointy-headed, New Yorker-reading, university professors that, no matter my income, my blue-collar status and supposed low-brow culture/lack of refinement preclude me from membership in the middle class. Apparently, the best I can hope for is to become an intellectual, stylish misfit!


Lol, that's pretty much on target, db52. That is a job of university professors to sort (facts, objects, people, ideas) into categories and create typologies, like it or not. However, as the time passes and the importance of certain factors decline and another rise, the classification evolves.

Concerning the stats you quote: you use a single criterion of income, and that's why NYT reporters and you draw different conclusions from the same chart.

Concerning Europe and mobility, again, they speak of SOCIAL mobility, why you speak of INCOME mobility. Your perspective is narrower.

As for becoming an intellectual, stylish misfit: here I envy you, since I ain't by no means ;-) stylish :-(and... horror of horrors... perhaps, after all, not that intellectual either :-((( But, come to think of it, I can work on improving both my stylishness and my intellectualism, if I really truly care about how am I being classified and by whom. You, on the other hand simply want "snobbish, pointy-headed university professors" to change their classifications! That's a truly American spirit! :-)
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!


MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 9:45 AM

Post #78 of 93 (3710 views)

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Re: [ignacio] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Ignacio, in Scandinavia, where income equality ( at least after taxes) was - some 20-30 years ago (since then they became more "robber capitalistic"), the highest in the world, the title-mania was, nevertheless, extremely fashionable, but thoroughly democratized and skilled tradesmen gave themselves titles like "master plumber", "master carpenter" etc. etc., proving - to me at least - they they were proud of who they were, not because of their income, but because of their SKILLS, no matter how university professors would care to classify them. Not an ounce of inferiority complex there, quite the contrary!
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!

(This post was edited by MariaLund on Oct 26, 2006, 9:50 AM)


db52

Oct 26, 2006, 10:35 AM

Post #79 of 93 (3696 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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The chart I was looking at shows 'income mobility.' I didn't see where the Times' writers concluded that there was a 'glaring disparity' between perception and reality, but they probably didn't want to put that too close to the chart for fear that people would (maybe)look at the chart and draw their own conclusions! You don't think the Times could have an agenda, do you (like maybe "the USA is going to hell in a handbasket, and President Dimwit is to blame!")?

I think Fussell might have had his tongue in his cheek just a bit, too, when describing his social categiries. You notice how he slams the really rich folks (their values are kind of peculiar), the middle class (they are anxious about their status, and envious), the high proles (uncultured). The lower classes are, presumably, exempt from citicism on the grounds that it would be 'unsporting'--(they have enough problems). Ahh, but the upper-middles...why they just sit around (probably in their sweaters with the little suede elbow-patches) reading The New Yorker and debating whether dentists and accountants are really "our sort." (I'll bet a university professor who TEACHES accounting would get in the club, though!) So I think it's pretty clear where Fussell thinks he fits into the picture. I 'googled' the fellow, by the way, and he's a professor emeritus of English Literature. Just sort of an 'amateur' sociologist, I guess.


MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 11:03 AM

Post #80 of 93 (3690 views)

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Re: [db52] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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db, yiu are not the only one who critizes the NYT for having an agenda - but the criticism I read was from the left and, I admit, pretty accurate. NYT is not a New Yorker, far from it, and that's good - it would be too boring to have only one kind of agenda. As for the USA "going to hell in a handbasket" and "president dimwit" - and those who elected him - being to blame, I admit, I agree. You are proud of the income you have commanded - when working - as a skilled trader, a Ford maintenence technician. Well, this income level was only in a small part attributable to your individual skill level, and mostly to the positions that trade unions once had in America - they positioned themselves as best as they could in the then political and economic situation in the USA and negotiated your income level for you and the others. Nothing wrong with that, per se, however, due to president dimwit and the economic and political strength of his electorate, your son, had he not went to college, would not be able to reapeat your income level at the same trade that you had. The income mobility for skilled traders in the USA is dead - and, I am afraid - buried, as it is for many other occupations. And the university professors, no matter their sweaters and elbow patches, coffee swirling or New Yorker reading - and your obvious disdain for them - are not the culprit here. Someone else is.

Well, yes, Fussell was obviously having fun in naming his social classes and he aso bared some of his prejudices - fairly typical for him and his colleagues. So what? He still got his typology widely accepted not because it was based on prejudice (though some of his description of certain class characteristics were) but because it was perceived as accurate in the time of it creation and it still is --- to a large extent thanks to "president dimwit" :-)
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!


db52

Oct 26, 2006, 11:29 AM

Post #81 of 93 (3684 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Gosh, don't get me wrong. I bear no ill-will for the distinguished professor. I was just poking a bit of fun. If he can comment gratuitously on my so-called low-brow proclivities based solely on my occupation...well, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, one might say.

I wish to state, emphatically and for the record, that he is dead wrong regarding my "low-browedness." My tastes are of the highest caliber. I drink only imported beer and abjure machine-made cigars in favor of the premium, hand-rolled variety, just to give two examples of my superior refinement.

And I agree that the UAW has done a heckuva job of collective bargaining. As a matter of fact, I just retired July 1 at the young age of 54.


arbon

Oct 26, 2006, 11:32 AM

Post #82 of 93 (3681 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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"but thoroughly democratized and skilled tradesmen gave themselves titles like "master plumber", "master carpenter" etc. etc., proving - to me at least - they they were proud of who they were, not because of their income, but because of their SKILLS, no matter how university professors would care to classify them. Not an ounce of inferiority complex there, quite the contrary!"

Canada had that sorted out before I got here in 1966, all workers in all job descriptions are deemed as "adequate".

As compared to Mexico and Britain, where there is trade/job snobbery.

So in Canada there are adequate Doctors, adequate Specialists, adequate Surgeons.

It did feel strange when I first got to Canada to be camping and fishing, with Doctors and Lawyers, as well as used car sales men, and Janitors.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 11:42 AM

Post #83 of 93 (3675 views)

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Re: [db52] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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In the same spirit of fun, to me, an -anti-crude-money-and-ostentatious-consumption prejudiced "sangrona" your refinement in beer and cigars seems hopelessly noueveauriche, be it high prole or middle class, but tell me what kind of art you dig, what books you read, what do you talk about - and with whom - while swirling that beer and smoking those cigars and I might have a better grip on your level of refinement ;-)
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!

(This post was edited by MariaLund on Oct 26, 2006, 12:13 PM)


arbon

Oct 26, 2006, 12:06 PM

Post #84 of 93 (3669 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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"what books you read"

That always causes a reaction, especially with relatives that have known you for a long time and had you pegged as being in a certain "Class". LOL

I wont bore you with the details, but I started with an article in an "Out Doors magazine", that mentioned an author, and that led me back to Homer, and it took off from there.........quite a literary journey.

I do get more from a book about Mexico, when I read it in Mexico though.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 12:16 PM

Post #85 of 93 (3662 views)

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Re: [arbon] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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based on this example, arbon, your literary tastes are approved for a non-class of an intellectually stylish misfit. :-)

But I am having too much fun procrastinating while a dirty floor in the bathroom needs to be cleaned: I got mad at an definitively inadequate cleaning guy of my daughter yesterday, fired him on the spot and now, before a new one can be hired, I have to become an adequate cleaning lady. So long - for now - idle retired rich, proletariat of all countries unite... aah, wrong thinking, that won't help me mop that floor.
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!

(This post was edited by MariaLund on Oct 26, 2006, 12:23 PM)


db52

Oct 26, 2006, 1:38 PM

Post #86 of 93 (3650 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Today I've been reading on the internet, trying to find out something about class and/or income mobility in Mexico, without much success. I think the most definitive statement I've seen so far is that "things are better now than they were in 1910!" Also, it seems that the big peso crisis of '94-95 is generally regarded as sort of a setback.

I just began reading Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11." I think that's the book ABC used as a basis for that recent mini-series that caused all the hubbub. Turns out, from the dust jacket, that Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker! Maybe there is hope for me yet.

David Brooks (New York Times!) wrote a book a year or so back called "On Paradise Drive" that's pertinent to this discussion (at least as I recall it).

(I was being facetious regarding my excellent taste in beer and cigars. The beer comes from just across the river in Canada.)


MariaLund

Oct 26, 2006, 2:59 PM

Post #87 of 93 (3630 views)

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Re: [db52] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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In my humble, not-adequately-informed opinion class mobility in Mexico had - and still has - a lot more to do with race, than with income. Talking about race in the context of Mexico I don't mean "race issue" as it is perceived in the USA, where races are still quite widely separated and some income mobility among African Americans created a practically separate African American social stratification. In Mexico races are much more intermingled since five centuries ago, while the social glorification of being of European , particularly Spanish extraction seems to persist and social climbers - as somebody here pointed out once - feel offended if somebody seems to think they are not quite white. Taking this into account, I would find title-mania refreshingly progressive: people pointing out their professional/educational achievement versus bloodline as a source of pride. Sadly, the Mexican system is still practically a feudal cast system and monetary rewards - income mobility - might totally elude Mexicans of "wrong" origin - they are most likely to encounter a very low ceiling.
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!


waltw

Oct 26, 2006, 3:31 PM

Post #88 of 93 (3613 views)

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Re: [db52] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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I would also like to see some figures regarding income mobility in Mexico, by the way, if anybody can produce them.
****************************
This is from an article by Businessweek, the full article is linked to below:

"The ranks of that middle class, or those making between $7,200 and $50,000 a year, have swelled to record levels of around 10 million families. That's equal to nearly 40% of all Mexican households, vs. 30% just a few years ago. It helps that for almost a decade now, wages have been rising faster than inflation. In addition, women are having fewer children, and more of them are joining the workforce, giving households more money to spend and save.

Homeownership is the other key factor in Mexico's transformation, because it allows families to build equity, establish credit histories, and move up the economic ladder. The country is in the grips of a housing boom that is reminiscent of America's post-World War II expansion. A record 560,000 new mortgage-financed homes were built last year, almost double the number in 2000, and 750,000 more are expected for 2006."



http://www.businessweek.com/...t/06_11/b3975071.htm


esperanza

Oct 26, 2006, 4:20 PM

Post #89 of 93 (3602 views)

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Re: [arbon] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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"what books you read"

That always causes a reaction, especially with relatives that have known you for a long time and had you pegged as being in a certain "Class". LOL

I wont bore you with the details, but I started with an article in an "Out Doors magazine", that mentioned an author, and that led me back to Homer**, and it took off from there.........quite a literary journey.

I do get more from a book about Mexico, when I read it in Mexico though.


**Simpson?

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









arbon

Oct 26, 2006, 4:26 PM

Post #90 of 93 (3597 views)

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Re: [esperanza] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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 That would be Bart's sillydad?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



(This post was edited by arbon on Oct 26, 2006, 4:30 PM)


wendy devlin

Oct 26, 2006, 4:41 PM

Post #91 of 93 (3592 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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MariaLund wrote
>Sadly, the Mexican system is still practically a feudal cast system and monetary rewards - income mobility - might totally elude Mexicans of "wrong" origin - they are most likely to encounter a very low ceiling.

That statement puts the cat among the pigeons:)

Before the feathers start flying....
A few personal perceptions.

Within every group of people on any socio-economic ladder you want to define, there seem to be people with a high sense of social class(superiority, snobbery etc.) and ones without.

With passionate feelings, on this subject, I generally chose to be among people WITHOUT a strong sense of superiority over other people. For numerous reasons. However in Mexico, these convictions could unduly increase social isolation...so need to make adjustments.

For instance, it became quite clear over time, that certain 'Mexican friends' would never be considered 'equals of' or 'friendship' material by other Mexican friends. For instance, at a family gathering of good Mexican friends, an indigenous woman beach vendor approached our table.

When I recognized the vendor as another long-time Mexican friend(even wrote a story for this site about her, many years ago) I jumped up and hugged A.

The whole table seemed shocked. When A. continued on, down the beach, I was rigorously quizzed, "how do you know THAT woman?"
Told by words and facial expressions, that my actions heartily disapproved of.

This situation repeated itself over time, not just with this particular extended family...but others. And yet, the facial features, body type and stature, for example within certain family members often suggested indigenous roots.

Some people feel quite strongly removed from those roots. And consider themselves higher up the social ladder...with pedigrees from colonial established families. In my opinion, these people seem, 'middle-class' but it became apparent that they ranked themselves with high local status. Some of this status seemed connected to land, colonial houses they owned and their location. Like homes facing the zocalo in a colonial town.
Or related to their economic enterprises or connection to the church and/or government. Considering themselves, movers and shakers in their communities.

Hard-working people. No resting on the past. In a changing Mexico, many don't take wealth or social position for granted. Except maybe a few. But even they likely have family members who are working like crazy on their behalf.

And yet within families, there were often individuals more accepting or tolerant of people from other walks of life. These people became closer friends. And the ones perhaps, relied on to 'interpret' behavior to other friends and family.
While perhaps, considered unacceptable or strange in Mexican terms, graciously chalked up to being from a different country.


Similiar 'class' sentiments directed towards Mexicans, of lower economic status or those perceived to be 'mal educado', or coarse people or other criteria for separation...gitanos, cholos, nacos etc. A person could actually be economically successful but still be considered low status. Maybe like that noveaux riche idea.

Before, stomping begins with hob-nail boots, there are also people of my acquaintence highly cosmopolitan, doing business, taking vacations, with the big wide world, their 'oyster'. Players in the 'global economy'.

Perceptions.

Like often said. Consider the source.


wendy devlin

Oct 26, 2006, 4:43 PM

Post #92 of 93 (3590 views)

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Re: [esperanza] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Great burn, esperanza!


ignacio

Oct 27, 2006, 7:56 AM

Post #93 of 93 (3538 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] (What is) Mexico's Middle Class

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Great posting Wendy !

They can rise and move, as long as 'they keep their place', just like the struggle another group of people has in the USA.
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