Class issues are rarely discussed and largely important. We should all be able to embrace the class that we are from proudly, and not perpetuate the myth of class hierarchies. It's okay to make less money than other people. We need those low wager earners in our economy. This is a piece of an essay I'm writing called "Belonging Nowhere: Marginalized Between Social Classes."
The difference between language from home and school informs the pressure felt by many females in the academy to “pass” rather than seeking true acceptance or belonging. Pam Annas explains the language barrier between home and school. She identifies as an “immigrant” a term she uses to describe “working-class students who go to college and are suddenly confronted with a culture in which people…use language differently, express anger differently, perhaps don’t even use their hands when they talk” (Annas 171). The language from school tends to be less crude and direct. The desire for passing as middle class stems from underrepresentation of working-class women in higher education. The few that are admitted feel as though they need to at least blend in, or at most overcome their socioeconomic class status. Using language from home at school is problematic because of assumptions about working-class intelligence. Patricia Clarke Smith experiences persecution based on class superiority about her story featuring the Irish working-class. She recounts her reaction; “is it the profanity? Does she think that someone who says “arse” wouldn’t use a word like “nefarious?”… So I don’t try to explain… about the rolling silver and vulgar eloquence of working-class Irish” (137). Most women eventually stop attempting to use their vulgar eloquence and instead elevate their working-class language into that of the middle-class. Some working-class women feel that their language is subpar because of the assumption that “the difficult, the inaccessible, the erudite, and the highly theoretical is more excellent than language that is clear, accessible, experientially based, practical, and useful” (Annas 176). Working-class plain language is abandoned and the lofty or theoretical ideas taken up, because of the general assumption that accessibility takes away from the depth.