Since I was a child, I always knew about social class, especially when my mother would use food stamps to purchase food at the store and the dirty looks we would get. Reflecting on my background and how I have put myself down over the year because I thought I was low class or didn't make enough money to go to certain restaurants really is something eye opening. I would oppress myself in so many ways, it was unbelievable, and it just isn't a problem that I alone am suffering from. Classism affects a huge amount of our population, “... approximately 10 percent of the U.S. Population owned 70 percent of all American wealth (such as savings, home equity, consumer goods, stocks, bonds, and real estate) by 2001 (Collings & Yeskel, 2005), this wide ranging oppression also manifests itself more harshly in combination when it intersects with other identities. Confronting classism, is something that seems almost impossible but dealing with my own internalized classism may be the first step in furthering myself and my social economic status.
I was born in a poor part of Long Beach California, gunshots were a part of the norm and it didn't really affect me in a noticeable way. My father was abusive to my mother, even during pregnancy and finally they separated. Living on her own proved to be difficult and we enrolled in food stamps along with other financial aid programs so she could attend nursing school. As a child I never had nice clothes or anything and I constantly suffered classist microassaults on the playground. I had a penchant for sweatpants as a larger child (I don't even want to get into the internalized oppression there), and the children with money always seemed to point out how poor I was or how ugly I looked because of the clothes I wore. These children were much like the respondents of the study done by Cozzarelli, Wilkinson, and Tagler (2001) assigning me traits like lazy, stupid, and dirty.
I carried this with me...
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