It seems like I have been working on my research paper for my graduate class on Multicultural Education forever. And I can tell that I’ve spent way too much time on my topic when I start to look at things in my everyday life in terms of class and culture. It’s gotten bad. I sit in a snazzy coffee shop working on my paper and I watch the people around me wondering what their story is? Are they straddlers? One foot in the working class and middle class? Are they first generation middle class? Or are they so removed from the working class that they have no idea how to relate to people in that class?
For my final paper the good and the bad is that it’s pretty broad, our take on culture, class, etc.
So I have been focused on class and social mobility. My struggle is that I am trying to write a scholarly paper with sound research. But my heart, my own experiences keep coming back to me
and I find my heart working it’s way into my paper.
Because I am a first generation college graduate. A white collar professional with deep roots in the working class. My struggles with reconciling these two sides of myself are ongoing. I love handmade items, I take a lot of pride in growing up on a farm and I know that most of my success in this world is because of my hardworking background. My straight forward, often blunt way of talking about things is directly from my farming background where people say what they mean and don’t dilly-dally around (as my grandma would say). And yet, I like arty movies, I like being near a city that has just enough polish on it to make me feel like I am a city dweller. I like that if I want a Starbucks I can find one around nearly every corner. I like working with other professionals. I like the conversations I have with my colleges in my graduate classes about education.
After trying to beat my heart into submission I finally called my professor and explained my dilemma.
And the great thing is that she wants to see parts of ourselves in our paper. She wants to know what’s inside us, how we have responded to this class. Crazy huh?
Below is the introduction to my paper. A blend of professional research and heart.
Culture, Class, and Social Mobility
My goal when I set out to write this article was to write an impersonal, professional article that would take an objective view of culture, class and social mobility. The truth is none of us can be objective when writing about these topics because culture is so very personal and defines who we are. Our identity is a complex weaving of where we have come from, the family we grew up with, the traditions and beliefs that were instilled in us from the beginning, the experiences we have had, and our education. In this article I am going to explore the definitions of culture and how these affect social mobility.