Southern Man

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Southern Man Takes A Test

The BlogFather linked to a Volokh Conspiracy article on what he called the "elite ignorance of ordinary Americans" - that is, how completely out of touch our ruling class is with us ordinary working folk. The article had a link to a 25-question quiz to assess just how in (or out) of touch the quiz-taker is with mainstream America. Southern Man took it, read the comments, and found that he had scored higher (that is, more in touch with middle America) than almost anyone who posted a score.

This was surprising as Southern Man's background isn't that unusual; the well-educated son of middle-class white-collar professionals whose mothers stayed at home and whose blue-collar fathers worked as butchers and union laborers and made sure their children had a chance to go to college. Southern Man missed a lot of points for not watching TV and his almost complete ignorance of (or indifference to) staple Southern activities such as smoking and sports and NASCAR but made up ground for having grown up in a small town and going to movies and owning a pickup and having worked in an actual warehouse and frequent fishing. Southern Man's take on this is that he lives in the best of both worlds: a white-collar professional job during the week and tooling around the country on weekends.

So take the quiz and post your score. Southern Man's was a 54. What was yours?


At Saturday, January 28, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just spent time I didn't have taking the quiz. I scored 65, but probably missed some points because I didn't know my father's salary when I was young, so could not calculate if it was below the poverty line. I have a feeling we were close. Also, I do hang out with smokers when I am visiting my home state, but have not in the last month. But 65 is close to the 66 the author says is "typical" for someone of my background, i.e., first generation middle class. I grew up as blue collar as they come. By the way, how does he know this score is typical? Has the test been normalized? Probably not.

I think he missed an important point about young people who made low grades even if they tried hard. When I was young, learning disabilities went undiscovered unless your parents had the money for private testing and tutoring. The poor are not stupid.

This reminds me of something I heard when I was teaching at my previous job. The recruiters had brought in a group of poor students to tour the campus, and a fellow faculty member said this was a waste of time because you could just tell by looking at them they could not do college work. Wow, was I mad! If she had seen me when I was 17, would she had said the same thing? Probably! And here I am, after an undergrad degree in math with honors, plus two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in computer science. Blue collar kid makes good. Stick your class predjudice up your ass.

Girl Programmer.

At Saturday, January 28, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you Girl...the poor are not stupid!

My score was 70. My roommate scored a 52. I was so surprised she missed the military question...her dad retired from the Air Force.

At Sunday, January 29, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder why there was not a question about owning or shooting a gun. Any thoughts on this?


At Wednesday, February 08, 2012, Blogger Southern Man said...

Gunplay would have upped my score a little.


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