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Ruby Payne thoughts

Ruby Payne
thoughts on Poverty

The "Hidden Rules" section in this is really interesting. It brings up the
differences and ideals between classes. Something I've brought up many times
recently is on there.

Food. I buy "expensive" "Publix" food. I will not go to Wal-Mart to buy
food, even though it's cheaper. Why? Because the Publix food tastes better
to me. Because I trust Publix. Because it seems to go bad not as fast.
Because... I'm a food snob, apparently. Not to say that I won't very
occasionally shop somewhere else in a bind, when Publix is closed, but
generally it's my store of choice. This is because I like "quality" -- a
middle class value-- even though i am currently in situational poverty. I
spend my food stamps on $3 bread, 100% juice, pre-made sushi, and fresh
fruits and vegetables.

If you read the document, you'll see in the 'Hidden Rules' what each of the
classes eat-- the three classes being "generational poverty," "middle
class," and "wealth." Like I said, I prefer quality in my food. The
generationally impoverished tends to go for quantity-- they want food
to fill them up, and want as much food as they can get for as little as they
can get it for, and the wealthy go for presentation-- they want their
food to look nice. They also go for quality, but on top of that, it has to
be presented nicely, with sprigs of parsley or carrots shaped as butterflies
or whatever.

Anyway, it's really interesting, no matter what "class" you belong to, or
where you work. Of course, it's particularly interesting to me, because I
work with those in generational poverty, and am currently in situational



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
interesting article :)
Jul. 1st, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
That made for a very interesting read. I definetly am solid middle class, however I do have tenants of "generational poverty" (which, of course is the PC way to say lower class).

She hit the nail on the head about how the lower classes are often quite inarticulate, however the "free-form" speaking style never irkes me so much as when people say "I gone to the doctor like you said", and use horrible grammar like that.

I must say I disagree about "people being worth more than possessions" among the lower classes. Really, it is all about having an image and commanding respect. So for someone to steal ANYthing from you, (be it a girlfriend or a walkman) is unacceptable. It's often the thief trying to increase his image by reducing yours, and as a result you have to save face by not only getting back the object stolen, but extracting personal revenge aganst the person who wronged you. Really, this is where the street gangs started from.

I do agree in valuing "quality." I will gladly put up with the shortcomings (and yes there are many) of using 20- 30- 40- and even 50- year old equipment on a daily basis because it's built well and continues to perform flawlessly. My parents make fun of me "Dave only likes something if it's old!" but that's not true. I just hate junk...regardless of age.

My walkman is 41 years old, it's big, heavy, and beat-up. But it also uses can transistors (no ICs), wired together point-to-point with good soldering, it has two speakers (one for high, one for low sounds), and it gets much better FM and AM reception then many table radios. It still sounds great, way better than my lousy CD walkman ever did in its 3 years of existance before it abruptly died.

As for Wal*Mart, I actually refuse to shop there except for emergencies. Don't even get me started on the big-box trend. I prefer to keep my dollars local whenever I can.

Still the research in that regard is really interesting and it's actually good to hear some actual truth in research into these matters.
Jul. 1st, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was pretty interesting. I've talked about that before- having to know how to play the game. However, for a lot of students in poverty, that can come with consequences. You can learn the hidden rules and play the game, but risk being ostracized from your group- thereby endangering the important relationships. I don't think people understand that it is tough and requires a certain intelligence to walk that line and make it without losing your identity.

Also, it's pretty tough when good teachers don't want to teach in schools with a high poverty rate. And when they do, they don't take into account who they're teaching. Their expectations remain as if they're teaching those middle class or wealthy kids. Like with many things, it becomes a cycle. And it basically makes sure that the next generation stays in the poverty their parents are in. Very few break the cycle because they were never given the tools.
Jul. 1st, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC)
that is an ADORABLE picture.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Much like pineapples, I am hardcore.

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