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Experience with Prep Schools?? - Page 10

post #136 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
1) St Andrews is the finest educational institution for Anglican divinity studies. 2) It's location and "historic" aesthetic curry great favour with the wasps of Scotch blood. 3) Relaxed academic environment. With 4 hours of class per week in 3rd and 4th year, it's a country club that awards degrees. 4) A Mecca towards which all golfers inexorably make a Hajj. 5) Leading International Relations department (favourite of Americans, myself included) 6) Prince William effect. 7) Has everything for those who didn't make the cut to Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge. (There's a few failed legacies here) Polo, boating, exclusive men's club (Kate Kennedy Club), and corporate networking.
The Kate Kennedy is not as exclusive as it once was, you probably wouldn't like it... they let a mexican in. Also the 4 hours of class a week? If you do a lot of arts degrees these hours would be typical at many UK universities, it doesn't mean that is all the work you are doing.
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St Andrews is a very well kept secret state side, and the Americans are virtually exclusively private school.
You are kidding right? St Andrews is over run with yanks and it is a pretty well known place in the states. They do not all come from private schoosl. St Andrews has its faults, but it is not nearly as bad as this guy makes it sound.
post #137 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
I don't think you realize just how obvious and transparent the intentions of social climbers are. The amount of thought that you've put into it, made evident by several of your posts here, is alarming and in some ways tragic. I hope you don't expose your children to that level of cynicism.
In my case, I never sought to hide them. I do not conceal my goals and aspirations from friends or family. My father is a college drop-out ex-alcoholic retired cop and my mother is a math teacher who married him. I remember a childhood of scraping by. Her father is someone who "climbed" from working class Brooklyn to become an executive with the Tribune Corporaton and for a period, a board member for a university. His circle of associates and friends rose commensurately as well (expectedly). I do separate my ambitions from my friends, as I enjoy their contributions and in turn give what I can. Those higher up on the ladder respect my drive, the reasons for it, and the possible outcomes thereof. I don't see why social climbing is so despised, unless you see it as threatening as the established upper crust. Every established family began with a climber. The Astors sprang from religious refugees. The Vanderbilts came from farmers. This goes on. In a way, the OP seeks to give his daughter the leg up. And if one does something, isn't putting thought into it prudent?
Quote:
You are kidding right? St Andrews is over run with yanks and it is a pretty well known place in the states. They do not all come from private school. St Andrews has its faults, but it is not nearly as bad as this guy makes it sound.
To be truthful, I never shot for the KKC. Early in first year, I was feeling out the place and didn't have the credentials for the club (as I judged at the time). I'm a rarity in that I neither worship the ground they walk on (the tweed crowd) nor despise them (a great many more). St Andrews is overrun with Americans, and I never said that all come from private schools. However, the Americans that do come hail from the NYC area and its bedroom communities (and the area boarding schools), as well as So Cal. Compared with Oxford or Cambridge, it's virtually off the radar of the typical prospective university student uness his/her parents should play golf.
post #138 of 147
^ I have found if an american has heard of UK univerisites beyond oxbridge there is a fair chance they have heard of St A's, but I am sure you are right in that it is not a mainstream choice. I found the KK to be intolerable enmasse, but fine when there were only a couple of them around. I went to their opening drinks as a first year but got bored and left after half an hour. I have friends who stayed and joined and seemed to enjoy it. The worst thing about them was when they 'discovered' Number 40 and it went from virtually empty everynight, and a great place for a quiet cocktail, to overrun with a 15 minute wait for a couple of drinks. I imagine the reason SField finds 'social climbing' unpalatable is the implicit condemnation of wherever the climber is coming from as inferior to where they hope to be heading. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do well for yourself, but a lot wrong with believing one group of people is inherently superior to others and holding their values and mores up as something to mindlessly ape and aspire to.
post #139 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
I don't see why social climbing is so despised, unless you see it as threatening as the established upper crust.

Actually, I think there is a simple evolutionary argument to explain the venom. First, let me define some terms: by a social climber I will mean someone who tries to climb away from the class of his birth, where by class, I mean the set of habits and ideas one has about living, especially about what is proper use of money and what is frivolity. As a group of like-minded people, each class is interested in perpetuating itself; the reason that a group of like-minded people is interested in doing so, is that each member of the group is more likely to "╦ťperpetuate himself', i.e. procreate, if their class is doing so. In other words, the darwinian interest of each member of the class to procreate induces the darwinian interest of the class to perpetuate itself.

Now, onto the social climber! By trying to remove himself from his class, the social climber is putting his own darwinian interest ahead of that of the class, in particular, the social climber is putting his own darwinian interest ahead of that of the other members of his class. Since, by the above paragraph, this harms the darwinian interests of the other members of the class, they hate the social climber. (In other words, the social climber makes it harder for the other members of the class to hit it rich and get laid, so they hate him.)

The members of the class into which the social climber is trying to break also detest him, but for a different reason: the upper classes derive their wealth more from property, in the sense of material property and political power, than work. This means that the more people join their ranks, the less property there is for those already in the class.

This analysis also explains why the mafia, who are proletarians that hit it rich but keep their proletarian tastes and behaviours, are not despised but idolised by other proletarians! Ditto for highway bandits in early America or early modern Greece, and French train robbers. It also explains why rappers, or Joe Biden, are so publicly committed to keeping it real: they are signalling to their classmates they haven't graduated to the middle or upper class, even if they have money!
post #140 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDP View Post
The members of the class into which the social climber is trying to break also detest him, but for a different reason: the upper classes derive their wealth more from property, in the sense of material property and political power, than work. This means that the more people join their ranks, the less property there is for those already in the class.

Assuming I were to agree with your construct, I think there's a simpler explanation than this. The people in the class being climbed into don't like the 'climber' because they've seen his (or her) willingness to put his own interests ahead of those of his peers. Once he reaches your class, he's just going to try to step on your head and use you to further his own interests to move ever 'higher'. This is a person that's hard to like.
post #141 of 147
I am not quite convinced by the evoltionary psychology/sociobiology explanation as you explain it TDP.
post #142 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by tj100 View Post
Assuming I were to agree with your construct, I think there's a simpler explanation than this. The people in the class being climbed into don't like the 'climber' because they've seen his (or her) willingness to put his own interests ahead of those of his peers. Once he reaches your class, he's just going to try to step on your head and use you to further his own interests to move ever 'higher'. This is a person that's hard to like.

Thank you, I think that's very reasonable!
post #143 of 147
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Originally Posted by ysc View Post
I am not quite convinced by the evoltionary psychology/sociobiology explanation as you explain it TDP.

Why?
post #144 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDP View Post
Why?

I'm not saying there isn't a plausible evolutionary explanation, just that I don't think you have quite hit on it.
I am at work, so I don't want to get into a long drawn out explanation/argument, but at a pure 'selfish gene' level there is no evolutionary advantage to moving up a class or two. At the pure gene level all that matters is passing your genes on and I think in most developed countries lower class families often have more children no? And most children born in the developed world live on to reproductive age regardless of the class they are born into. I don't know the stats for america, but broadly this is true.
Certainly social climbing wouldn't seem to me to help you pass your genetic material on more effectivly in most of the developed world, which is the bottom line if you take the narrow darwinian evolutionary perspective.

If there is an evolutionary explanation it might lie more in the direction of gene-culture co-evolution and would be considerably more complicated. Describing any complex social phenomenon in evolutionary terms is very difficult, and you can never know you are correct.
Well, thats my 2 cents on it anyway. I studied this stuff, but it was a couple of years ago now so I might be completly wrong.
post #145 of 147
I don't think it has anything to do with any person feeling threatened at any level. It's having a distaste for a person that makes friendships and personal connections, and avoiding others, for reasons that are not genuine. It is calculating and if you are one of the people whose "class" someone is trying to climb into, you're wary of people like that as you have been all of your life.
post #146 of 147
Amelorn, you have quite a bit more observing and reading to do if you aim to emulate America's so-called "social upper crust." The younger portion of that body is taught to never flaunt money, prefers final clubs, eating clubs, and fraternities to British universities, and drinks natty light over nicer beers.
post #147 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post
Amelorn, you have quite a bit more observing and reading to do if you aim to emulate America's so-called "social upper crust." The younger portion of that body is taught to never flaunt money, prefers final clubs, eating clubs, and fraternities to British universities, and drinks natty light over nicer beers.

I observe more for my own interest than to become a die-cast copy of that particular group (in relative decline anyway). And my observations, if anything, show that they are not cohesive and certainly do not follow those stereotypes if they're under 60. [Note: I prefer the urban industrialist and investor over the NE Mayflower descendent.] The only one I do know that holds with the oldest money is a tendency to limit flaunting. However, in certain instances, it's still a form of flaunting albeit not obvious to the masses. The younger people however show markedly less restraint in spending. However, having enough money to retire in Sophomore year may affect that. Fortunately, grandad taught me a certain frugality, so I never saw the value in certain status symbols (cars especially).
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