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Translating class

I was reminded of how I have not been in America for a while when I stumbled on the introduction to a US senator's press release, about how educational reform is intended to "protect the middle class".

There's a phrase which would alienate an enormous swathe of class-conscious Britain. It left open the question of who could possibly be excluded if public education is for the "middle class". It took family members to translate for me.

The "middle class" is the 99%. The only people who aren't middle class, in current American political rhetoric at least, are the richest 1% of the population. Under the circumstances, it seems odd that there's still reason to use the word "class" with regards to distributions of Americans.

Comments

flick
Oct. 16th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
andrewducker recently linked to this piece. It wasn't until I got a fair way into it that (and this is a slightly spoiler, sorry) I realised that my definition of 'middle class' had no relation to that of the US author.

(I would add to your definition that (for many Americans), as well as the 1%, there is also (let us say) the -5%, who are non-working-class.)

Edited at 2011-10-16 07:38 pm (UTC)