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Opening Pandora’s Box: Adding Classism to the Agenda

The author in her piece, “Opening Pandora’s Box: Adding Classism to the Agenda”, invites people to discuss their class issues with other people. He encourages them to be involved in dialogue groups as the one she designed, the Cross-Class Dialogue Group, which consists of eight members, four millionaires and four working class persons. For six and a half years, the group meets every month to learn from one another’s experiences, and to identify what strategies caused some to be rich. In hope that, sharing good and bad sides of their experiences might advantage others who didn’t get a chance to join such a dialogue group. Equality and justice was their primary and ultimate goal. Actually, I liked the idea of forming this kind of group and I feel it’s a very nice idea. In fact, most of us are in need of being engaged in such clusters, at least on a limited array with friends and colleagues. It is very essential to discuss many issues in our daily life, to exchanging ideas and strategies to raise awareness of beneficial things. However, when it comes to financial issues I think it’s challenging for many to make known their social class, because it’s not going to be as easy for the poor as it is for the rich to discuss their social class due to embarrassment. Yeskel, the author, while sharing part of her life experience with the dialogue group, was telling how she was unable to invite her friends to her house when she was young due to embarrassment of where she lived, then she was surprised to hear from another member that she had been through the same exact experience but the only difference here, is that she was embarrassed due to her luxurious house. Yeskel’s story reminded me of the days when I used to go to school overseas. I still remember how it was uncomfortable for many students to tell where they lived, what kind of car they owned, and what kind of food they ate. While I was reading this article, I was wondering if the Cross-Class Dialogue Group idea will work in different countries. Will it work there and be successful as it was with Yeskel’s group? I doubt it, it is not going to be the same, and definitely it is going to be an imbalanced equation where you see people speak with pride, while others speak with humiliation and a loss of dignity. The author brought up the fact that many people feel uncomfortable about disclosing their class situation fearing from being discriminated against or being treated differently, and that’s what she means by “Opening Pandora’s Box”.


2 Comments

  1. alemara123 says:

    I hate when people are divided into social classes of poor and rich. We are all human beings overall. People should be measured of their morals, knowledge, and wisdom not of how much money they have or make. I wish I one day, will be able to live in a world with no social classes at all and where everyone is classified equally.

  2. balbojaw says:

    I agree with you about Pandora’s box being a good idea; but, as you said, it doesn’t work in many countries- because many of them, unfortunately, place value on a persons wealth. In our societies, very little privileges are given to the poor who need it, while the rich are thrown advantages at every turn for no apparent reason. If one does not have wealth, it is near impossible to succeed in our world today. It may be futile, but I believe we should all try and contribute to a system that will one day make us all truly equal.

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