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The “How Privileged Were You” Meme

January 24, 2008

Ganked from Episcopollyanna and Pisco

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois Indiana State University (ty Klady for the correction – see comments). If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college.

2. Father finished college.

3. Mother went to college.

4. Mother finished college.

5. Have any relative who is was an attorney, physician, or professor.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

9. Were read children’s books by a parent.

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18.

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private high school (but on scholarship).

17. Went to summer camp.

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.

21. Your parents grandmother bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child [kid’s work is original!]

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.

25. You had your own room as a child.

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.

31. Went on a cruise with your family.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.

33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.

10 out of 34….I guess that makes me pretty solid middle class.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. klady permalink
    January 24, 2008 3:25 pm

    I’ve seen this around — thinking of doing it myself. Just for the record, the blogger who started inadvertently named the wrong university (started with N. Jeanne Burns at It should be Indiana State U. as follows:

    text below copied from Step into Social Class 2.0: A Social Class Awareness Experience.
    Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka
    Indiana State University, © 2008)


    Correction noted at:

    (just a nitpicker who knows that Terra Haute Indiana and Bloomington Illinois are different places — got a nice Steak ‘N Shake in Bloomington, as I recall, one of the first).

  2. January 24, 2008 4:36 pm

    Mmmmm….Steeeeeeak ‘N Shake. We actually got those here in N. Texas a few years ago! After having been to them in the Midwest as a teenager (long ago), it was a real treat!

    A Frisco Melt, those great, little skinny fries, and a cookies ‘n cream shake. Yum! I can feel my arteries clogging already 😉

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I scored 21 out of 34.

  3. January 24, 2008 8:41 pm

    2 of 34: single family home, unaware of household bills.

    I am the only member of my family with any college credits; I am also the poorest.

  4. January 25, 2008 2:06 am

    thanks. I copied it over at my place. this is a good reminder that we should explore the advantages we had before bewailing the inability of others to “do something” with their life.

  5. January 25, 2008 5:54 pm

    True. And what’s interesting is that my current life is much like what Nina has described in her post on class (and was even more so when I was a full-time doctoral student three and more years ago) but that all the same, I grew up with privileges and thus will always have the benefit of my education and upbringing and of my social network, even when and if I don’t have savings or much of a retirement plan and can’t make ends meet every month. I found the questions thought-provoking (awareness of cost of heating bills, for instance – my parents protected me from knowing that) much as the “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” questionnaire (on white privilege) is.

    Thanks, Eileen. (And sorry for sounding convoluted, something isn’t working in my language brain today.)

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