It is certainly evident, in most occasions, how blue collar kids have to straddle two very different cultures in order to be amalgamated. Such kids always have to adjust their home cultures in order to fit in the school culture. This scenario is always brought about by the fact that most schools, both grade and high schools, attract students from all levels of the societal social classes (Lubrano, 76). In the book, ‘The Shock of Education’, Lubrano ascertains these sentiments claiming that blue collar kids normally have a hard time getting absorbed in their respective school systems. He says that this condition is championed by the fact that the dominant cultures in such institutions are those of white collar kids and the rest have to find a way of adjusting. This paper highlights an account when I felt that I had to straddle two different cultures just because I was from a blue collar culture (Baker, 46).
Sometime last year I was asked to represent my mum at a parents’ meeting in my baby sister’s kindergarten. It sounded fun and I was eager to sit at my mum’s place until the day finally came. My sister and I were all set for the ten minutes ride to school. We rushed as the roadside to catch the only bus, but it seemed we were too early as we had to wait for more than half an hour. I was almost giving up the long wait when a sleek car stopped right in front of our toes. “Come on in.” A voice called from inside the car. My sister was the first to hop in and I was left with no other choice but to follow suit.
Marline, my sister’s friend was being driven to school with her mother. Even though my sister blended well with the duo, I felt awkward being given a ride by a strange woman who was obviously way above my social class. The ten minutes ride was like a whole year’s tour to the space! Marline’s mum engaged me in discussions of what college I was anticipating to join after high school while in the back of my mind I was not even sure if I would get a job in my neighbor’s pastry shop after high school. My life was that low. I did not want her know my status and so I pilled lies to suit her class.
When the car finally made the last turn at the school’s car park, I breathed a sigh of relief. Sadly, an even worse situation was waiting inside. The fleet of cars in the car park made feel a chill ran down my spine. Seeing the cars glitter under the shades made me realize that that was no ordinary meeting. I even had to throw away my hat since I could only imagine what attires those car owners were wearing. While in the meeting, I felt like my seat was on fire and could not wait for the final word. Despite being uncomfortable, I managed to switch back and forth between these two different worlds. Up to date, I can hardly remember the agendas of the meeting because I felt out of place and could not concentrate (Kasulis, 84).
Just like Lubrano had argued in his book, ‘The Shock of Education’, blue collar kids surely have a hard time adjusting in the cultures in their schools (Shweder, Martha, and Hazel, 53). This is a societal ill that cannot be easily alleviated. As a result, people have to live with it (Obidah, and Karen, 23).
Baker, David P. The Impact of Comparative Education Research on Institutional Theory. Amsterdam [u.a.: Elsevier, JAI Press, 2006. Print.
Kasulis, Thomas P. Intimacy or Integrity: Philosophy and Cultural Difference : the 1998 Gilbert Ryle Lectures. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaií Press, 2002. Print.
Lubrano, Alfred. Limbo: Blue-collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Internet resource.
Obidah, Jennifer E, and Karen M. Teel. Because of the Kids: Facing Racial and Cultural Differences in Schools. New York: Teachers College Press, 2001. Print.
Shweder, Richard A, Martha Minow, and Hazel R. Markus. Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004. Print.