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Series | Outclassed: Part 1: Why do we think poor people are poor because of their own bad choices?

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‘ Among the wealthy, biases allow society’s winners to believe that they got where they are by hard work alone’. Illustration: Rosie Roberts

  • If an unexpected medical emergency bankrupts you, you view yourself as a victim of bad fortune – while seeing other bankruptcy court clients as spendthrifts. Why?
  • Outclassed: The Secret Life of Inequality is our new series about class. This installment is Part 1. 
  • Related: Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

Maia Szalavitz, Guardian

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/11/ij_banner/lead_960.jpg?1480521355Wednesday, 5 July, 2017 | Cecilia Mo thought she knew all about growing up poor when she began teaching at Thomas Jefferson senior high school in south Los Angeles. As a child, she remembered standing in line, holding a free lunch ticket. But it turned out that Mo could still be shocked by poverty and violence – especially after a 13-year-old student called her in obvious panic. He had just seen his cousin get shot in his front yard.

For Mo, hard work and a good education took her to Harvard and Stanford. But when she saw just how much chaos and violence her LA students faced, she recognized how lucky she had been growing up with educated parents and a safe, if financially stretched, home.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2017/05/26/Maia-Szalavitz.jpg?w=140&h=140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=640caefbc099a7fde21144d984959c18 Maia Szalavitz is the author of Unbroken Brain:  A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, which will be published in April. She is a 2015-16 Soros Justice Fellow and has covered addiction and neuroscience for major publications for nearly 30 years.

Full story … 

Related:

Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five, Josh Jones, Open Culture 

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  • For all his (Campbell's) outlandish presentation, he is a complicated figure---something of an amalgam of the far right’s showmen and hucksters and its cynical intellectuals, who often understand very well how the stark divisions of race and class are maintained in the U.S., and exploit that knowledge for political gain.
  • Related: From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor