how isolated are you?

There's a quiz based on the recent discussion of the cultural isolation of the elite: "On a scale from 0 to 20 points, 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble."  I score a 6, which isn't terribly unexpected, but it makes me kind of sad.

It also makes me wonder about what defines "mainstream American culture."  Hunting and fishing?  Seeing Transformers?  Stocking your fridge with mass market beer?  Buying trucks?  This is mainstream American culture?  Really?  I feel like all of those things breathe privilege on some level, like you have the money (and time and energy) to go hunting, see Transformers, stock your fridge, and buy a truck.

Then again, it's an online quiz...I don't know what I was expecting.

Update: I also like that this whole discussion of "mainstream American culture" is exclusively about non-hispanic white people, who make up like, what, 64% of American society?  It makes sense in that white folks have been the majority of the American population for a while and so we can talk about the changes, but it also seems like we're talking about the wrong thing.  American society is no longer as homogenous as it used to be, and that change means that we need move away from the idea that our culture is homogenous.  Remember: salad bowl, not melting pot.  That doesn't mean I think that the elite should be isolated, but it does mean that everyone (especially the elite), needs to be aware of the other facets of American culture, which means going beyond trucks and Transformers.


Rachael said...

uuhhh that quiz was a terrible representation of american culture. pabst blue ribbon? nascar?? hunting and fishing?!?!? transformers??!?!! applebee's?!?!?!?!?!?!

i don't see how any of that is "american". it doesn't even represent white people well (which it seems like that was the intent, based on the book title that inspired the quiz), never mind everyone else.

instead of being a quiz on how big your bubble is, it should've been a quiz on how bland your taste is. forgive me, but barf.

ajbc said...

Clearly, Rachael, you are the the epitome of the elite, and should participate in a parade in order to gain some perspective.