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ERIC Number: EJ888821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
Uncovering the Stories about Social Class
Harper, Vernon B., Jr.
Communication Teacher, v20 n4 p105-108 Oct 2006
Social class remains one of the chief prisms through which reality is interpreted. It is vital for a student to understand how this prism influences their internal representations of themselves and others. In this activity, social class is viewed as a social construction of perceived financial and/or economic status developed through societal interaction. This activity is particularly useful in demonstrating the influence of societal expectations upon the individual. Although this activity has been primarily utilized in courses that pertain to identity and ethnicity (e.g. Intercultural Communication or Race, Gender, and the Media), there are a variety of applications throughout the curriculum. For instance, the shared group experiences portion of the activity directly links to organizational communication courses and the study of Irving Janis' approach to groupthink. Also, a general communication theory course would benefit from this activity as an introduction to systems theory or family communication. This activity operates upon the premise that societal forces uniformly influence people's perceptions of social class. Furthermore, this activity focuses upon exploring the narratives that people develop in response to these societal forces. Stories may be the most common communicative vehicle in humanity. When the participants self-select themselves into groups based on perceived social class, they will possess and share similar within group narratives. The facilitator's role is to identify similarities and differences between these narratives and encourage self-reflection. [A list of references and suggested readings is included.]
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A