Not so sure that I will get the job after answering honestly......
but I had to post this b/c then I had to cut this down to 1200 characters without spaces
here we go.....
The intersection between race, class, gender, and sexual orientation is the crux of debate regarding opportunity in the United States as well as in the rest of the world. Basic assumptions and cultural mythos normally find their root in the dominant social paradigm of straight white male culture perpetuated through out race and classes difference by media and entertainment. If one is isolated from the dialogue by language barriers, class issues (limited access to mainstream media) or other “outsider” status, questioning these accepted myths is frequently the result.
Personally, I am a cultural outsider (Finnish/Saami), from the working class, a women and lesbian. I questions the basic assumption asserted by the US media/political/cultural mainstream that “working hard will get you ahead”.
My analysis of this assertion has three parts:
1. There is an inference that poor people are lazy. This is a false assertion. It is an assertion that encourages individual responsibility for socially disproportionate distribution of wealth to avoid any meaningful discussion of class issues.
2. There is an inference that everyone starts off this “race” for wealth at the same place/footing. No mention is given to silver spoons or inherited millions (or billions) since we are all supposedly receive to our earned potential of “hard work”. Wouldn’t the conversation include issues of accessibility to basic human services provided by a child’s caregiver, ie parent, such as health care and education? These are necessary building blocks to ensure that all children would have an equal starting point for this great “race” toward wealth.
3. There is an inference that wealth is good and what we should strive for it. The definition of the “American Dream” has changed. It is no longer good enough to have a house in suburbia (that is a questionable goal which I shall not address here) but one needs to have a mansion and servants and a personal jet to be “successful”. The new “American Dream” comes straight out of life styles of the rich and famous, not only is this absurd but it is unsustainable.