White, educated and wealthy = living in a bubble?


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Last night I tweeted this link to PBS’ site. Here’s the gist:

White America is coming apart at the seams.

That’s the thesis Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, puts forth in his new book, “Coming Apart.” In a piece soon to appear on the NewsHour, Murray argues that the super wealthy, super educated and super snobby live in so-called super-ZIPs: cloistered together, with little to no exposure to American culture at large.

Those people, he says, live in a social and cultural bubble. And so he includes this 25-question quiz, covering beer to politics to Avon to “The Big Bang Theory,” to help readers determine how thick their own bubble may be.

I took the quiz and scored a 15 which supposedly puts me in a quite thick bubble. I asked people on Twitter what they scored and of course many people responded, because we all love to wallow in our racial and cultural exceptionalism

Most everyone that responded said they felt their scored were accurate in representing their past and current class status. I’m not sure the same is true for me and here’s why:

  • I was born and raised in a foreign country until the age of 9. The USSR at the time, the Ukraine if you want to be more specific. I think the “rules” for people like me are different, because non-American white cultures are different than American ones.
  • A lot of the questions ask about things you’ve done in the last year. Well, we’ve had a baby in the last year. That means you automatically do fewer things period, whether they’re going to Denny’s or a wine tasting. 
  • The questions ask about you and your spouse, if you have one. What about asking about one’s parents? I see how the questions are supposed to get at that part of your life partially, but not asking about one’s parents today leaves a lot out. A number of my answers would have been different if that was taken into account.
  • You are asked about where you live, but nothing about areas or places you might routinely visit. One may live in a bubble, but is it really bubble living of one regularly leaves the bubble willingly?

There’s more, but you get the idea. Did anyone else feel like the quiz spit out a somewhat inaccurate result? Why or why not?



  1. aliger August 21, 2012

    Your paper topics are very much interesting! I will use them in writing too

  2. Anonymous September 5, 2012

    I think the result is perfect but you mustn’t stop then. You must think how to improve this .

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