While cross-class marriages like the one between Downtown Abbey’s Lady Sybil and the estate’s chauffeur, Tom Branson, might not be overtly scandalous anymore, the renegotiation of values they entail isn’t confined to the fictionalized 1920s.A recent study, published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and conducted by psychotherapist Teresa Mc Dowell and her research team from Oregon’s Lewis and Clark College, assessed the experiences of eight American couples in which partners self-identified as being from different class backgrounds.People with advanced degrees were smarter than those who just finished four years of college.
It would be one of the factors, the level of importance would be determined by both people. Sometimes a highly successful person wants someone who is less career oriented so that partner is more available time-wise to be supportive.
Their ages ranged from early 20s to mid-60s, and couples had been living together anywhere from a year and a half to 43 years. Now that we aren’t generally born into our roles as scullery maids or earls, a wider range of factors contributes to class identity.
When Mc Dowell’s team asked their participants to define “class,” they came up with pretty similar answers: “I think social class is a status you have throughout your life based on how educated you are, what you do in society, how much you earn,” said one, while another said, “It is how much education you have, how rich you are, how many people you know, and who you know.” Social scientists generally identify class as a product of “the combination of educational level, income, money, type of job, social and occupational prestige, and political power.” And, as Mc Dowell et al.
If you on the other hand are thinking of marrying someone from a different class, here are a few aspects you may wish to consider first.
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