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QUIZ: Is He Smart, or Just Systematically Advantaged Because of His Socioeconomic Status?

The guy in question probably loves theorizing about "power relations" but is not at all aware of his own contributions to power structures

 

How would you describe him?

a)     Determined, attentive, resourceful
b)    “Well-read,” a phrase that has no class connotations at all

What’s his parents highest level of education?

a)    High school or some college
b)    They both have PhDs and can recommend Murakami when he doesn't know what to read next

How did he spend his childhood?

a)    Watching television
b)    Attending math camps that his parents had the foresight and means to send him to

What foreign language did he study in high school?

a)    Spanish or French
b)    Latin, one of several languages offered by his academically rigorous high school

What was his favorite book as a teenager?

a)    To Kill A Mockingbird 
b)    Ulysses, because he not only had access to the resources to guide him through the novel’s experimental prose, but also possessed the cultural knowledge to know what Ulysses is in the first place

What did extracurriculars did he do in high school?

a)    National Honor Society
b)    Researching at a cancer lab, a position he secured by cold emailing one of his parent's college classmate. 

How comfortable is he speaking up in class?

a)    Somewhat
b)    Extremely – he was raised in a family that actively valued his opinions and treated him as an equal during political discussions

What makes him smart?

a)    His genuine curiosity
b)    His impeccable knowledge of Marxist critical theory, modernist literature, and art history – widely accessible subjects that not at all favor those with previous exposure

How does he interact with others?

a)    He’s humble and self-aware
b)    He’s kind of a dick 

 

 

If you got mostly a’s…

He’s smart! Unfortunately, we have no idea what this term means outside the power structures of class. Try again?

If you got mostly b’s... 

He’s systematically advantaged because of his socioeconomic status! If you’re lucky, he’s aware of this advantage and does not belittle people from less privileged backgrounds. More realistically though, he assumes that his successes are entirely a result of his own merit and uses this knowledge to consistently inflate his own ego. Yikes! Stay away at all costs. 

 

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