Chapter

Learning Class

Dalton Conley

in Honky

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780520215863
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921733 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520215863.003.0006
Learning Class

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The author relates his experience at a new school, P.S. 41, which was situated only a couple of miles from where Rahim was murdered. It stood in Greenwich Village, an upscale neighborhood but one with fewer luxuries than other, wealthier areas of Manhattan. He observes that the kids there were predominantly white and, by New York standards, middle class—but rich by the norms of the rest of America. He further observes that nobody at P.S. 41 possessed the class confidence that oozed out of some of the kids at the Greenwich Village School. He makes a connection between the relative opulence of their residences, the profession, style, and grace of their parents, and how they behaved and were treated by the other kids at school, this observation coming from spending time with some of them after class in their homes. He was learning the language of class, the same dialect that his father once spoke in Connecticut but had long ago given up, like the mother tongue of an immigrant who wishes to shed his past.

Keywords: P.S. 41; Greenwich Village; Manhattan; language of class; immigrant

Chapter.  3110 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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