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After watching the video in class today I had a thought. The bread/grocery store debate really bothered me. To watch the upper class people/city council members walk all over the lower class citizens was unbelievable. The lower class people had a really good argument. But yet those city council members voted 12-2 to let the higher-priced store be built. The higher class people talked down to and ignored their argument. One lady in the video said something to the affect of "You upper class people need to see that not everyone in this town has money".
It's very true that those with money or those upper class people make most if not all the decisions in society. It's sad that people can overlook an entire population and ignore their needs.
What do you think about this? Or what other things in the video bothered you?


Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:40 pm
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The subject that stuck out to me the most in the video was lack of communication...and both sides of the social status seemed to be equally at fault. The upper class, or rather upper middle-class :wink: , seem to toatally ignore people in the lower class and the lower middle class or lower class seem to view the higher as "rich people to stay away from" because they feel unwanted--which in the class's defence they are mostly correct in thinking so.

The big issue here is the parents that are instilling these mindsets into thier children. Although the adults may have grown too stubborn to change thier views on class structure, it is not completely impossible (as school teachers) to get thier children to see the big picture. I think this idea factors in a previous conversation on class about not degrading the student that is studying to be a farmer or mechanic, there is nothing wrong at all with those occupations, and the world needs them, just as the world needs doctors and scientists. But as Darwin explained, life is competitive, and the higher social class does seem to tramp all over the lower class.

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Robert Chase Glenn


Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:56 pm
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This topic of which grocery store was very interesting to me as well. It is terribly sad and frustrating to see the way that the upperclass always seems to end up in positions of power and then they get their way, and the lower class just has to deal with the decisions that the upperclass are making for them.
I also find it interesting about the bread statistic, how the kind of bread you eat can show what class you are in. The lower classes eat the typical white bread and the upper class eats the wheat bread. To me, I equate wheat bread with eating healthy. I often find that the way that we as Americans tend to eat is not very healthy, and many people are starting to realize that as heart attacks and preventable diseases start to affect us and those we know. But the difficult part is that to eat healthy costs more money. The healthy organic foods are just more expensive, and they are harder to find. It takes money and effort to be able to eat healthy. The store that ended up being built had organic foods and probably a much more healthy selection, but the argument was that the lower class in the town just couldn't afford to shop there. Not only that, but one lady even said she didn't like that kind of food. Many people prefer the unhealthy food because it is what we are used to and it's what we have grown to like. I do like the way that one man was trying to get the lower class involved and asking them questions and discussing the issue. At least he took the time to hear them out and talk about it. I also like that once the store was built, they did have $.99 white bread, showing that they did care about what people wanted and would cater to their needs.

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Elizabeth McPhail Dawson


Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:23 pm
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The video did not suprise me at all. I have watched other videos and had many class discussions about the social economic status of people. The concept of white bread versus wheat bread has been discussed many times in previous classes. There are many problems that lower class people face everyday. In a previous nutrition class my professor spoke about the problems of getting to the grocery store on a regular basis for lower class people. If they do not have a car or can not get to the bus station this causes problems for them. White bread tends to be cheaper and has a longer "shelf life" than wheat bread. There are more than one reasons why white bread is bought rather than wheat bread. In response to the town not listening to the lower class people... they did. On the video there were people voicing their opinions. The town did try to help the lower class by pricing white bread $0.99.

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Alyse A. Bowden


Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:26 pm
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The discussion of social class has always been an interesting one. I enjoyed watching the movie and found many of the things said to be true. America is divided into distinct classes, whether we want to admit it or not. Most people want to consider themselves in the middle class, and then we have a class above and below that. I agree with Elizabeth that the upper class have more of a say in what happens in our society. What frustrates me about this is how uneducated some of the wealthier citizens with more power can be. One man in the video talked about how his class was better looking and smarter than people in lower classes. By making these negative stereotypes about a class he seemed less intelligent. The lower class citizens make up a large percent of the population and their voices should be heard.
In the classroom, students are affected by social class as well. I was a little suprised to hear that even today some parents would not let their child be friends with someone who was not from the same background. As a future teacher I would hope to break through these barriers and get parents involved with the school to get to know the other students.


Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:11 pm
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It bothers me too about parents getting that getting so involved in their child's life that they basically choose the child's friends. I wasn't too suprised about it because my parents actually did that to me. They wouldn't let me invite certian people over and they would not let me hang out with certian people somewhere else. One of my "friends" parents actually told her that if me and her would have grown up together then we would have been best friends from the beginning so she always invited me over to play and we always fought constantly. We never got along. She even admitted never liking me when we were younger, but because of her mom she always hung out with me. Well now that we're older it's different, but that really bothered me to the ends. So it definitly still happens today.

Just thank goodness that I have grown up and can choose for myself now. :D

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Mary Alyse Mauney


Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:30 am
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Point of fact:

The Onion River Co-op is actually LOWER priced than Shaws in many, many cases. The working poor thought it was more expensive for other reasons. This was yet another miss-perception across class lines.

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Gayle Turner


Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:02 pm
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It is interesting to me that the Onion River Co-op is lower priced than Shaw's. I think that this reveals a lot of stereo-types that we have in America. Because of the type of store that it was, healthier and organic and so on, and because the upper class supported it and wanted it there, the lower class automatically assumed that it was not a good thing. What ended up happening was the lower class vs the upper class, they were pitted against eachother on an issue that actually with the facts seems to be good for everyone, better food and lower prices, but people just can't get past their prejudices to listen to either side. It also shows how much people dislike change. Eventhough the Onion River Co-op was cheaper, it was different. They did things differently, such as having to buy in bulk and put things in bags or containers from home. The man on the video said they were offering tours to show people how to use all that stuff, but evenso people automatically don't want to go there because it is different. I think that if people go to a place that is different and they don't know what they are supposed to do or how they are supposed to shop they wind up feeling stupid. I know that when I go somewhere new and I have to figure everything out I feel kind've dumb until I get the hang of how things go. I prefer to go where I am comfortable and will even go out of my way sometimes to go places that I know and am familiar with. This is what those people were doing. They would take the bus across town to go to Shaw's rather than go across the street to the new store.

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Elizabeth McPhail Dawson


Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:08 pm
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I was not surprised at the video at all either. I think we all have somewhat of a "stereotype" of different classes in some shape or form. Some of the people's attitudes bothered me. I have mixed emotions about Tammy, the woman from Ohio with four children. She said that her father worked hard to provide for her family but yet she lived off welfare for 18 years. She said that her dream was to become a teacher. She could have worked hard just like her father and maybe she would be, maybe not, but she took the easy road and drew a check each month. That may sound bad, but it's true. Don't get me wrong, what she is doing now is good. For her to walk 10 miles to work each day is amazing. She is trying to provide for her children and that is important. I understand that she doesn't have the same resources or opportunities as a lot of people but at least she is trying. There are lots of "lower class" people who take advantage of welfare because they are lazy or whatever reason. The "upper class" people who think they are better and smarter than the middle and lower class have a poor attitude as well. The guy I liked in the video the most was Bryon, the fireman. He worked hard for what he has and is proud of his accomplishments. He said that he is happy because his family is healthy and happy and that is all you need. I feel the same way. As far as getting over this barrier of stereotypes, I'm not sure it will ever happen.

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William Byrne


Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:53 pm
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It's interesting to hear that Shaws is actually more expensive than the Co-op. I believe the main reason the lower class was so against the Co-op was because the upper class were the people pushing for it. The lower class citizens didn't trust the upper class. The lower class seems to always think that the upper class is trying to keep them in their place. I believe the lower class has this attitude because the upper class tends to come off as know it all type of people who make decisions without considering other people. So while the Co-op may be the cheaper place to shop the lower class will refuse to shop there because they see it as an upper class facility brought to the town by the upper class.


Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:13 pm
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I'm not sure if someone else has touched on this topic, but i wonder if Onion River Co-op carries all the foods that "lower class" people buy more often? For example i know that stores like Whole Foods and Earthfare do not always carry pop-tarts, Chef Boyardee, and other like products that are geared towards quick consumption. Although unhealthy they still are a staple in many "lower class" and even "higher class" American's diets. If i depended on foods like these to provide nutrition for my family i would be pretty angry if the local grocery did not carry these items.


Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:45 pm
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I think that learning to do something new is a very challenging endeavor for some people. After you have been grocery shopping one way for thirty years, the prospect of change is really scary.
In addition to picking the amount you want, the foods may have to be prepared different ways. For example, kidney beans: out of a can, you can just put them in a recipe. If you buy them dry, they have to be soaked and seasoned. For some people, the provides to much foresight and effort. Maybe that was another deterent for the people who didn't want the Onion River Co-Op

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Lesley Paige de Paoli


Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:17 pm
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I think that the people's choice of bread, food, or whatever item they buy at the grocery store does go back to what they are accustomed to and what they grew up eating. I know my parents or grandparents never buy "organic" foods. Even if the organic foods were just as cheap, my parents would not feel comfortable buying these foods because they were not used to these foods growing up. Buying certain products is based on assumptions many times. Some people assume that all the food at a "health-food store" will taste bad because healthy foods are supposed to taste bad. This is why people stay with the foods they like and know are good.


Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:23 pm
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I thought the situation with the co-op was really interesting. I began to think about when I went to visit my brother in San Francisco last spring break. Most of the grocery stores there are a lot like the co-op in that they carry alternative foods. But, I also noticed that MANY of the items there were a lot less expensive that in larger grocery chains. There were also items that would be a lot more expensive. I believe that this is a situation covered up by the notion of prices. Most of the people in the video that complained probably didnt go in the store because they didn't get the option that they intially wanted. But isn't it in our nature to reject things we don't understand. Americans are used to having the option of going to a local store or going to a chain. I mean look at the number of grocery stores in Boone. I like the fact that I can go to any one that I choose at almost any time. I would probably feel jipped as well if I didn't have options when it came to doing my grocery shopping. Because San Fran is a very diverse community that strongly supports the idea of having a co-opish stores that situation works well THERE, but wouldn't necessarily work in every community by any means.

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Erin Nevitt


Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:22 pm
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I do think that location does depend on how well the co-op store would be welcomed. In the community that they were interviewing, it did not seem like a large or diverse community. And that is just a generalization, but it seemed that all of the people interviewed were older, white Americans. Of course they would not want a co-op store in their town because that is not the way they were raised. I do not think the price of the goods really mattered to the community because even though the co-op may have healthier and less expensive foods, they had already made up their minds about the store before even setting foot in the door. Their pre-conceived notions about what the co-op was helped make the decision to allow a more familiar store take it's place in the town. Many times people are close minded about similar situations, but it's just a fact of life that we must deal with everyday.

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Amanda Jill Roberts


Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:41 am
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i've watched this video in other classes and experienced it a little differently this time. I found myself identifying with every side presented. I went to a wedding two summers ago in Portland, Maine that was mindblowing. The groom was a member of one of the wealthiest families in the country and my best friend and i went and stayed on their compound in our OWN HOUSE. wow.
however, in the co-op vs. shaw's segment it was not about money at all. it was about being progressive vs. wanting to stay the same. change is rough for a lot of people because it requires learning. we hate learning. we would rather just assume that our parents had the best way and we should just follow their lead. the co-op presented the basic bread that the town wanted for probably a cheaper price in a stranger store and the town was infuriated. the co-op workers tried to invite the town in to take instructional tours of the store and it seemed like no one was going to come. this is simply ignorance disguised as pride. come on folks lets make our world a better place.

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Samuel Reeve Kirkpatrick


Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:01 pm
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