Status inequality is acceptable for college teachers. Universities exist within a finely gradated status structure, with certain schools like Brown clearly more elite than other schools. University departments are carefully ranked and compete for superiority.
Status inequality is unacceptable for high school teachers. Teachers at this level strongly resist being ranked. It would be loathsome to have one’s department competing with other departments in nearby schools.
Vocation inequality is acceptable so long as you don’t talk about it. Surgeons have more prestige than valet parkers, but we do not acknowledge this. On the other hand, ethnic inequality — believing one group is better than another — is unacceptable (this is one of our culture’s highest achievements).
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
David Brooks provides a helpful American inequality map
here. My favorites: