Fyodorov played a big part in this chapter with his talk with Roxanne Coss that included his confession of love, which was all translated by Gen. During his story he had prepared for Roxanne, Fyodorov mentioned several things from his childhood, really his life story. These were things that he had experienced and believed to be things that defined him as a man worthy to love her. He mentioned at one point that when he visited the Opera as a young man he stood at the back, because that was all he could afford. When he got older and got a job he got actual seats at the Opera, and then when he got an even better job he got proper seats, which are an upgrade from what he was able to afford preciously. This got me thinking about economic classes and how people are defined by how much money they make. People’s perspectives and first impressions of others are affected every day based on how much money another person they come in contact with may have. Why? Why do we implicitly evaluate people based on where they fall in regards to the social class scale?
This unconscious bias that continues to pervade through our society affects every single person. Those who are higher tend to receive a status that elevates them and continues to push them further and further away from those who are lower on the scale. It affects education, health care, the labor force, and virtually every other walk of life. This has lead us into an era where social exclusion is a massive issue that seems almost impossible to recover from. People of lower class have less opportunities and are not given the benefits that the higher class individuals are receiving. This isn’t just because they can’t afford the things higher class individuals can. It’s because they are treated differently because of the psychological perception that they are not as valuable to our society as those of higher status.
Education is a very interesting topic to discuss on this issue because we know the issue at hand and it seems we are unwilling to do anything about it. A study was conducted in England that found lower class individuals to be receiving lesser attention in the classroom and therefore underachieving (Whitty). After years of conducting more studies, Whitty believes that his findings have not diminished the gap between working and middle class education. He believes that even though his research, and others, has been shared among the educators of his country the gap has likely increased during this time. I understand that “ignorance is bliss”, but our educators must take the knowledge they are given and make changes to the amount of time they divulge in to each student and policy makers must find ways to even the playing field if we are ever to diminish social exclusion within education.
A recent study was conducted in Australia that concluded there was a substantial socioeconomic inequality within the healthcare in Australia. Not all sectors were affected equally, but many services were not selected by disadvantaged individuals because of certain policies that existed that did not make those options as easily available to them do to monetary reasons (Korda, Banks, Clements, and Young). Medicaid in the United States, in regards to ambulatory services, has been set up in a way that makes it less likely for an individual who is socioeconomically disadvantaged to call an ambulance. Medicaid will not pay for an ambulance ride if it was not absolutely needed for the patient. The members of our society in the lower class are generally misinformed that ambulance service is not of good quality compared to hospital services. The service that is given inside the ambulance is also much greater in expense than service inside the hospital, so many people will choose to get to the hospital themselves rather than pay all of that money even when in an emergency situation. This can greatly affect these individuals health, and also hurts our healthcare system (Kangovi, Barg, Carter, Long, Shannon, and Grande). So why do we not have any policies in place to address this problem?
I was unable to find very much information as to why we think the way we do about individuals who are of a different socioeconomic class than ourselves. However, I plan to start researching more on this as I continue through Bel Canto and move in to my final paper. I believe that we have an implicit evaluation about others we come in contact with based on their economic status. However, I also see stereotypes that are formulated based on explicit evaluations that are often times defeated as we find facts that defeat them. I look forward to what my discoveries will entail next week as I dive deeper into implicit and explicit evaluations and how they relate to unconscious bias.