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View Full Version : 'what school did you go to?'



gumdrops
27-04-2010, 10:03 AM
http://www.makeamark.org.uk/posters/m_wal1_thumb.jpg

an anti tory poster someone did for the election, which still rings true.
i find it funny how people still ask that to suss you out or to form some sort of judgement.
i got asked it the other week by a girl who from the sounds of it would def be voting cameron and was just out of university
does this happen in other countries or is it still only a british thing?

john eden
27-04-2010, 10:42 AM
Ha! I never get asked this.

Maybe the answer is obvious. :D

droid
27-04-2010, 11:15 AM
Maybe the answer is obvious. :D

http://thenewcampus.org/nsfp/images/stories/issue11/nerd%20issue.jpg

massrock
27-04-2010, 11:47 AM
You must talk posh gumdrops eh? ;-)

gumdrops
27-04-2010, 11:54 AM
haha. yes, ive got a proper cut glass accent ;)

zhao
27-04-2010, 12:25 PM
you get axed that in america a LOT. maybe more than in england. usually following "what kind of work do you do"

massrock
27-04-2010, 03:11 PM
The only time this has ever come up for me I think is on meeting someone and discovering we grew up in the same part of London. Then there's a chance we could reminisce about how comically awful our schools were. It's cathartic.

woops
27-04-2010, 03:17 PM
You must talk posh gumdrops eh? ;-)

where do you think he gets his name from?
talks like he's got a mouth full of 'em

Leo
27-04-2010, 05:04 PM
you get axed that in america a LOT. maybe more than in england. usually following "what kind of work do you do"

in my experiences, the school question happens a lot in the states among people in their early-mid 20s, ie the fairly recent grads. most people don't give a shit about schools when they get a little older.

100% correct about the work question, it's the default conversation starter when first meeting people. and in nyc, it's followed by "where to you live?...how's the neighborhood?...how big is your apartment?...do you rent or did you buy?...how much is it per month?" (yes, sometimes even that!)

padraig (u.s.)
27-04-2010, 05:09 PM
you get axed that in america a LOT.

but it doesn't have the same connotation. at least to the way I understand the question being asked in England. mostly b/c class is a much more confused issue here. there are exceptions - a Bob Jones U grad is likely to vote GOP, an Evergreen State alum Dem (or Green) - but generally you can't judge someones politics based solely on where they went to school. right-wing stereotypes about "liberal intellectuals" not withstanding.

not that I think our system of admission to higher education - a bewildering hodgepodge of grades, test scores, "extracurriculars", letters of rec, how you interview, personal background (gender/race/SES), $$$ and, seemingly, whimsy - is more egalitarian, but I don't think we have anything comparable to your public schools (what we would call private schools) funneling kids into particular universities. or we do (Exeter, Andover, etc) but not nearly on the same scale or with such widespread associations.

padraig (u.s.)
27-04-2010, 05:17 PM
another way to say it would be that in the States people ask that question as a more general kind of signifier, if at all, where in the UK it's specifically a class signifier. also, only ~1/3 of Americans hold college degrees (though obv more people have attended some w/o getting a degree), I dunno what the comparable UK #s are.

Leo
27-04-2010, 07:39 PM
another way to say it would be that in the States people ask that question as a more general kind of signifier, if at all, where in the UK it's specifically a class signifier. also, only ~1/3 of Americans hold college degrees (though obv more people have attended some w/o getting a degree), I dunno what the comparable UK #s are.

yup, not a class thing in the states, although a harvard grad is often thought of differently than someone who went to a huge party school like miami. in many cases, people ask about college to compare your school's football team to theirs.

Slothrop
27-04-2010, 10:06 PM
another way to say it would be that in the States people ask that question as a more general kind of signifier, if at all, where in the UK it's specifically a class signifier.
School yes, university less so I think.

I guess the British upper class is small enough that having been to one of a smallish number of recognizable independent schools (Eton, Winchester, St Pauls, Wycombe Abbey, Harrow etc) is pretty much synonymous with being properly posh. OTOH, having been to a specific university - even Oxford or Cambridge - only really marks you out as being 'probably (but not neccessarily) middle class or upper class'.

Having said that, I don't think anyone's ever asked me what school I went to unless they were from the same area as me. Plenty have asked me what uni, but I'd normally have assumed that was in case it was somewhere that they knew really well or where all their mates went, ie a generic small-talk gambit.

mms
27-04-2010, 10:07 PM
lozds av shit 1's

Leo
27-04-2010, 10:18 PM
School yes, university less so I think.

cultural difference: i was using the terms "college" and "school" interchangeably. i meant college.