By Shamus Rahman Khan

As essentially the most prestigious excessive faculties within the country, St. Paul's tuition in harmony, New Hampshire, has lengthy been the particular area of America's wealthiest sons. yet occasions have replaced. at the present time, a brand new elite of girls and boys is being molded at St. Paul's, person who displays the wish of openness but additionally the patience of inequality.

In Privilege, Shamus Khan returns to his alma mater to supply an within examine an establishment that has been the non-public realm of the elite for the previous one hundred fifty years. He exhibits that St. Paul's scholars keep learning what they consistently have--how to include privilege. but, whereas scholars as soon as leveraged the trimmings of upper-class entitlement, family members connections, and excessive tradition, present St. Paul's scholars discover ways to achieve a extra diversified setting. To be the long run leaders of a extra democratic global, they need to be comfy with every thing from intellectual artwork to daily life--from Beowulf to Jaws--and view hierarchies as ladders to scale. via deft portrayals of the relationships between scholars, school, and employees, Khan indicates how participants of the hot elite face the outlet of society whereas nonetheless holding the benefits that let them to rule.

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Additional info for Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School

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5 Americans, who lacked such an aristocratic culture, were more apt to deploy wealth as a symbol of itself. The shift from an inheritance of honor, status, and title to an inheritance of wealth may seem trivial, especially if one considers that titles could be purchased. But it points to a vital rethinking of social life. Money can be earned; titles are granted. Central to the difference is the promise of mobility on the strict basis of what an individual does (and not, say, the generosity of the king).

For much of recorded culture, the new elite 23 human societies were ruled by kings or emperors or warlords and their descendants. The primary shift from the ancien régime to the old elite was from the inheritance of titles to that of wealth, and from the importance of ascriptive groupings2 to that of individuals. And the shift from the old to the new elite is one that expands the potential participants in this process to include all members of society (namely, women and non-whites). My focus is on the American case.

The new elite seem to exhibit an openness and generosity toward previously excluded members. In order to make sense of this I chose to look at the culture of elites. The cultural restructuring of the American elite—from exclusion to omnivorousness—provides one of the clearest examples of how we might make sense of the puzzle I keep returning to. 34 Bourdieu’s insights can help elucidate the story of the old elite, where a particularly exclusive elite culture and social web helped create advantages that supplemented and even protected those garnered in the economy.

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