Jejudo, South Korea
I don't think should be seen as a statistical argument but as a trope of class in general. Certainly, within each class structure there will be a multitude of different individuals who will do things differently. I would hesitate to try any correlation between what diamonds you buy and what economic status you may have. Rather, what interests me here is how other individuals feel about the diamond trope itself.
Pete and I, for example, are perplexed by the use of brand names as such. Jim thinks certain upper class tendencies in dining are superfluous. This doesn't necessarily define our class standing but it does show that we think about it.
I'm sure, or pretty sure, that the young lady I referred to wasn't particularly comfortable with my puzzled looks -- either because she thought she was being judged by someone beneath her or simply by someone who 'wasn't with it'. It seemed to me that her response, while civil, indicated a class distinction that she was making -- even if she herself might not characterize it as that.
I'm not criticizing her here because if you look at my comments I did the exact same thing to her -- I characterized her as some type of nouveau riche or 'wanna be' because she flaunted those brand names. The really, really rich keep these things rather muted I suspect.
It is this type of judgement, the reaction of the reader to the description that interests me. In other words, your description, your reaction to the piece is something I went through as well:
the rich -- whatever
the middle class -- why do they (we?) do such things? Is it that important?
the lower classes -- yeah, I've seen that before
My point is that these are judgements that we makes regardless of our rational ideas about what we should do -- "You shouldn't judge other people"; "people should be treated as individuals"; "I don't care what other people think"; and so forth.
A tremendous about of time in the American media is spent on racial and gender differences (I admit the UK is a different case; class is still, as far as I know, a concept still talked about), and this is a good thing but I don't think we should forget about class differences as well.
America is not a classless society and everybody knows this but few seem to realize how much it effects us.
I'd just like to see a little more discussion than the continuing 'widening gap between the rich and the poor'.