Social divides are present in every culture. If you want to be an insider, you learn to rules of the class and abide by them. Breaking the rules results in embarrassment or even exclusion. As an insider, knowing the rules gives you a sense of belonging with those in the group and even power over those who are not. As an outsider, the rules may be confusing or impossible to abide by—making movement between classes difficult at best. New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks recently wrote about a common class barrier: fancy sandwich shops with obscure names that only upper-class types understand. Such naming structures cater to a certain crowd (the first step in savvy marketing and business strategy) but also serve to keep class divides in place by making those outside too uncomfortable to venture in.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson cover everything from faux pas to class snobbery to the structures that keep us in our place. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What’s your most embarrassing faux pas?

Listen to Persuasion 105:

Links from the show:

David Brooks: “How We Are Ruining America” , The New York Times

Rebecca Florence Miller: “David Brooks’s Opinion Piece on Barriers Erected by the Educated Class”, Patheos

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