Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Class in America - what Google tells us

What Google tells us is that the middle classes in America love digital cameras and baby massage, while the working classes want to lose weight and go to heaven. You probably guessed that already. What is very striking is quite how much the middle classes love cameras. Probably even more than they love the Vengaboys and Zoolander, their other notable obsessions. At the other end of the scale, perhaps most surprising is the correlation between being poor and having severe itching.

I should say that the New York Times article presenting these results talks in terms of 'hard' and 'easy' places to live, but when you see that the division is based on  "factors including income, education and life expectancy" and that the hard places "include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon", while the easy places include "much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast", the British mind turns immediately to thinking in terms of class. After all, who cares about dividing people up by whether the living is easy?

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