on perceptions

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

Laminations writes:

It just infuriates me when I tell people that I’m from CT, and they say “Oh, yeah,” like they can already picture my life: horseback riding lessons, prep school, white collar parents, vacations in Europe, etc. Actually, my parents haven’t had a real vacation since… maybe 1993. They and most people I know from my home state are constantly worrying about losing their job, paying the mortgage, etc. I feel like I should do a whole public service campaign to debunk the Country Club Connecticut myth.

In the medieval universities of France, students could often be heard fighting about their respective countries. In the United States this phenomenon manifests as the presumptions we make about people from various states and the odd method of competing over greater lack. I wonder why the misconception about CT, a misconception that even I had moving to CT from west Texas? I’d love to hear how this conversation developed in the GW classroom.


3 responses to “on perceptions”

  1. neha says:

    For one,the media helps.Then there’s ignorance on the general population’s part…whose going to challenge what CNN,Reuters or the AP puts out there?
    Unfortunately,people dont have the means to travel as much as they should.Either that,or the legedary “box” is too much of a comfort zone.

  2. Susan says:

    I believe that all stereotyping of any type is based on myth, which in turn is based on some tiny shred of truth, however distorted by perception and time. No one makes these things up out of the clear blue.

    It is very true that the population of CT is divided into a relatively large group of the wealthy, a growing middle class, and a large group of the poor. The poor are mainly in, as you say, the larger downtown areas of Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury and New Haven, although many of the borderline income group may live in the many small burroughs and towns where agriculture is the source of income and they do not want beyond their income because they are happily living without the dubious benefits of shopping malls and parking garages.

    Most likely the CT myth was originally based upon its center as an industrial state which produced the state’s first millionaires, and its gradual transition into a bedroom suburb of New York City.

  3. Maureen says:

    Well, the CT myth [of being wealthy] may be the result of so many “stars” residing in the West of CT….

    Even in the Farmington Valley, we have the Ethel Walker school [the “horsey set”] where the Shah of Iran’s daughter was schooled lo’ those many years ago…

    Not to mention, there is Miss Porter’s school in Farmington where Jackie Kennedy Onassis attended years ago as well…

    So, I can understand how some might think of CT as one big rich state…

    There is a gap between the haves and have nots… We just hear more from the haves….

    Many in the state..[including those at my college] are not exactly to the manor born…

    Probably all these misconception arise because we still deal with “class” issues… We as Americans like to think that we are above, or have moved beyond that…but it is not true…

    Though, we are not as bad as say, England. At least we have the opportunity to move from one class to another…[Though, that is changing in England as well…]

    Most Graciously,

    Maureen
    *A Mayde in her own little woode….