More bloggers weigh in on Ruby Payne

More on Ruby Payne from bloggers:

A letter to the author of the NYT time article from Stephanie Jones, who says:

Frankly, it won’t matter if they know how to use the right silverware, substitute their old “ain’t”s for “isn’t”s, or speak with more (middle-class) clarity and in a more (middle-class) elaborated manner when they still find it improbable or impossible to pay the bills at the end of the month even when working two full-time jobs at a low wage. And in the meantime, if students really do learn all the “rules” of class and they still don’t find themselves in an upwardly mobile trajectory, they may end up blaming themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods.

And this, from Confessions of a Keyhole.

A quote:

I think there’s something very telling and tragic about the conjunction of, on the one hand, Payne’s noble New Age (but also modernist) wish to live “a life without institutional constraints” and, on the other hand, her preaching of the importance of lower-class adoption of upper- and middle-class personal stylings (what she calls “the hidden rules”).

And finally, a summary of what some bloggers are saying about the NYT article from the Payne organization blog itself, in which people who’ve never read her work or heard of Payne before reading the article are cited as those representing the “high points of the dialogue, examples in which people are thinking deeply and carefully about the issues at hand”. While they invited more comments and “dialogue” two days ago, they’ve not yet published any. One of those who resonates with Payne says:

Perhaps some discomfort with Payne’s approach also stems from the fact that as a nation we like to think the lines of class are nonexistent, or at least blurred. Defining class with such specificity denies that.

… which suggests, at best, that this “deep and careful thinker” didn’t even get as far as the two paragraphs summarizing the critique of Payne in the NYT article.

I have no problem with a blogger thinking out loud in her posts. But it’s curious that an organization would cite this very quote as being among the “highlights” of the discourse about their work.

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