Re: The culture of poverty
From: Karen Frayne (Karen.FrayneSONOMA.EDU)
Date: Mon, 15 May 95 10:21 CDT
        Reply to:   RE>>The culture of poverty
Joani writes:
Karen: Let's face it, a very small percentage of people raised in
"comfortable" or "high-income" families, will turn away from the high value
placed on "property and privacy" they grew up with. We cohousers are the
exception rather than the rule from that population.  As for the sense of
community that you (and I) have observed in poorer communities, I believe
that most people raised there would trade it in a minute for a significant
amount of "property" and/or "privacy"  Most likely, as much as they missed it
down the road, they wouldn't go back to living like that unless they could
take their "property and privacy" with them.  What do you think?
Karen (me) writes back:  I agree that if folks could get out of low income
neighborhoods, they would.  But if the place they could get out to were coho,
rather than single-family dwellings, if we could be welcoming of such
difference, and not just accepting of it but acknowledging of our own needs
of the gifts others have to offer, think how much people from these
neighborhoods would have to offer us.  My mom was raised poor, really poor,
by parents who had not gone to high school, who usually didn't have jobs.  My
mom always says that one thing it gave her, even though she'd never want to
go back to it, is a good sense of perspective and what's important in life. 
I wonder, Joani, do you think there's a way to welcome people who are really
different from you?  We welcome students into the university, recruit them
from high schools in LA and rural areas, and they arrive at Sonoma State and
we give them time and energy and money and advice.  I help them do their math
and listen to their doubts and dreams.  About 33 percent of them are retained
and graduate from the university.  It would be a difficult thing to get the
word about coho out to people we don't see every day, but I think it would be
worth it.  kf

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