Social Class Symbols: In-class Activity Game
This site provides three interactive activities/games that exemplify social class in America. This is activity is a fun way to either introduce or wrap up a lecture in a consumer behavior class on social class/status. If used as an introduction to the unit, the Chintz or Shag game is a short, five-minute or less activity that the class as a whole (if not too large) can contribute suggestions, and then see which items chosen to furnish a home indicate social class in America. The results can be used to support the class discussion/lecture on social class and status. If used at the end of the unit, it is a nice, fun activity that again can be used to review clues and symbols related to social class.
- Identify personal items relative to social class and status
- Analyze components of personal belongs which relate to social class
- Discuss the variability and complexity of social class and status symbols
Context for Use
I typically use this for an introduction to my lecture/discussion on social class and status. However, depending upon individual teaching style, and size of class, it could also be used to summarize a discussion on the topic as well. I have found my students (typically juniors) find it a fun and engaging activity, while it gives me some excellent examples of what symbols may be used by consumers to indicate membership in a social class/group.
Description and Teaching Materials
The site requires Shockwave/Flash Player to run, so be sure your classroom/instructional computer has the software loaded. In addition, if you have bandwidth issues, it may take a while to load, so when I teach in a classroom with limited bandwidth, I pre-load the game before class.
Teaching Notes and Tips
The home site, People Like Us, is a companion to the PBS documentary special, and as such includes video clips, additional material, interviews, and storyline information. I find these resources helpful in discussing lifestyle related to consumer behavior and decision-making processes. One of the links under the Resources tab is to the Claritas MyBestSegments site, including PRIZM. This additional site uses what is termed geo-demographics to describe lifestyles and habits of areas based upon zip codes. This is the next logical topic discussion in a consumer behavior class on demographics and lifestyles. Thus, the additional resources may be used in other aspects of the class.