The New York Times:
In a society as unequal as ours, people tend to interact almost exclusively with people who share similar educational histories, incomes and occupations — and when they do interact with others from different social classes, even as friends, those relationships seem fraught with misunderstanding and tension. That’s partly a matter of circumstance, but it’s also a matter of habit. As the comedian Kevin Hart jokes, “I stay in my lane, people. I stay in my financial lane.”
In such a bifurcated society, what happens when people from one social class cross lanes? Can we speak to, engage with and understand those whose lives are more or less fortunate than our own? And, if not, are there ways to increase engagement with cross-class partners?
To examine these questions, we conducted a series of studies on how economic inequality influences interactions between people, in collaboration with the psychologists Ursula Beermann, Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner at the University of California, Berkeley.
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