Bi-class identity is a phenomenon in the United States that has yet to be explained.The experiences of a person who has been raised in a working-class culture without exposure to college educated professional norms who then makes the social, emotional, and psychological "move" into the realm of middle-class life as a result of academic achievement often requires personal loss and change as well as acculturation.

The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it is a phenomenological inquiry into the deep and and personal impact the social class identity has had on the lives of nine interviewed participants. The study focuses on the participants common experience of feeling caught "between two worlds" and the stages they have gone through and have yet to go through in an effort to reach self-acceptance as a "bi-class" individual.

Secondly, this study serves to create a model for bi-class identity development which explains this phenomenon. Among the major writings on social class in the field today, there are numerous references made to the concept of "class as culture" as well as the culture shock that first generation college educated people face. However, to date there is no existing model. For this reason, this study is critical in its contribution to new knowledge in the field of domestic diversity.


Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction