(And not just because an academic at the LSE is calling other people privileged).
Yes, in a society that celebrates victimhood there's always a temptation to spin a grim oop North back story. But there's more to it than that:
Our findings indicate that such misidentifications are built on particular origin stories that people reach for when asked about their backgrounds. These accounts tend to downplay people’s own, fairly privileged upbringings and instead reach back into working-class extended family histories that incorporate grandparents and even great-grandparents. Here people find stories of the past – of working-class struggle, of upward social mobility, of meritocratic striving – that provide powerful frames for understanding their own experiences and identity.
Seriously? Was there no one in the office who suddenly found themselves thinking 'hmmmm...that sounds familiar'
Say, I wonder if there have been any other examples of people using supposed atrocity stories from the past to downplay their privilege and justify bad behavior?
In our report, we argue that these intergenerational understandings of class origin should be read as having a performative dimension; they deflect attention away from the structural privileges these individuals enjoy, both in their own eyes but also among those they communicate their origin stories to in everyday life. At the same time, by framing their lives as an upward struggle against the odds, these interviewees misrepresent their subsequent life outcomes as more worthy, more deserving and more meritorious.
Oh really? People living absurdly privileged lives inventing bogus oppression to justify them acting like pigs?
No, doesn't ring any bells at all.
Like I said over at Julie's place re: Sharon the Starving Sumo Wrestler, this is the result of the left allowing thuggish enforcers to impose a cultish group think. There's no one left around to point out that half the Guardian's output is from race-hustling bums using exactly this kind of argumentation to explain why they earn six figures but they're the real victims and so it's oppressive to expect them to pay parking tickets.
Meanwhile, whatever the downside of pushing supposed meritocracy, it can't be nearly as damaging as having filthy rich celebs leaving their huge mansions just long enough to claim the system's rigged and there's no point even trying.