Having grown up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood inevitably means some restriction to your exposure to average American life. If you grew up in an exclusive part of town such as Chicago’s North Shore or Northwest Washington, you or your parents had to take proactive steps to force you out of the bubble. That sort of thing happens, but even then it is often artificial. For example, your parents made you help out in a soup kitchen during high school, and you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity during college. In those cases, you might have had brief exposure to some of the most downtrodden people and disorganized neighborhoods, but you still have little idea what life is like in an ordinary working-class or middle-class neighborhood.
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