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Moms of High Schoolers PLZ get this Book!!

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What's with the ads?

#1 Calming Tea

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:45 PM

Hi Ladies,
I don't post here because as you can see in my sig my oldest kid is 6.

But I am reading a book that is so important, I really would like to share it so that you and your high schoolers can read it together.

It's called,

Life at the Bottom: The worldview that Makes the Underclass
by Theodore Dalrymple

This book outlines the specific *beliefs* held by people of the underclass (homeless, drug users, those on welfare, or low economic/education status, or frequent abusive relationships) and how that affects their actions. There are one or two beliefs in the book that I know *I* also held as a teen, because pop culture had so influenced me!

I was very protected and grew up attending a very small conservative Catholic School. I didn't watch much TV and was so involved in sports and academic clubs...so if I could have absorbed some of these beliefs, it's possible for even homeschooled kids.

In addition, I think it's very important to understand what *causes* people to end up in, and remain in the underclass. It's their beliefs that got them there, in most cases, and their beliefs that keep them there in every case.

The book is biographical and there are a few pretty nasty curse words, as well as talk of drugs and sex. But it is not in a distasteful way, or graphic at all.

We attained our copy new from amazon, and then when I left it at my mom's rental home, we were able to get one through inter-library loan.

This would be good towards credit for civics, economics, social studies, or health.


#2 Jan P.

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:45 PM

A curious mind would love to know what these beliefs are. I'm sure that low self esteem fits in there. I have a friend whose son is trying to get off of drugs. It has been so sad seeing how this has affected him.


#3 FloridaLisa


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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

Yes, I would also think there is no vision for the long-term; no understanding that short-term pain can bring long-term gain (i.e. school). And a hopelessness as well.


#4 Calming Tea

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:26 PM

Heroine addicts literally use these three excuses almost every time...

"the heroine was everywhere" (believing they could not escape it since many of their peers were doing it- Not all just many)

"The heroine got me again." Believing the heroine has control over their choices, rather then they have choices over their own lives...

Why they tried it in the first place:

My ____ died (replace with any difficult situation...)

Many people in the underclass are NOT to be pitied in the governmental sense of the term. In the spiritual sense, yes they are to be pitied as any sinner or wrongdoer.

However the understanding we must come to is that many, many of the modern beliefs of the underclass (In Britain) actually originiated in academia, as part of the social engineering of the 70's. This academic removal of the person from individual responsibility to problems of government and society, the "freedom" from "constraints" such as laws, marriage, abstinacy, have caused a serious rise in the numbers of the underclass to huge proportions. Before the "freedom movements" and government welfare, hostels, and counselling programs, the unwed birth rate was something like 9% and now it's almost half.

That is just a small smattering of the examples. Homeless, drug users, unwed teenage mothers, men who serve repeated jail sentences, and women who continually return to abusive relationships *remain* where they are *after treatment* because they refuse to let go of beliefs that society, government, the schools, or their peers or parents have fed them.

In order to help these people, we must teach the lies and the truths clearly, and in order to prevent a whole new generation from fallilng into the underclass is to be sure that they are taught the truth of personal responsibility,etc. instead of the false beliefs which would also enslave them.

#5 GailV


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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:32 PM

I've been reading the Amazon reviews of several of his books -- several of them sound fascinating, although depressing.

Thanks for pointing out this book and author.

#6 Kathy in MD

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:12 AM

This looks interesting!

But does someone know of a companion book that shows how to change those attitudes? This book can help a person see his problems, but what can help him make the changes once he decides he wants to? Changing a long term mind set is not always easy.

#7 LaurainKs


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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:44 PM

thanks for sharing this.

#8 Stacy in NJ

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:20 PM

Actually, this author has an amazing biography. Theodore Dalyrumple is a pen name. He's a physican that works in prison hospital is the UK. As a young man he traveled through out the world, Africa in particular, training as doctor. He writes frequently at townhall.com

#9 4wildberrys


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Posted 06 June 2008 - 10:28 PM

Thank you so much for this recommendation!!! This book and another by the same author are waiting in my Wish List from Amazon!!! :001_smile: