…tructural factors - comes to the forefront in the Puerto Rican community at the center of that book. I think this might be even be less about race than it is class and culture, although non-whites experience it less than other groups. I grew up in a very working class white family and it took me forever to let go of the bootstraps mentality.
Absolutely! I originally added a comment about this. The US is arguably a caste system. Race is merely a pawn, going back to Bacon’s Revolt.
“Bootstraps” is such a strong testament to the power of storytelling needed for ingroups to concentrate and sustain power. It even scams outgroups into undermining themselves. And as a US territory, its influence spread to Puerto Rico. I lived in Spain as a child. It’s collectivist with a far greater social net than the US, so “sink or swim” doesn’t exist culturally.
Interesting Spanish finance tidbit: employees NEVER negotiate salary and moving up the corporate ladder is a lot slower. Definitely a lot of room for being underpaid and losing out on earnings.
Glad to have inspired your writing. I’ll add your book suggestion to the list.