Sociological analysis of the upper class lifestyle in New York City leads to interesting observations and understanding of the similarities within the differences between classes.
Ever see those people walking down the street with their fancy clothes and bags, getting into luxury cars with drivers? Yeah, me neither. But you would in New York City, especially on the Upper East Side (also known as the UES). This richer-than-rich conclave within a city already known for its excesses has its own rules, language, customs, and hazing rituals. All of this the author came to discover when she made the move from lower Manhattan to the UES. Armed with a degree in anthropology, she chose to study her new environment, and its inhabitants, through the lens of an embedded researcher. This both helped her deal with the hazing and shunning she experienced as a newbie, and learn what behaviors she needed to mimic to assimilate and be accepted as one of them. Told from her personal point of view, and peppered with related notable anthropological studies of both people and animals, this is a fascinating study of a tribe most of us will never get close enough to interact with. (But they just might run us off the sidewalk, if we’re not carrying the right bag!)