Bimbo Banter


Breaking Beige: Social Class Communication with Walter White


  • Trends
  • April 29, 2015
  • by Meaghan Poulin

Bbblog1

As the resident Spaeth intern for the past ten months, I’ve been both working and writing—gulp, my senior thesis. In my paper, I set out to explore how “designated” social class affects workplace communication and success. With heavy inspiration from Deborah Dougherty’s book, “The Reluctant Farmer,” I began the journey of writing my now-completed paper. (Phew!).

Through my research, I learned that social class is not based on power and wealth, but is rather what Dougherty describes as a “communication phenomenon.” But what does that mean exactly? Simply that social class structure is maintained through habits and communication, rather than monetary resources.

By determining the “correct” form of communication, the upper classes maintain their power by controlling the dominant way people interact. A good example of this is from “Breaking Bad,” when Skylar and Walt miss the all-beige dress code memo for a party at their wealthy friends’ home. 

To take this a step further, it is these habits and forms of communication that help create positive relationships in the workplace based on shared knowledge and understanding of upper class communication.

Being privy to correct habits and communication creates an advantage in most traditional corporate settings. These habits often include ways of communicating with upper management, understanding appropriate dress and social expectations for work functions. And it is this type of knowledge advantage that aids the upper class formation and maintenance of power.

Essentially, being born into or immersed in upper class habits and communication provides access to all of the “unspoken rules,” the most important of which—wearing beige to a birthday party. 


Photo Gallery:

Bbblog1
Bbblog2

Photo Gallery:

You May Also Like


Erlbw3d0
03.19.19

Celebrating 55 Years of “The World of Henry Orient”

Today is a special day for me. It’s the anniversary of the release of “The World of Henry Orient,” the movie I did with Peter Sellers and Angela Lansbury. Just five years ago, I was back on the… more 

8325104250 3732199178 o (1)
12.05.18

Amazon’s HQ2: The Real Winners and Losers

Amazon’s recent announcement of its HQ2 sites created quite the buzz and left other cities feeling like big losers. However, some city officials still won with their post-announcement communication – others, not so much. Winner – Dallas How… more 

Richard s. fuld, jr. at world resources institute forum
09.14.18

Lehman Brothers—Ten Years Later—One Eternal Lesson to Remember

News outlets and commentaries are talking about the tenth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, an event that many experts believe pushed the U.S. into the worst recession since the Depression. Analysts are again debating the wisdom of the… more 


Back to Top