5. Kara: As the youngest child, Kara experienced the height of privilege, which was a moderate upper-middle class lifestyle. She has always been very successful academically. After graduating from SUU, she began her career as a landscape designer at Thanksgiving Point, and currently works for the city of Saratoga Springs as a city planner. Out of the three sisters, Kara turned out to be the most independent and ambitious in regards to her career. She married a successful young man, Alex, who works as a software engineer and is in the police academy. Kara marks a remarkable shift in society over time. She is a strong woman in the workplace, raised by a professional father and a stay-at-home mom.
Summary: What caught my attention as I analyzed my extended family is that we are a demonstration of the mismatch between the modern family and the slow-to-change workplace. My grandparents managed, perhaps not intentionally, to live by masculine norms. They ended up in a good place with high status and have enjoyed their life. Decades ago, America was different and they were able to work the breadwinner-homemaker style. They were also very cautious with their money, which has shown through in their modest lifestyle, perhaps because their backgrounds are both working-class families who made it big, then watched their livelihood collapse.
Most fascinating to me is that a single generation forward brought forth five families who are living the reality of the "Missing Middle," fighting to escape masculine norms. Each of the five kids and their spouses has made sacrifice after sacrifice to bring home a sufficient income. Perhaps this is a manifestation of our lower status values, or maybe my grandparents engrained this lesson by their example to us, but our first priority has been and always will be caring for each other. Whether or not some of the next generation climbs the social ladder higher than the previous, this is one thing that will always remain the same: family is first.