I’m at We Are the Mutants, bowing and curtsying:
Assign teenagers to different socioeconomic classes and require the lower classes to perform humiliating rituals of obeisance to the upper. Give other students the power to enforce class boundaries and punish those who get ideas above their station. Make sure the artificial hierarchy affects the students’ friendships and grades. What could go wrong?
This is the setup for Gloria D. Miklowitz’s 1985 young adult novel, The War Between the Classes. But it’s also the premise of a real classroom exercise developed in the late ’70s by Occidental College Professor Ray Otero.