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Sunday 16 Dec 2018 | 08:34 | SYDNEY
Sunday 16 Dec 2018 | 08:34 | SYDNEY

When exceptionalism meets insularity



23 October 2013 13:39

The sentiment expressed in the tweet above would be laughable from any source, but from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies? Have they looked at world rankings of  social mobility lately?

As you can see from the thread, Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove jumped on the tweet, as did a few others. Back in 2007, one of Michael's predecessors, Allan Gyngell, spotted another example of this sentiment, also from an American who should have known better: novelist and journalist Tom Wolfe. Wolfe wrote in The Atlantic:

Only in America do visitors to other people’s homes routinely ask their hosts’ children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In every other country on Earth the question would seem fatuous, since it implies that the child might have a world of choices.

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