how jobs are earned/determined? How is poverty dealt with?
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The community's apparently utopian nature draws especially on some ideas of the commune, in which all citizens contribute to and partake in the society with apparently few class differences. Although some jobs are held in higher esteem than others, citizens are taught from early childhood to respect all professions and to treat others with respect.
Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the extremely important Ceremony of Twelve, in which the former Elevens officially enter the adult world and receive their Assignments, which will determine their vocations for their working lives until they enter the House of the Old. The Assignment process and Ceremony of Twelve is unique because, as the Chief Elder notes, it is one of the few times of the year in which individual differences are celebrated instead of communal values. Even this society thus acknowledges the need for a division of labor. Each child is thanked for his particular childhood, and Assignments are made that honor the differences of those such as Asher, who usually tends to get in trouble for failing to conform to community standards. Although the community values what is the same over what is different, the Ceremony of Twelve acknowledges that all people are not identical.