Last class we watched an informative documentary named “People like Us, Social Class in America”. America is known to be a country defined by class. Throughout the movie it showed different opinions on what class was based on by different people and the answers varied from looks, house size, career choice, race, manners, upbringing, and education. As we move through life, most times we remove ourselves from different people not in our class to then live amongst those who share similar backgrounds and who we are most comfortable with. As stated, “if there is class, there is an inequality one cannot explain and it perpetuates itself”. Revealing class can expose hope, fears, prejudice and a myriad of different emotions that we may not all be comfortable speaking about. I feel as if part two and part three were most applicable to myself because they are something that I have experienced both directly and indirectly.
There is much debate about the issue of social class in the United States. There are arguments about whether social classes are distinctly separate or fluid, dependent upon one’s community or society as a whole, and if they are subjective or objective (Hughes and Jenkins). However, despite the debate surrounding social classes, it is still important to try to define them and analyze their effects, as they are such an important part of our identity and our opportunities in society. Although our society has tried to appear as though we have no classes, and it is becoming harder to tell what class someone is in by material goods, classes do still exist today (Scott and Leonhardt). The trend has been to divide the U.S. into four major
After reading Michael Zweig's “The Working Class Majority: America's Best Kept Secret”, I read and was able to determine his own perspective of class. Zweig says that the United States is not a middle class society and that the majority of Americans today are part of the working class. He defines class as power, power in the workplace, cultural, economic, and political and in the larger society and not so much the income. I think he defines class as power due to the fact that we as people have the power to experience class in many ways. We are all born and raised differently and all come from cultural backgrounds. He briefly explains how there is a high class and low class depending how you were raised. I can agree with him on that statement to an extent personally due to the fact that sometimes the worst parents in the universe can raise you, but you alone can show yourself a thing or two about morals and life lessons simply by living them. That does not mean that your parents don’t play a
Social class is a topic of discussion that is generally avoided, especially in America. In a country where all of one's dreams can allegedly come true; the notion of class highlights the jarring inequalities and social divisions between one American and another. In recent years, recognizing one's privilege is beginning to become a cultural value. However, it has always been something that people were aware of, as seen in the eye-opening documentary, People Like Us: Social Class is America (2001). The documentary strives to accurately portray how the contrasted people of America live, interact, and see themselves and others. Of the ideas the doc showcases the most important are, the higher classes influence over the poor, and the poor's poor self-image, as these ideas strike the core of why one should be conscientious of their class.
In Chapter 10 of Newman and the article “Making Class Invisible” by Gregory Mantsios both work to explain class structures and the effects of stratification. Newman defines stratification as the ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal rewards and life chances in society (p. 281). While Newman expresses how social forces and institutions influence social class, Mantsios explains in his article how mass media perpetuates class stratification.
A strength of this approach was her ability to live, not just research the topics since she was fully immersed. Since she actually works low-wage jobs and lives in low budget places, such as trailer parks, she gains a unique perspective to her research topic. When she compares her fellow workers' living conditions at Hearthside, for example, with her own "$500 efficiency," she exemplifies America's socioeconomic gap with a personal flair, not just merely research scope. Her Introduction directly confronts this issue: "Unlike many low wage workers, I have the further advantages of being white and a native English speaker." Since her data derives from case studies of real people, their narratives make the book more authentic and connect me on emotional, not just academic levels.
The article “Class in America” by Gregory Mantsios exploited the sad truth that is the American class system. Throughout the piece we are introduced to different myths about the economic spectrum that are later debunked by hard facts and evidence. On a day to day basis here at Monmouth University I am surrounded by fellow students who I would believe to be in the same social class as me. Growing up I never viewed myself as exceedingly wealthy or poor by any means but I knew my parents had to work hard for whatever income they could get. My family is what this article identifies as “middle class”, but after reading it should I begin to think of myself as less than that? According to the article, classes should not even be discussed because there
Classism: a tender discussion because we all are guilty, simultaneously oppressed and the oppressor and no one enjoys the feeling it brings. The documentary “People Like Us: Social Class in America”, helped me explain my own subconscious thought process to open my eyes to the true inner workings of social class. Throughout the documentary, the topics that truly touched me were the ability to acknowledge class, understand my own class, and how the classes intermingle.
Classism is a big dilemma in several parts of the world such as North America. The word Classism was derived from Class and -ism; the word Class descended from a French word, Classe, and a Latin word Classis. The word was originally created by Servius Tullius in one of the six orders into which he used to divide the Roman people for the purpose of taxation. Those words together make the word Classism which means a biased or discriminatory attitude based on distinctions made between social or economic classes ("classism." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Jan. 2012. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/classism>). In this essay I will enlighten why Classism should be abolished
Race still predominantly plays a role in everyday classism. Discriminatory housing practices traps minorities in the lower class for generations. Moreover, America’s healthcare system unfair to people who have low income. Also, Public transportation does not properly serve the needs of those who use it; as well as, it makes it formidable to secure, and maintain a stable job. Additionally, education for the poor unequal in graduation rates; along with, a social polarization against lower class students. Classism in America is an old, yet consistent problem that, creates an unfair economic divide of
Classism is defined as a Relative social rank in terms of income, wealth, education, occupational status, and/or power. But is really is a negative or biased attitude due to the distinctions made between social classes. I believe that classism destroys the world due to the categories that society has invented in our minds. Classism is expressed in numerous amounts of ways; a few examples would be through social class, sexual preference, racism, and the media. The economy easily breaks down people into a certain class to define whether should be known as someone to remember or someone who can easily be forgotten. People who are wealthy are able to take advantage of the class they are put in, which is of course the superior class. They are able
Classism does not have a standard definition, it is a bias. Different segments of society will give you varied answers. We classify those around us in multiple ways. By genealogy, economic status, culture, language, gender, race and influence to name a few. Our country was founded on escaping from a ruling class. It has become apparent that no matter how hard we work to get rid of class structure, we will always have it in our society.
Concept 1: I come to realize that classism is degree of difference based on social perceived class, which is all teetering on one paycheck. I also come to understand, from the movie American Winter, that middle class people are finding themselves, laid off, foreclosed, and unable to pay their utility bills causing so many people in our own community to be one paycheck from poverty, eviction and homelessness. The middle class is working hard one day and the next day going to homeless shelters, food banks and even selling their own plasma just to put food on the table (Gantz 2013). Homeless shelters are quickly
Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups. It’s the systematic assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on social class. ….Classism is held in place by a system of beliefs and cultural attitudes that ranks people according to economic status, family lineage, job status, level of education, and other divisions. Middle-class and owning- or ruling-class people (dominant group members) are seen as smarter and more articulate than working-class and poor people (subordinated groups)…(What is Classism, p. 1).
“Conflictive type individual act as if they support class equity; however, they are classist with subtle issues that are not apparent at face value” (Jun, 2010, p. 313). I think my privilege in SES impacted my view of class equity. I believe if someone works hard in their career resulting in their SES being upper class, they deserve to be in that position. They should not be obligated to share the wealth if they worked hard for their income. At the same time, racism and sexism does not allow an equal playing field due to microinequities. Because I am oppressed in my gender and ethnicity, I have awareness of oppression and privilege in