The Middle Class

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Contrary to the popular belief that the middle class is a general term describing a cohesive group of people who are neither rich nor poor, the classes in the middle consist of three separate groups: the upper-middle class, the lower-middle class, and the working class (Marger 112). Although these groups share many similarities, they have distinct characteristics that distinguish them from one another.
First, those in the upper-middle class are usually salaried workers, have significant autonomy and prestige, have higher levels of education, work with ideas rather than performing physical labor, and are very active in politics, contributing money to political campaigns. Second, those in the lower-middle class depends on a mix of salaries and wages, have less autonomy and prestige than the upper-middle class, lack significant wealth, have lower levels of education, are generally routine production workers, and while they are politically involved, their participation does not typically extend beyond voting. Lastly, those belonging to the working class have the least wealth and education of all three groups, have limited prestige and autonomy, are involved in manual and physical labor, are less politically active, and often do not take satisfaction from their work (Marger 116-119).
During the majority of twentieth century, several historical factors have contributed to the expansion of each of these groups. As discussed in lecture, the working class experienced a major

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