The Outsiders: Effects of Social Class

1857 Words Jan 22nd, 2005 8 Pages
Social class describes the different "layers" that exist in society. These "layers," or classes in society, are a division that civilization has been running on ever since the beginning of mankind. In most modern societies, our system of social class division is one of opportunity. We experience a good deal of social mobility, where people through generations or in their own lifetime can move up or down the social scale. By examining the many different perceptions of social class along with S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, it is illustrated that social class has an impact on people while they are growing up, and will usually deny them from rising above adversity.

Many people have tried to figure out exactly what it is that makes up a
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An example of this would be the education available to people of a higher social class. It is hard for many poor people to go to college because of high tuition costs. While scholarships are usually available, one must still maintain a high grade point average or excel in a special field to achieve one. Because many poor people come from more fragile neighborhoods, there is generally a lack of motivation on the part of the school, family and mostly the student (Kearl). In a 1979 Carnegie study, a child's future was found to be determined largely by social status, not brains.

Consider Bobby and Jimmy, two second-graders who both pay attention in the classroom, do well, and have nearly identical I.Q.s. Yet Bobby is the son of a successful lawyer; Jimmy's works infrequently as a custodial assistant. Despite their similarities, the difference in the circumstances to which they were born makes it 27 times more likely that Bobby will get a job that by the time he is in late 40's will pay him an income in the top tenth of all incomes in this country. Jimmy has about a one in eight chance of earning even a median income. ("Small Futures: Children, Inequality, and the Limits of Liberal Reform", Richard de Lone).

While the Socs are in no way morally superior to the Greasers, they are given a higher opportunity to succeed solely based on their high-ranking social class.

Self worth can
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