Anthony Giddens (2006) defines class as “a large-scale group of people who share common economic resources, which strongly influence the type of lifestyle they are able to lead.” (pg 300). Karl Marx, a sociologist in the 19th
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
The concept of social class has been around for ages and is still a part of today’s society. Social class is not only based on the individual’s wealth but also on their social standing such as; monarchs, priests, nobles, merchants, and peasant class. The peasant class was practically ignored, which means that the higher classes would only pay attention to each other. This can be the case in society today, there are some people who feel that their career makes them higher than a janitor. Even though humans have been around for centuries, social class is still a big issue.
Society is set up into a hierarchical triangle that essentially determines social class. A social class is any person or group of people with the same educational, social or economical status. Social class can be broken down into many different categories such as race, age, gender, economic status, educational status and many more. Social class can be measured in many different ways such as financial status, family values, appearance, and demeanor. In America there are six main economical social classes which are the: Very poor, Poor, Working class, Middle class, Upper middle class, and the ruling class.
Looking at the article “Class Matters” by Peter Sacks, Social classes are divisions in society, which are based on social and economic status. People from a similar social class have a distinct level of power and wealth within a given community or country. The most common social groupings, based on status, are the upper, the middle, and the lower social classes. The precise considerations of determining these hierarchical social categories vary from time to time. Many researchers have come up with different perspectives as far as social stratification is concerned. According to Karl Marx, social stratification is a result of one's position in the hierarchy of factors of production. Therefore, social stratification is a manifestation of financial muscle within society further creating the divide within social groupings as seen through educational divides and inequalities that lie in many aspects of life.
I’ve never taken into consideration how all of my experiences growing up has really formed the person that I am today. I’ve never really taken the time to think about my story of intersectionality until I took this class. I never realized how my inner, outer, experiential, relational, and developing identities have really constructed the person that I have become today. Many of my identities have influenced and changed my life especially my identities in social class, race and ethnicity, religion, citizenship and immigration status, first language I learned, my gender, and my gender expressions.
We live in a world where every day we wake up trying to make a living and get onto the next day repeating the same thing over and over. Waking up each day and realizing that you are not able to survive in this world without any money can have a huge impact towards any goal you are trying to reach. In some cases we tend to set the bar high but there is only one problem, how are we going to get enough money to pay for our future goals? Growing up in the working class has been a ride to remember. Experiencing poverty can also have a great affect in your life. After reading three amazing articles one by Richard Rodriguez the second by Barbara Ehrenreich and the last one by Bell Hook, I have learned that there is so much more than to be classified into a class (working class, middle class, and poverty).
Social class refers to the system of stratification of the different groups of people in a society. These different forms of classification are, in most instances, based on gender ethnicity and age. Social class makes everyone’s lives extremely different. For example: How long one can expect to live. In a wide range of ways, from success, to one’s health class, social class influences people’s lives (Grusky,2003).
In reality class always matters and it shapes our interests in life. We all come from different background and ethnicity. I believe that class is shaped mainly by income and occupation. However, many people think if a person is wealthy, therefore, he belongs in the upper class. But there are other factors that define class and it is more than just how much money you have. It can be the network of people that surrounds, traditions, and academic status that can also define class. Many of it has to do in which family you have been born and network that creates it. All of my family members have been born and raised in Russia; they completed universities, got jobs, and had enough income to support a family. “Each of us is born into a family with a particular class identity and class history—sometimes it is a mixed or hybrid identity—but almost always it is part of a network of other relationships—to other families in a community, to work and jobs, and to institutions” (Zandy 112).
The idea of social inequality dates back since the time of our founding fathers. The mistreatment and unlawful equality and opportunity that these foreigners received became embedded into our history—this endless list includes, just to name a few, the Irish, Chinese, Jews, and most notably the African Americans (Blacks), who became slaves to the American people. Here in the United States, the current social class system is known as the class system, where families are distributed and placed into three different existing class—the upper class (wealthy), middle class (working), and lower class (poor). Since then, improvisations have been worked on into the class system, establishing now roughly six social classes: upper class, new money, middle class, working class, working poor, and poverty level. Social stratification is a widely common topic of debate because there have since been many arguments and debates on this controversial situation of social inequality and how it relates to social class and social mobility. According to Economist Robert Reich, he states that "The probability that a poor child in America will become a poor adult is higher now than it was 30 years ago..." (Reich, par. 5), meaning the given amount of equality, opportunity, and support that these struggle families obtain have gone mainly unnoticed by the government that it has gotten worst. The constant uproar of social inequality and injustice that these middle and lower working class families stem
Do people in different social standings have different chances or opportunities to move up in social class? Many people, even though they do not realize it, discriminate and establish a prejudice or stereotype, and this affects how they perceive and treat other people. The American Dream has always been to “Work Hard, and Move Up” (Upper Bound). Are people of lower social standing still equally able to achieve their dreams simply through hard work? The difficulty with which an impoverished person can advance in social class can be greatly influenced by prejudices and factors beyond the control of that individual, such as gender, race, ethnicity, or age; this reflects the apparent lack of social mobility for different groups of people
Quite similarly, the five levels of social class in the United States from highest to lowest are Top Fifth, Upper Middle, Lower Middle, and Bottom Fifth (“Class Matters”). Four commonly used factors to determine a person’s position in society are education, income, occupation, and wealth (“Class Matters”). Programs are implemented by the government
Most societies throughout history and the world have developed a notion of social class. It is refers to hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups within society. How these social classes have been determined has been a common topic among social scientists throughout time. Two individuals who have headed this long standing debate are Karl Marx and Max Weber. In this paper I will be summarizing Marx and Weber’s theories on social class; how they are determined, their interests, and problems that may exist among groups. I will then provide my own critiques of their arguments.