Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Social class in_the_united_states


Published on

Published in: Technology, Economy & Finance
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Social class in_the_united_states

  1. 1. Social Class in the United States By Danny Leavy
  2. 2. Social Class Definition Debate <ul><li>Max Weber defines social class as a large group of people who rank close to one another in terms of wealth, power, and prestige. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Karl Marx there are two groups in social class: capitalists who own means of production and workers who sell their labor. </li></ul><ul><li>Most sociologists adopt Max Weber's components of social class. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Wealth, Power, and Prestige <ul><li>Wealth is how much one's property is worth minus its debts. </li></ul><ul><li>Power is the ability to carry out your will despite resistance from others. </li></ul><ul><li>Prestige is one's respect or regard. </li></ul><ul><li>The top 20% of the population receives almost half of the income. </li></ul><ul><li>The bottom 20% of the population receives slightly more than 4% </li></ul>
  4. 4. Occupations and Prestige <ul><li>There are 4 features that determine the prestige of an occupation: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Greater pay </li></ul><ul><li>2. Require more education </li></ul><ul><li>3. Entail more abstract thought </li></ul><ul><li>4. Independence or self direction </li></ul>
  5. 5. Status Inconsistency <ul><li>Status inconsistency refers to people who rank higher on some dimensions of social class and lower on others. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: A janitor for an apartment complex often makes more money than many of the tenants they clean for. </li></ul><ul><li>Class examples. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Old Models vs New <ul><li>The old social class models of Karl Marx and and Max Weber were very broad. Weber had just a definition and Marx had only two levels of class. </li></ul><ul><li>Erik Wright later modified Marx's model and added two more classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl's model consists of six social classes. </li></ul><ul><li>The new models are much more specific and clearly separate classes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Gilbert and Kohls Model <ul><li>Upper (Capitalists)- Income of $1,000,000+. Investors, heirs, and top executives. </li></ul><ul><li>Upper Middle- $125,000+. Professionals and upper managers. </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Middle- About $60,000. Lower managers and craftspeople. </li></ul><ul><li>Working- About $35,000. Factory workers and retail sales. </li></ul><ul><li>Working Poor- About $17,000. Laborers and service workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Underclass- Under $10,000. Unemployed and part-time workers. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Social Class Consequences <ul><li>The lower one's social class, the more likely they are to die before the expected age. </li></ul><ul><li>People in lower classes are more likely to smoke, eat fats, abuse drugs and alcohol, and get little or no exercise. </li></ul><ul><li>Mental problems are associated with lower classes due to stress levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Divorces are more likely to occur in lower class families. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Social Class Consequences Continued <ul><li>Episcopalians are more likely to be upper or middle class. </li></ul><ul><li>Baptists are generally lower class. </li></ul><ul><li>The higher people are on the social class ladder, the more likely they are to vote Republican. </li></ul><ul><li>Members of the lower class are more likely to be in prison, on probation, or on parole. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Social Class and Technology <ul><li>The development of new technology helps the capitalist and upper class expand businesses worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology eliminates the need for specialized craft workers in the lower-middle class. </li></ul><ul><li>The working poor and the underclass are left with few job opportunities due to technology. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Social Mobility <ul><li>There are three types of social mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational mobility refers to a change that occurs between generations. </li></ul><ul><li>Structural mobility refers to a change in society that causes large numbers of people to move up or down. </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange mobility occurs when large numbers of people move up and down but remain balanced. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Women and Social Mobility <ul><li>Classic studies of social mobility did not have women in their own classes, they were attached to the class of their husband. </li></ul><ul><li>Male sociologists claimed that they left women out because there were too few women in the work force. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies show that most women in managerial positions were told by their family to postpone marriage and get an education. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Definition of Poverty <ul><li>The government computes a low-cost food budget and multiplies it by 3 to draw the poverty line. </li></ul><ul><li>This method was developed in the 1960s when poor people spent about 1/3 of their money on food. </li></ul><ul><li>It is now estimated that poor people spend about 1/5 of their money on food, meaning they should multiply the number by 5 to draw the line. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Characteristics of the Poor <ul><li>Poverty by race: 10% of whites, 10% of Asian Americans, 22% of Latinos, 24% of African Americans, and 26% of Native Americans live in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>3% of people who finish college end up in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 20% of high school dropouts end up in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>16% of rural Americans are poor. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Structural vs. Individual Poverty <ul><li>Structural reasons for poverty include </li></ul><ul><li>racial, age and gender discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>Closing of plants, fewer unskilled jobs and increase in minimum wage jobs are more structural reasons for poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual reasons for poverty include dropping out of school and having children in the teen years. </li></ul>
  16. 18. Changes in Welfare Policy <ul><li>U.S. Welfare was restructured in 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>Change required states to place a lifetime cap on welfare assistance and compel welfare recipients to look for work and take available jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>The maximum length of time someone can collect welfare is 5 yrs. </li></ul><ul><li>People who oppose the law call it an attack on the poor while defenders say it will rescue people from poverty </li></ul>
  17. 19. Horatio Alger Myth <ul><li>The myth is the belief that limitless possibilities exist for everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>It encourages people to compete for higher positions and helps society a lot of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, it implies that if you do not make it, it is your own fault. </li></ul><ul><li>Since the fault is viewed as the individuals, societies arrangements can be regarded as satisfactory. </li></ul>