Social claSS             and theU.S. PreSidential electionS 2012
What iS Social claSS?In everyday use, and even among sociologists,the word “class” is used non-sociologically,meaning “a k...
What iS Social claSS?The results of battles over definition andmeasurement of social class are:   -- a big, long literatur...
What iS Social claSS?   Objective               vs.          SubjectiveApplying a criteria of                The individua...
What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationshipwith the economic sphere, as opposed ...
What iS Social claSS?Relationship to the means of production, and attendantoccupational characteristics, are critical to d...
What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationshipwith the economic sphere, as opposed ...
What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationship with the economicsphere, as opposed ...
What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationship with the economicsphere, as opposed ...
Who Did Not Have Health Insurance in America in 2008? (%) White, non-                         Income Less than            ...
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Social class and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections

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Social class and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections

  1. 1. Social claSS and theU.S. PreSidential electionS 2012
  2. 2. What iS Social claSS?In everyday use, and even among sociologists,the word “class” is used non-sociologically,meaning “a kind of category:”“A set, collection, group or configurationcontaining members regarded as having certainattributes or traits in common: a kind ofcategory” – American Heritage Dictionary 4thed. (2000).
  3. 3. What iS Social claSS?The results of battles over definition andmeasurement of social class are: -- a big, long literature on class -- fierce disagreement on how to interpret theliterature -- periodic revivals of class analysis -- emergence of class definition cults populatedwith sociologists who are convinced that theirdefinition is the “right” one -- confusion for students who try to synthesizethe literature.
  4. 4. What iS Social claSS? Objective vs. SubjectiveApplying a criteria of The individual placesinclusion to an himself/herself in aindividual in order to class category,place them in a class regardless ofcategory, regardless of whether thewhether the individual researcher thinksthinks they belong in they belong in thatthat class category class category. Who is in what class category?
  5. 5. What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationshipwith the economic sphere, as opposed to "cultural" classes or"political" classes. Sociologists engaging in modern class analysis identify economic class position as an individual’s position in the labor force. Social class is largely based on the characteristics of their occupation: the skill level required for the job, the degree to which they are supervised by others, and who and how many workers they supervise. Managers, employers, unskilled manual workers, and so on.
  6. 6. What iS Social claSS?Relationship to the means of production, and attendantoccupational characteristics, are critical to defining and measuringsocial class.Class is relational, and conflictual. How? Classes have material interests. Each class has a conflict of interest with other classes because each class seeks to keep what they have and add more to what they have. Because resources are finite and are distributed unequally within capitalist society each class is in a struggle with other classes to realize their material interests.
  7. 7. What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationshipwith the economic sphere, as opposed to "cultural" classes or"political" classes.White collar Upper non- Skill Level Upper to upper manual middle classBlue collar Upper manual Upper middle to middle classWhite collar Lower Middle to nonmanual working classBlue collar Lower manual Working class
  8. 8. What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationship with the economicsphere, as opposed to "cultural" classes or "political" classes. Politicians define social classes primarily in terms of income. Classes are divided within an income distribution. Take this hypothetical example: 0 – 10,000 Lower Class 10,001 – 25,000 25,001 – 45,000 45,001 – 75,000 Middle Class 75,001 – 90,000 Upper Middle to 90,001 – 150,000+ Upper Class
  9. 9. What iS Social claSS?Most definitions are concerned with the individuals relationship with the economicsphere, as opposed to "cultural" classes or "political" classes. They then attach occupations to it that earn, roughly, that amount of income: 0 – 10,000 Lower Class 10,001 – 25,000 Waiter/waitress, temporary worker 25,001 – 45,000 45,001 – 75,000 Middle Class Clerical worker, small employer 75,001 – 90,000 Upper Middle to 90,001 – 150,000+ Upper Class Stock broker, manager of large firm
  10. 10. Who Did Not Have Health Insurance in America in 2008? (%) White, non- Income Less than 10.4 24.5 Hispanic $25,000 Income $25,000 Black 19.5 21.1 to $49,999 Worked Full-Time Hispanic 32.1 17 in Past Year Worked Part- Age 18 to 34 26.9 23.4 Time in Past Year Foreign Born, 43.8 Not a CitizenSource: U.S. Census. In 2008, 15.4%, or 46.2 million people in America,did not have health insurance.

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