Class in AmericaRace, Class and Gender in the United States Paula S. Rothenberg/ Gregory Mantsios
Key Terms Class Power Wealth Poverty Society Prosperity Education
Summary of Text The middle class is used in politics Wealthy and poor are words used to the extreme American vocabulary, certain words are avoided. Words include “low class” “working class” Class identity has been stripped from culture Education attainment and financial
MythMyth 1: The United States is a class society; class distinctions are large regardless of American s recieve the same righ to health care and educationMyth 2: We are largely middle class society despite variations in econimic status.Myth 3: We are all getting richer; as a soceity Americans are climbing the economic ladder; the global economy is bringing most if not all American’s prosperity.Myth 4: Everyone has equal chances to succeed; success in America only relies on hard work; perserverance, and sacrifices.
Spectrum The wealthiest 1% of American’s own 34% of the national wealth or 1/3 of all financial assets. The wealthiest 20% own 85% of the household wealth There are nearly 400 billionaires in teh US but it would take the average American 298 lifetimes to a mass $1 billion dollars 13% or 1/8 of Americans live below the calculated poverty line Between 1979 and 2003 the average income for the top 1% increased by 20% while the middle saw an increase of 9% for the same time frame.
Reality Reality 1: There is an enormous difference in the economic standing of Americas. A large amount of Americans occupy opposite ends of the econimic spectrum Reality 2: The middle class of American actually holds a small share of the wealth of our country and even that share is steadily decreasing the gab between the rich and poor.
Lifestyle of Americans 37 million people live in never-ending poverty American poverty is described as the “best dressed” poverty in the world because it is nearly impossible to distinguish class from outward appearance Class affects both physical and mental health witch low class how increasing rates of Infantmortality Diabetes Respiratiory disease Heart diesease Nutritional defecien Class differences in Americandictate: Where one lives Who their friends and peers are What career they do for a living What expectations they have on life.
Education Family income directly correlates to SAT score and grades Students from upper class families are twice as likely to obtain training beyond high school and four times are likely to obtain a postgraduate degree 1 in 5 people surpass the economic status of their parents 2/3 of people with incomes over $100,000 have inherited family assets
Power and Oppression Class dominations one force behind keeping individuals from realizing their true potential The classy stystem in America is due to its economic system, which helps promote private public ownership Enterprises produce for the owners profits instead of fulfilling societal needs Class division between those who have corporate control and those who do not.