Social Class Essay

What is social class? It is defined as a large group of people who rank closely to one another in property, power, and prestige. These elements separate people into different lifestyles, giving them different chances in life, and provide them with distinct ways of looking at the self and the world(page 188, Henslin).

In the United States about 15-20 percent are poor, lower class; 30-40 percent are in the working class; 40-50 percent are in the middle class; and 1-3 percent are in the rich, upper class (page197-198, Henslin).If I had to pick which social class I would consider myself to be I think I would say lower middle class. The lower middle class is about 34 percent of the population. “People from this class have jobs in which they follow orders given by members from the upper class”(Page197, Henslin). Members of this class can afford mainstream lifestyle but struggle to maintain it. The lower middle class is often made up of less educated people with lower incomes, such as managers, small business owners, teachers, and secretaries.Their education consists of high school or college, with occupations semiprofessional and lower managers, craft people, foremen (Page 196, Figure 8. 5, Henslin).

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Some consequences that i encounter because of the social class I stand in are the struggles to afford a mainstream lifestyle causing my physical and mental health to diminish. Since I have to constantly worry and work harder than those of the upper class, the persistent stress I face seem to cause my body to wear out faster. Even though I am tired most of the time I have to keep pushing to afford what I have.Obviously the rich find life better since they have fewer problems and more resources to deal with the ones they have. This gives them a sense of control over their lives, a source of both physical and mental health. “Greater mental problems are part of the higher stress that accompanies poverty (Page 199, Henslin). Since the lower class have less job security and lower wages they are more likely to get divorced, and class may affect the choice of my husband. I come from a working class background.

My family worked up from being lower working class when they first came here to America as immigrants. This would be considered intergeneration mobility, which is defined as the change that family members make in a social class from one generation to the next (Page 202, Henslin). I experience upwards mobility, which is movement up the social class ladder. Through my life I’ve experienced what it’s like being in different classes. The outcome of when you work hard for something is amazing, which may lead to a positive impact on your social class.With hard work and perseverance. anyone can accomplish anything.

Here in America, all it takes is money and education, and you can be whatever class you can achieve. Structural mobility is the second type of mobility that refers to change in society that allow large numbers of people to move up and down a class ladder. Even though while growing up, I wasn’t living in such a harsh recession as we are today, it made it somewhat more difficult to climb the social ladder. Nonetheless, slowly but surely I have progressed up the social ladder.

The third kind is exchange mobility, this occurs when large number of people move up and down the social class ladder, but on balance. I don’t think I have affected this kind of mobility. Society is the way it is because that’s how its meant to be. There always has to be some people on top, controlling the others. Without the lower classes, society will cease to exist and work the way it does now. If everyone were wealthy, then nothing would get done. There has to be that lower class to get the labor that the rest of us wouldn’t want to do. Every class exists for a reason and together, works in harmony.


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