Social Class

Income and wealth varies from one social class to another and you are most likely going to stay in the same economic class as when you are a growing up. I noticed this when I was very young. I happened to know a few people that were “rich” or “well off” and it seemed like their children grew up and got very good jobs and stayed in the same class as their parents. In SOC, 2012, it states that of the 36 percent of children with parents in the top wealth quintile, only 11 percent drop down into the bottom quintile. The mean income in the United States of American is just over $67,000, the median income is $49,445. Remembering that the mean is the middle of the road, from the poorest of the poor to richest of the rich, the mean income is directly in the middle. The median is all the incomes of every U.S. citizen divided by the number of people the United States. Income brackets are divided into five quintiles. In the lowest quintile the average mean household income is $11,034 per year. The second quintile’s average household mean income is $28,636, the middle quintile’s average mean income is $49,309 per year. In the fourth quintile the mean is $79,040. Now we start getting into the six digit incomes. The fourth is $169,633 and in the fifth quintile, the mean income per household is $287,686. You can plainly see the difference between the levels. In America in 2010, 15 percent of the nation’s population was living below the poverty line. Poverty involves all races, people and ages. People between the ages 18 to 65 years old make up 56.7 percent of the poor population. If you break the percentage of people living at the poverty line up by race, white people make up 42.4 percent, African Americans make up 23.1 percent, Hispanics make up 28.7 percent and Asians and pacific islanders make up 3.0 percent. Statistically, looking at the percent of people that pull themselves out of poverty and live better than their parents did, you see a very small percent of people that move up to a higher quintile. It seems that people tend to be okay with not having more then they grew up with, although it is true that others set goals and work hard to achieve more than their parents did. In some cultures it isn’t a matter of not wanting more. Some cultures look down upon those who want more. It is seen as selfish and disrespectful to outdo your ancestors. In others, the concept of working hard to move up in the world and bettering your life is respected. In general, people that want more out of life can work for it and their hard work can pay off.

— Ethan

Work Cited:  Witt, J. (2012). Ch. 10 Social Class. In SOC 2013. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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