Social Class

While growing up in America, you learn that people are categorized by their class, which is based on their wealth. The different social classes are the lower class, which is known to most to be poverty, homeless, and unemployed and lacking education. The next class is the working class, the people in this class are considered to be manual laborers. Jobs that you would associate with this class are construction workers, builders, plumbers, and even electricians. Then there is the middle class which most people in the United States would define themselves as. There is an upper middle class and also a lower middle class, usually the upper middle class workers have a good education and a great job, whereas the lower middle class has less of an education and gets paid less. Finally there is the upper class which is comprised of only 1 to 3 percent of the United States population and holds more than 25 percent of the nation’s wealth.  This class divides into two groups:  “old money” and “new money”. Old money are the big dogs at the top of the food chain; they are the most prestigious and were born into wealth.  An example of this would be the Rockefellers.

This picture illustrates the differences in appearance of people in different social classes.

An important belief in the United States is that anyone can advance past the status that they were born into, this belief is what drives many entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas. Social mobility is what keeps people working hard and trying to succeed.  Even though it is rare for someone to change their ascribed class, it is by no means impossible, all it usually takes is hard work and determination. One of the biggest barriers to social mobility is the social inequality that society faces. An example of social inequality is the differences in educational opportunities, a homeless man will be unable to go to college where he can earn a degree which could help him get a job.

— Jason

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