The American Class System

The American Class System

The American Class System Chapter 9, Section 2 1995 What classes exist? 2010 Determining Class - Three methods 1) Reputational method= members in a given

community rank other members based on their knowledge of character and lifestyle. - Better for studying small communities where everyone knows everyone well. 2) Subjective method= people determine their own social rank. People generally said middle class. Why? 3) Objective method= sociologists define class based on income, occupation, and education. - Least biased method

The Classes- 6 total The Upper Class Upper Middle Class Middle Class

Lower Middle Class Lower class/The Working Class The Underclass Classes The Upper Class o 1% of the population o Old money v. new money o Old money= inherited rich; families who have shaped the U.S. (i.e. Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Duke, Morgan, etc.) o New money= newly rich who have acquired money

through own efforts, not inheritance. The Upper Middle Class o High-income businesspeople and professionals o College education, advanced degree o Very career-oriented. Classes (contd) The Lower Middle Class/Middle Class o White-collar jobs (i.e. work that does not require manual labor)

o Less education than those held by Upper Middle Class o Comfortable life, but must work to keep it maintained. The Working Class o Manual labor jobs blue collar jobs o Can pay as much or more than Lower Middle Class jobs, but do not carry the prestige. o Pink-collar jobs fields where women have previously dominated.

Classes (contd) The Working Poor o o o o Lowest-paying jobs. Temporary or seasonal work Some depend on government support programs Not involved politically

The Underclass o Families experiencing unemployment and poverty for generations o May have a job, but very low-paying o Day-to-day struggle Social Mobility Social mobility= movement between or within social classes. Three types:

1) Horizontal mobility= movement within a class. Occurs when you move from one job to another in same social ranking. 2) Vertical mobility= movement between social classes. 3) Intergenerational mobility= a type of vertical mobility. When a persons class of origin (i.e. their parents) is different from their current one. Causes of Mobility

Upward mobility: o Advancements in technology o Changes in merchandising patterns o General education level of a population Downward mobility: o Personal factors illness, divorce, family death, and retirement. o Changes in the economy So who are the

American billionaires? Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway (owns Dairy Queen, Helzberg Diamonds, Fruit of the Loom) $46 billion Bill GatesMicrosoft $66 billion

So who are the American billionaires? Larry EllisonOracle (3rd largest software producer to Microsoft and IBM) $41 billion Koch brothersdiversified (GeorgiaPacific) $31 billion

So who are the American billionaires? Michael BloombergBloomberg LP (acquired Businessweek) $25 billion Walton Family: WalMart $26.1-27.9 billion

So who are the American billionaires? Sheldon AdelsonLas Vegas Sands casino $20.5 billion Jeff BezosAmazon.com $23.2 billion So who are the American billionaires?

Sergey Brin and Larry Page- Google $20.3 billion George Soroshedge funds (ManU, Washington Nationals) $19 billion

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