Class in the United States

Class in the United States
Class in the United States
A class in a society entails a subjectively set of defined concepts in political perspectives,
social sciences, and economics theories. It centers on social stratification models in which groups
of people are classified into social, political, and economic hierarchical categories. The most
common categories are upper, middle, and lower classes. People exist in these three classes all
over the societies of the world. Sub-categories deviate from these three major classes such as
upper middle, middle-middle, and lower middle sub-classes (Nettels, 2015). The American
society, like many other societies across the world, is highly polarized along the class theory.
Classism is the order of the day. In America, a class constitutes a group of people sharing
economic, social, and political spheres or positions in the society.
Class is an important topic to study in the United States because it influences people’s
lives immensely. It classifies groups of people based on their wealth, income, property
ownership, education, job status, skills, and power in both the sociopolitical and economic
hemispheres (Carlson & England, 2011). However, class in America is not only influences by
economic capital (what an individual owns or earns), but also cultural (what an individual
knows) and socio capital (who an individual knows). Class is largely consequential in the lives of
Americans. It influences people on the personal and emotional levels not only in economic
Class, therefore, affects the way Americans feel about themselves and others. In essence,
studying class in the nation invokes an understanding why certain groups of people from specific
areas behave in a particular way (Korgen, 2010). Through the concept of classism, it could help
in understanding why the society treats people differently and with extreme disparity. Many
social scientists have linked classism to other forms of oppressions such as sexism, racism,
heterosexism, and negative ethnicity, which has emanated various forms of stereotypes and
prejudices (Korgen, 2010). To understand the aspects of social sciences acutely and American
politics and economics, it is vital not to overlook the forces behind classism. Understanding class
can also help reduce some criminal tendencies associated with certain groups of persons who live
under common standards by introducing measures based on informed choices and social
The government can use the concept of class to make informed decisions, which could
lead to economic growth and development. For instance, in a speech given earlier in 2010 by
President Obama, he observed that the middle class is responsible for the steady economic
growth, not the rich and wealthy. This observation emanates straight from studying the behavior
of the middle class people, which are favorable for economic growth. For example, the middle
class forms the group of people who spend more in the society (Carlson & England, 2011). High
consumption is linked to high National Income through Keynesian theory. Moreover, the middle
class also have the high potentiality and ability of investing to create more wealth as opposed to
the wealthy who are comfortable with their current situations. The middle class, in this
perspective, carries the weight of the American economy.
Conclusively, studying class is imperative for the American people because it gives
insight into the economic and sociopolitical structure of the society. When people or relevant
institutions of governance understand the influences of class on various societal apparatus, they
can solve certain humanitarian issues emerging in the society. Class in the United States is
diverse and all the categories and sub-categories contribute differently to the larger society
through both advantageous and disadvantageous means.
Carlson, M. J., & England, P. (2011). Social class and changing families in an unequal America.
Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press.
Korgen, K., O. (2010). Multiracial Americans and social class: The influence of social class on
racial identity. New York: Routledge.
Nettels, E. (2015). Language, race, and social class in Howells's America. Lexington: The
University Press of Kentucky.

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