photo essay Assignment

Topics: Social class, Tennis, Middle class Pages: 7 (1093 words) Published: February 20, 2014


A single picture tells a different and unique story to the person viewing it. We all

Come from different ways of life, backgrounds, and physical environments. Our

experiences growing up are what paint these unique stories in our minds. In this

photograph we can see a person tossing up a tennis ball about to initiate a serve. When

viewed through the eyes of someone in the upper social class, it would seem as someone

is enjoying a leisurely past time. However, to someone belonging to a low class, this

person is dedicated and trying to further his skills with what little resources are available.

The physical inequity in this photo is brought on by the socioeconomic barriers that this

man faces daily. Upon closer examination of this photograph, we can obtain the physical

inequity, determine what caused it and suggest ways to solve the issue.

Social class is best described as a pyramid structure, formed primarily on the basis

of income. It is split into 3 groups/classes, the upper, middle and low. Furthermore,

these groups can be divided into subcategories such as upper-middle and lower-middle

class. On close inspection of this photo, the inequity of social class becomes evident.

The picture shows a young adult male, practicing his tennis serve on a severely

damaged tennis court. The net has been torn off, the lines are almost non existent and

the ground appears to have many cracks. This person most likely belongs to the lower-

middle class, since this person doesn’t seem to live in a decent community that can

provide its residents with proper recreational facilities. The sport of tennis, much like

any other sport requires proper attire and equipment, both of which are lacking in this

picture, indicating lack of funding This photo highlights physical inequity, as this man

cannot even afford to play on an actual well maintained tennis court. The person is

wearing a jacket because Canada’s weather during fall doesn’t allow for t-shirts and

shorts. Had he belonged to a high social class, the added luxury of booking an indoor

heated court would be provided. The discrimination becomes clear, as this man doesn’t

seem to have the resources available to further develop his skills. Chances are, that this

individual does not have the transportation available to play at the very few available

public courts scattered around the community.

People belonging to the lower social class, simply do not have the resources

and/or time available to maintain an active lifestyle. In poorly developed

neighborhoods, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay fit. This can be attributed to the

high crime rate, which is often linked to lower class communities. Lower class

individuals often refuse to go out for an evening walk/jog or even a bike ride due to fear

of being robbed or beaten. The facilities (gyms, recreation centers etc.) that are available

in such communities are often poorly maintained, if at all. They consist of outdated

equipment, broken down machines and dirty washrooms. You can’t expect someone to

actually be motivated and actually pay to use such facilities. Most of the highly sought

after facilities are far too overpriced and are not within close proximity of low class

individuals. Due to the increasing gas prices, people are even more hesitant to spend extra

time and money driving to places they can’t afford. Perhaps, the person in the photo

wanted to play at the varsity level and possibly turn pro someday. Belonging to a low

class however, he was unable to be coached, train during the winter months and dedicate

enough time to have a fair chance at a future in the sport. This is why “the rich get richer

and the poor get poorer”, because the high class has many opportunities and resources to

always stay one step ahead of the lower class....
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