What is social class? How do you define social class and how would we classify ourselves if we were to place ourselves in to such a class. Class is a word that is rarely used in American households or schools and is therefore difficult for us to conceptualize and hold concretely in our hands. In fact, we are often told that the United States is a “classless” society. As a result of the class you are born into and raised in, class is your understanding of the world and where you fit in, it’s composed of ideas, behavior, attitudes, values, and language (Holtzman 2003). Class however does not define who we are as an individual; class is defined in many ways to different people. A person’s class may be modified by his or her achievements, typically through education, occupation, or income. You can be labeled poverty, working or middle class but these labels mean different things for different types of people living different lifestyles. Class Identity
Because class identity is discussed so little in the United States, its definitions and measurement and our own class identity are often unclear. One way of understanding class identity is by type of occupation. Using this categorization, the working class is composed of white collar clerical workers, technicians, salespersons, crafts workers, laborers, factory workers, and others who do not attain control over other workers or their own lives. Members of the middle class work as professionals, managers, self-employed store keepers, and independent farmers and other jobs that give them some degree of economic autonomy or control over other workers. Those in the owning class have extreme wealth and are owners of major corporations and international businesses; they are characterized by the control they have over their own lives and those of others (Holtzman, 2003). With this being said growing up my father was a welder so he was a...
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