Social Class; Upper vs.Lower

Topics: Social class, Working class, Sociology Pages: 7 (2488 words) Published: August 20, 2012
Social Class has a massive impact in society and the world around us. Social Class is individual groups in society constructed around analogous characteristics such as income, occupation, educational status, power and geographical location. (Barcelona Field Studies, 2010). Social class seems to be a differentiating factor in the distribution of rewards and punishments in our society, if we consider the rewards and punishments of a conventional and stereotyped kind, (Rath,1994) Social Class distributes civilization into two central groupings, Upper Class and Lower Class. Upper Class encompasses the social group that has the uppermost status in society, with higher salary and supremacy in the community. Lower Class is branded by low income, low level of education, high unemployment subsequently resulting in a low social status. In relation to education, social class can depict what school you will attend, how successful you will be and how your future will turn out. In education, Lower Class students are at a continuous disadvantage to the Upper Class. Educational opportunities are often manipulated to intertwine and satisfy the Upper Class and their educational system. Upper-class students have more educational opportunities, greater future financial security, and better job prospects than students from lower social classes (Menon, 2010) The Upper Class has always had a continuous advantage above the Lower Class society in relation to education. The wealthy can afford the best education possible for their children with degrees from highly ranked universities and with family influence wielded on their behalf, they are almost always assured a well-paying secured future. Their circle of friends will also come from the same backgrounds with the same opportunities and privileges and all with the same mindset of entitlement. Private Tutors, the latest technology and internet are all a part of a daily routine for students belonging to the wealthy class with doors of power and influence easily opening for them. For the Upper Class schools and university’s form a seamless pathway into future career options. (Henry, 2000) Lower class cannot afford the same level of education on as large a scale and rely on the services of the Public Schools. Educational opportunities are sometimes level with the access to grants and scholarships, but it still does not open the same doors as it does to the wealthy. Has there been equalization in education outcomes between social classed during this century? (Jano O. Jonsson, 1993). Unfortunately there hasn’t with the massive divide between Lower and Upper Class. It is inevitable that schools would be affected by their role within would be affected by their role within a wider society that had strong social class divisions and valued knowledge differentially. (G, 2001) Schooling tends to promote a divide between academic and practical knowledge in which the former has higher status than the later and in which students from more privileged class backgrounds are more likely to succeed- not because of superior ability but because of the computability between class background and schools value of knowledge. Therefore competitive academic curriculum of schooling does not promote a level playing field. Education was traditionally correlated with the upper-class membership with children receiving the best education in the most prestigious schools, beginning at one of the exclusive private schools and ending with a degree from one of the country's well known universities. (Hanratty & Meditz, 1988). Meritocratic societies is based on an idea of individualism and the belief that all is fair and you can go wherever you want in life as long as you follow IQ + Effort = Success. It is also aimed at ensuring that individuals are rewarded on the basis of objective and fair criteria, not ascribed characteristics (Henry, It's All Up To The Individual ... Isn't it? Meritocratic Practises, 2000). Private Schools...

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