The Changes of Social Structure in Society

Topics: Sociology, Social stratification, Anthony Giddens Pages: 4 (1376 words) Published: December 8, 2012
The Changes of the Social Structure in Society
Society’s obsession with the rankings of social class has been a problem for many years, and it will likely continue to be obsessed over. However, the classification of the people within each class has changed over time. The official definition of social class is: a broad group in society having common economic, cultural, or political status. One popular story that was written during a time when the top social class was the mercantile class was The Canterbury Tales. The story written by Geoffrey Chaucer was written and published at a time when new social classes were shaking up the rule of traditional social classes. As time progressed the top social classes have been changing, and those changes are not based so much on job types but they focused more on the “popularity” of the person. This was especially true in the setting of a high school, or any place with teens. A current movie that shows a theme of social classes playing a prominent role is High School Musical. Much like The Canterbury Tales, the students in High School Musical relied heavily on which class they were grouped in to decide their friends (Bryson). The way a person is perceived is not always accurate with how they actually are. Sometimes it is in a good way and sometimes it is in a not so good way. Over time the way the world classifies each social class has changed, but the overall idea of social classes ruling the way people are perceived by their peers is still the same.

The Canterbury Tales details the stories of many different pilgrims who come from many different types of social classes (Chaucer 878). The stereotypes of each pilgrim were based on what jobs they held and what social class people classified them in (Chaucer 878). There were three main classes, or estates, prominent during Chaucer’s time. The three types were: Clergy, Aristocracy, Servants/Workers. Those who made up the clergy class were thought of as people who prayed....

Cited: Bryson, Carey. High School Musical: Movie Review for, n.d.Web.13 November 2012.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Canterbury Tales.” The Bedford Anthology of World Literature the
Middle Period, 100 C.E.-1450. Ed. Alanya Harter. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2004. 689-848. Print.
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