The Effect of Class on Upward Mobility in Society

Topics: Social class, Working class, Middle class Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: April 3, 2012
Effect of Class on Upward Mobility in Society
Class is a touchy subject in the society that we live in today; no one ever really feels comfortable talking about it for fear of judgment from others. However, it is one of the most important aspects in the way everyone inhabits this society, especially in the sense of an individual’s upward mobility in society.

The effect an individual’s class has on their ascension in society is extreme. We see everyday how being born into the “right” family or the “wrong” family can vastly change that individual’s life for the better or worse. For example, an individual is born into a working class family, they go to school that their family can afford (a poor, most likely more rundown school) and receive a poorer quality of education compared to others; “the procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice,” (Anyon, p. 173). This will ultimately lead to that individual’s acquiring of a type of job that they were tracked in to; one that is fairly self explanatory and does not require that individual to possess much critical thinking skills or good education in general.

Once one receives this title of the working class as their social status, it is very difficult to come back up on top. This is illustrated in Ehrenreich’s “Serving in Florida.” Once Ehrenreich immersed herself in the flurry of her routine of work, sleep, and eat, she realized that there was little to no room for advancement in society (Ehrenreich, p. 290-303). This is because of what one calls subsistent wages, meaning that what one is paid is only enough for survival; the individual MUST work so that they may afford the very basic of necessities, and their work is the only thing they can afford to focus on or else they will not survive.

However, even with these many difficulties and obstacles that keep the majority of the working and lower classes from achieving upward mobility in society and their own...

Cited: "About Barbara." Barbara Ehrenreich: Author of Nickel and Dimed.
2005. Web. 26 Oct. 2010.
Anyon, Jean. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” Rereading America. Ed. Gary Colombo, Cullen, Lisle. New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s. 2001. 169- 185. Print.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Serving in Florida.” Rereading America. Ed. Gary Colombo, Cullen, Lisle. New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s. 2001. 290-303. Print.
Serafin, Tatiana. “Rags to Riches Billionares.” 2007. Web. 6 December 2010.
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