Inequality Between the Levels of Social Stratification and Higher Divorce Rates Among the Lower Class of White Americans and Other Ethnic Groups

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Inequality between the levels of social stratification and higher divorce rates among the lower class of white Americans and other ethnic groups

In the United States, more than seventy five percent of American citizens have been married at least once. Of that seventy five percent, American citizens divorce rate is twenty five percent. (Barna) Over the past couple of decades, divorce rates among U.S citizens are continuously fluctuating. Research has shown that revolutionized social changes and predetermined social status due to socio-economic hierarchy has had great influence on the changing rate. The changes in divorce rates can be easily linked to the approved social norms of ethnic groups found in the U.S. Comparing white Americans to other ethnic groups like African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics have been found to show similarities in the social stratification statistics, but differences in the social norms and likelihood of marriage. The comparison of white Americans to other ethnic groups has shown a correlation between low social status and high divorce rates. Individuals who belong to the lower class of the socio-economic hierarchy are found to be more likely to divorce at a higher rate than individuals of higher classes. (Barna) Causes of this social problem are found through the social norms of each ethnic group. Throughout all racial and ethnic groups there are particular social norms that greatly influence the actions made by individuals belonging to different levels of the socio-economic hierarchy. Analyzing factors that affect social norms among ethnic groups like religion, educational achievements, family structure, folkways of society, economic class, and political views help to present the reasoning behind social class inequality. Even though social norms create problems of inequality between social classes, having these norms can also help to find solutions to eliminate inequality and lower divorce rates among the lower class. The fusion of all the diverse cultures found in America allows for there to many cultural differences among people. The ethnic groups researched to gather data on correlating social inequality between social classes and high divorce rates include: white Americans, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. Lower class Caucasians in the U.S has evolved by sociologists over the years to become two different levels, the “working class” and “underclass”. The working class would be considered those who seek employment from low paying, retail or service jobs. The term underclass would be defined as the percent of individuals who are unemployed. The current range of low end occupations and lack of worthy wages traces back to a poor educational background. The lack of educational achievement is a result of the struggle lower class households have in order to financially stay above the poverty line, for example, dropping out of high school to start working earlier to support your family. In most cases, lower class members have had a history of having a low standard of living compared to members of higher economic classes. It was found that couples earning $20,000 or less a year had a divorce rate of 39% compared to couples earning $75,000 or more with a divorce rate of 22%. (Barna) Dennis Gilbert says, “13% of households are considered “working poor” and 12% considered underclass”. The typical location of the lower class is in the South and Midwest with poor household living conditions. Divorce rates in the South and Midwest are among the highest in America (Barna). During the years of the baby boomers, the divorce rate was said to be 38% (Barna). The differences in each class’s’ standard of living explains the political stance the lower class frequently has. These individuals typically have a liberal view on the way the government functions. Statistics conducted by a research group called Barna Group, found that liberals have higher divorce rates (37%) than those of the conservative...
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