Social classes are universal and very broad. We see these classes throughout the world. Within the social classes themselves there is status and power regardless of whether we are talking about the ghetto or high society.
For example if you have a group of hoodlums living in the bad part of town within that gang or group you will always have a leader with a higher status and more power than the others, until he is overcome. The same could be said for the elite rich. In their clique of friends there is someone who is the most popular and has the best connections, the most money etc… Even if you look at third world countries that are less developed you see social stratification with regards to status and power.
In our society, meaning in the modern world in the United States, everyone has an opportunity to have status and power. Look at the celebrities and music stars, some of them came from very humble beginnings yet they are now philanthropists going to art shows and charity events. Appearance can be very misleading. Working in my daily job I see a lot of people driving different types of vehicles and wearing different clothing. I cannot help but judge someone by their car and dress. I am less likely to suspect someone of having drugs, alcohol and warrants if they drive a nice car and are wearing a suit. They also act more professional and have respect for me as an officer. On the other hand a bunch of young kids playing music loud, swearing, covered in tattoos, you bet I am going get them out of the vehicle and search it. It’s difficult not to judge someone based on their social status.
I think that money, education, and connections are all part of status and power in the United States. With the way our government is set up most everyone has the chance to get an education. The money and connections part are a bit harder. I think that personality plays a part in how successful you become. Someone that is very shy and humble may not...