When you consider how far apart the conflict and functionalist views of the social class system is, your eyes must surely be drawn to the evidence each uses to support the divergent assessments. What about that evidence? What would count for evidence? What if anything might settle the disagreement among sociologists about the nature, the desirability, and the composition of our social class system? How can we tell whether there is sufficient upward social mobility in the U.S.?
The evidence is within the middle class. When the middle class wealth and population expands, social mobility is moving upward. The middle class stabilize the economy and maintain balance. It would seem less likely that a conflict between the lower and upper class would create a revolution of a classless America. The conflict theory may seem to have diminished.
When a majority of the population feel secure within their class. Upward mobility among the middle class may not be as desirable as in the lower population. As long as you have as much or maybe a few more modern technologies (gadgets) than your parents, many individuals believe their own mobility, compared to their parents, is positive. Even though their overall wealth and freedom is significantly less.
A revolution would seems less likely. Of course, the upper class are satisfied with the system as is. The middle class are optimistic about their mobility because they are so grateful to not be in the lower working class, so they think. Even though it's not likely that they would ever become apart of the most upper class, they stand behind the functionalist theory and support the system because of the possibility.
Presently, the middle class is the large majority of the American class system. However, Kornblum research shows that middle class has the highest shrinkage rate and downward mobility. If the middle class population no longer existed, more people would become unhappy with the system....
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