Social Class and the Family

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Social Class and the Family|
Southside Virginia Community College|
Principles of Sociology/Soc215a6Dr. W. Terry Whisnant, Professor| Connie Jones|
9/10/2011|

Social Class and the Family

Social class defines every aspect of our life. It determines who we are, how long we will live or if we will even make it through the birthing process. It influences how much money we make, what type of education we will be able to receive and what type of jobs we will have. It even determines how smart we are. There are three distinct social classes; wealthy, middle-class, and poverty level. Each and every one of us fits into one of these classes. Each one is different from the other, which will be the topic of discussion for this paper. Social class influences attitudes and behaviors. The wealthy have very strong family ties. The wealth is spread out among family members. Very little research is available about the wealthy. According to J. Ross Eshleman, author of the textbook, “The Family”, Michael Gilding interviewed individuals who were in the “Rich 200” and found that “concerns about wealth accumulation, management succession, and inheritance lead to a heightened emphasis on the trust and loyalty that comes with family ties, the value of placing family interests over individual gratifications, the willingness of family members to work hard in the interest of family wealth accumulation, the cohesiveness of family ties that facilitates goal-directed activities, and the greater willingness of family members to take risks”. (Eshleman, 2010) Families are the way the wealthy continue to stay rich. The strong family ties also help better socialize children for success, by sending them to the best schools, introducing them to other wealthy families through debuts or charity functions. Although women are seen as subordinate to men, they have a great deal of involvement in family and social roles. Middle-class families value individualism,...
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