Sociology-Social Class

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“ I got to figure.  We all got to figure.  There’s some way to stop this.  It’s not like lightening or earthquakes.  We’ve got a bad thing made by man, and by God that’s something we can change.” John Steinbeck. This excerpt from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is talking about the ‘bad things’ that we deal with in our society. Two bad things that are extremely pressing in society today are the growing gap in the social class system and gender inequality. Both social class problems and gender inequality affect the way members of our society live their daily lives but are commonly overlooked or underestimated.

Social Class is a way of categorizing households into groups of similar occupations, education levels and general income levels. The gap between the rich and the poor in theses classes cause problems in many different areas of our society from physical health to family stability to justice and education. The class system in the United States consists of First, Second and Third Class. Social Classes are by no means a homogeneous group they can each be further split into ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ (i.e. Upper Second Class) but there are still major gaps in each group. Social Class can effect the health of an individual in many ways. People who are in the First-class have enough money to afford the best doctors and medical services whereas the third-class often cannot even afford medical insurance. “Ones health condition during the first five years of their life will determine how healthy they will be for the rest of their life” (Eitzen). If one cannot afford health insurance their children are therefore predestined to have poor health. On the Titanic only 3 percent of first-class women were lost during the sinking where as 45 percent of third-class women were lost (Eitzen 260). This shows how, whether subconsciously or not, the first class is put ahead of third class. The justice system is also affected by class. Everything about the justice system is expensive....
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