top-rated free essay

Class in America

By isunderland Nov 08, 2013 1066 Words
Class in America
For years, the United States has been selling the idea of what is known as “the American Dream”. This means that in America, anyone can recreate him or herself and climb up the ladder of social class. The standard way of thinking about class has it that the only factor that separates the classes is money. I’ve always believed that social class is determined by upbringing, education, and money, and that all three need to be good in order to become a member of the upper class. Upbringing is very important in determining someone’s social class. The way in which a person is raised helps shape their personality and their morals. Both of these sub-factors help determine class. As stated before, many people believe the only determining factor of class is money but someone who was raised badly and who grew up in a bad environment like the streets will never become part of the upper class, even if they become millionaires. A lot of the basketball players in the NBA earn millions of dollars a year, but that does not mean that they belong to the upper class. LeBron James is one of the highest paid basketball players but he had a tough childhood, which involved him living in many different apartments. He would be considered part of the upper-middle class because of the way he was raised by his single mother. A different player who was raised in a middle class military family is David Robinson. He was raised very well by his parents and received good morals from them. He was an officer in the US Navy and later went on to play in the NBA. He has also earned millions of dollars, but because his upbringing was better than that of James, he would be considered part of the middle-upper class. When determining the class to which a person belongs to, education should be taken into account as it tells a lot about the person. To be a part of the upper class, one must have had a good education; although, the amount of education does not necessarily place a person in a certain class. For example, someone with a doctorate may not be in a higher class than someone with a bachelor’s degree, but the fact that they have an education help to raise their social status as a learned person. Many successful people in our society are college dropouts. They may not have graduated, but they are considered as well educated in their fields. Finally, the third and final factor for placing a person in a certain class is the amount of money that they are worth. Money is by far the most important because it is the one factor that everyone accepts. Having money to pay the bills and living paycheck to paycheck is most common among members of the middle class. Members of the upper class usually have an excess of money and can live extravagant lifestyles and have the best of everything. These “elite” people may have inherited the money and possessions or their money may have been self-made. But in order to be a part of the upper class, a person must not have a large sum of money he must also have been brought up well by his/her parents and have had a good education. If one of these is missing, a person cannot be considered as part of the upper class. There are three social classes and nine subclasses as each of the classes has three subclasses. For example, there is the middle-upper class, middle-middle class, upper-lower, etc. I believe it is possible for someone to change their subclass but not their actual social class. Even though someone may appear to have moved up to the upper class by wearing nicer clothes or driving a better car. The purpose of the film, “People Like Us”, was to show how members of different classes often want to be a part of a higher, or even a lower class. People sometimes fake their class in order to be accepted by a certain kind of people. These “wannabes” merely want to pose as if they are a part of the upper class in order to feel better about themselves or to seem better than others. In the movie, “People Like Us”, there is a woman who dedicates her time to showing middle class women how to dress like the upper class. The women who’s appearance she changed in the movie, felt more confident to talk to men who were above her social class just because she was wearing different clothes. Our society has become one of competition. Some people have the best cars, clothes, and house, but they do not have much furniture in their home. They spend so much money on their “bluff” that they have none left for things that matter. There are rare occasions in which a person who was raised by good lower class parents works hard in school and goes on to become a very successful. These stories of overcoming obstacles are often inspirational to people who believe that they can move up in social class by graduating from college, but this is not always true. In his essay “Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer”, Robert Reich makes the statement that the poor are being replaced my immigrants, the working class is being replaced by machines and robots, and the rich are only becoming wealthier. He generalized all the people who are doing well under one term by calling them “symbolic analysts”. These are the people in our society who, as Reich stated, “solve, identify, and broker new problems.” This gap between the classes is growing larger and larger. In some occasions, the reason the working class is being replaced by machines is because some people are lazy. Many unemployed Americans are not currently seeking employment and live off of welfare checks. In conclusion, my statements have been made on the basis of observation and the use of examples. I have used data to present the truth about class and to better understand what being a member of the upper class means and what is necessary to become a part of that class. I believe that class is unchangeable. People may change but they cannot change where they came from.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Class in America

    ...in Deborah Martin Professor Young October 26, 2011 Class in America 2003 By: Gregory Mantsios Avoidance of speaking about classes is something that most Americans practice. Most people refer to race, ethnic group, or geographic location. Sometimes people refer to identifying themselves through their employer. Americans are aware of cl...

    Read More
  • Class in America

    ...The United States has gone a long way toward an appearance of classlessness. It has become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, and the votes they cast. As Mantsios wrote in class of America “people in the united stated don’t like to talk about class. We shrink from using words that classify along eco...

    Read More
  • Class in America

    ...Thursday, March 26, 2009 Class in America- Gregory Mantsios "Myth 1: The United States is fundamentally a classless society. Class distinctions are largely irrelevant today, and whatever differences do exist in economic standing, they are - for the most part- insignificant... Myth 2: We are, essentially, a middle-class nation... Myth 3: We ...

    Read More
  • Middle-Class Homelessness in America

    ...May 2013 Middle-class Homelessness in America Will there be room at the Inn for middle- class Americans? Can you imagine yourself standing in line in hope for a cot at a shelter to share with your family, or waiting for a warm meal in a soup kitchen? This is what many middle-class American citizens have succumbed to. Has the American dr...

    Read More
  • Social Class in America

    ...People Like Us: Social Class in America Film Review Introduction America is a complex and diverse web of individuals marked by social stratification, a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy (Macionis, 2011, p.204). The film People Like Us: Social Class in America discusses the class system, social stratification b...

    Read More
  • Class in America: Gregory Mantsios

    ...Class in America: Gregory Mantsios In the article, "Class in America", Gregory Mantsios (Myths and Realities 2000) shows us how what class a person is in affects his or hers life more than they think. This article is written sufficiently well however, it does have some weak spots. I will prove my thesis by examining his use of examples and ...

    Read More
  • Class in America

    ... In "Class of America" Mantosios' central argument is, he argues what he claims are the myth of a classes society in America. He provides evidence regarding the rising social economic gap between the rich and the poor in America and the huge differences in amounts of the top 1% of Americans and the rest of Americans. There are four beliefs: 1....

    Read More
  • Class in America

    ...Class in America ---2006 page 319 1. (1)Myth1 : “ The United State is fundamentally a classless society” and “ class distinctions are largely irrelevant today” are wrong. Myth2 : “We are, essentially, a middle-class nation” and “ most Americans have achieved relative affluence in what is widely recognized as a consumer ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.