Social Constructions of Class: Overview

The social constructions of class are related to stratification or the position of individuals within society regarding their socioeconomic status. Thus, the upper class was continuously evolving and frequently referred to as the people who did not have to work. As for the United States, this term is related primarily to wealthy citizens, but the similarity is in the fact that their income also comes from investment. This population group possesses more prestige and power than others and makes influence by contributing money to political parties. In this way, the change in society is mostly initiated by them, and the development of humanity depends on the course of action they select.

The representatives of the middle class are the citizens who can afford goods by working manually and various office workers. Considering their circumstances, their principal characteristics include the presence of skills in different areas allowing them to earn a living, and the increasing income gap between manual and white-collar workers. The last category, the poor people, are distinguished by the amounts of income close to the poverty line and the need to survive on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, they might not work at all, and in this case, they are also considered the underclass. Consequently, all citizens belong to one of the groups described above and share the same characteristics.

One more interesting phenomenon is the possibility of transition from one class to another under the influence of external circumstances. It is defined by people’s efforts or the lack of thereof and is also known as social mobility. In this situation, the attention of researchers is mostly drawn to the features of one or another group, which contribute to this event or, on the contrary, prevent it. Moreover, the shift can be either horizontal or vertical. In other words, it can be a change of job within the same class or the rise or fall of individuals, respectively. Thus, the position of citizens in society is conditional upon economic conditions.

The questions stemming from the examined topic are the factors affecting the initial position of a person in society and the importance of family in the formation of one’s perceptions in this area. No one can be a member of the community without realizing their situation in comparison with others, and this condition should be examined thoroughly. In addition, there must be circumstances that define the views of citizens in this regard, especially at the beginning of their studies or careers. In this case, a family should play a significant role in setting a role model for children as primary guidance in their early years. Therefore, the probability for the latter to follow their example requires further consideration.

Additional topics for discussion related to the social constructions of the class include the personal characteristics of people who successfully perform the change and the conditions leading to a negative shift. The former is connected to citizens’ ability to recognize the opportunities to benefit from and apply their skills when needed. These factors imply the necessity to reveal what can help a person to change his belonging to a class. In turn, the latter is significant for enhancing the understanding of why people can end up in unfavorable situations. It will be advantageous for predicting the situations which can adversely affect one’s life quality.

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