In general social class refers to the distinctions between groups and individuals which are different from one society to another society or even within a particular society.
Every group of people believes in particular ideas such as age, gender, education, religion, income, family origin that put an individual in a higher or a lower position in a society.
Social groups in higher classes always possess great deal of power that gives them opportunity to subordinate lower classes.
The concept of class in the United States:
Class in the United States refers more to personal income, educational attainment and occupational prestige for those of 25-year-old or older. although there are many people in the United States who believe that American society has been divided into three groups of poor, middle class and rich, this society is more diverse culturally and economically. While some theorists believe that because of such diversity it is impossible to draw a distinctive lines between social classes in the United States, but there are some who think it will be helpful if we consider major classes to discus about class matter and to understand it better.
The American society categorized into five major class systems:
The first one is upper class which defines as those with great deal of power who are prestigious and influential especially on the nation’s institutions.
The second class system is upper middle class that refers to those who enjoy high job with comfortable personal income. Most of them have received post-secondary degrees and they belong to the white collar professions.
Lower middle class is the third system that refers to those with college education who usually suffer from the lack of job security. They don’t receive proper income also.
The fourth system labeled as working class includes those individuals who belong to blue as well as white collar workers; most of them have not received collage degrees (even there are many who have never attended colleges) and suffer from low personal income.
Those who are in lower class are marginalized and poor although they work day and night.
Since the majority of people in the United States know themselves as middle class, it would be helpful if we concentrate more on this particular system to understand the United States’ social conditions.
Culture, educational attainment and income are three factors so influential on an individual to identify himself/herself as a member of middle class.
Different social groups in the United States’ society feature their own sub-cultures including common beliefs and manners accepted by all the members. Sub- cultures can influence the way members look at the world and even the way they raise their children.
If an individual ascends or descends from one social class to the other one class members will change their class culture. As class culture changes individuals’ attitude toward the world, it can be influential directly to the necessity of education in the eyes of the social classes’ members and indirectly to the members’ income.
In America to the extent people become more educated they can earn more money and they can be able to occupy more prestigious locations. Prestigious location is the other factor that besides higher education and comfortable income influences an individual to identify himself or herself as an upper middle class or upper class member.