Social class - Free Essay Samples

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    What is social classes? .

    A lot of time has gone since the system of social stratifiсation was introduced to the public. Approximately in the 18th century the specific notion of class appeared because of consecutive development of capitalistic industrial society. The greatest contribution to the class theory made such personalities as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Francois Guizot and Karl Marx. So what is social class and how we define it today? Social class concept implies a particular group in society which is formed on the basis of common features, such as line of work, income, educational basis. The affiliation to any of the classes usually defines your place in the social hierarchy. According to Karl Marx, social classes are economically determined and genetically controversial groups. In every society with complicated hierarchy, based on inequality, the emergence of classes is inevitable. The concept of social struggle, which means that people contend for change in allocation of resources, still has many followers in the world among politicians and sociologists. It is worth mentioning that modern definition of social class system has changed mightily comparing with 19-20th centuries. The main difference is in stability of hierarchy. The mobility in the system of social stratification has become more common. A member of the lower class transfers to the upper class and vice versa because of unstable economi situation. In all social classes are presented their own patterns of behaviour, lifestyle, value system. Regardless of the pressure which dominant class exerts, other classes cultivate their values and ideals. Social distance between representatives of different classes is much shorter nowadays. At the same time, ideas and view of life vary widely. Not only property ownership, as it was before, but quality of your garment, style, make of car represent who you are. Prosperity, education, leisure and consumption are the most defining features which class the population. In people in your social class are inherent such things as sense of community, connectedness. The indicators of segments of the population are characterized by estimation from worse to better or less to more. Talking about education and the status it gives, we classify people by those who graduated from school and people who have one or more university degree. The same goes about income and career development. Division into three segments, such as lower class, middle class and upper class is generally agreed to be classic. The first two occupy the biggest part in percentage terms and form average group of people. The upper class is regarded as elite. An additional prevalent class system suggests to divide each of these three classes into two to get more accurate results. We can observe that concepts of class and status are closely interrelated in the system of social stratification. To be considered as belonging to one or another status, a person should meet certain requirements. It is about the ability of a member of society to consume and produce goods. People aren't declared to any of the classes by government. The only regulator which influences the class system is public opinion. This public opinion is based on customs, income, lifestyle and standards of conduct. It is for this reason that the number of classes and stratums they are divided, belonging to any class is very difficult to determine. People with prestigious professions and privileged positions constitute higher social class. Such people are engaged in mental labour and implement management functions. Key factors here are money or power. Working in tandem these factors are guaranteed to give the highest position to their owners. Politicians, presidents, business leaders, scientists, artists. Despite the fact that money prevails in defining your class, connections and influence also play a role here. Talking about money, class of rich people is divided into upper upper class and lower uppper class. To the first one we attribute people who are billionaires. Type of their wealth is usually inherited and concentrated among family or clan. The lower upper class substantive representatives are millionaires. People who represent middle class are qualified personnel, teachers, doctors. The middle class is characterized by average income and influence, high level of education. It is the class with the most subtle criteria for entry. People, who have prestigious profession and high level of education, but don't have enough money, can't be associated with higher class. The same is about some white-collar workers who earn more than usual office personnel because of higher position. They don't refer to the working class anymore. Lower class usually means no education, stable work and is associated with poor living conditions. Unqualified workers, homeless people, beggars are its representatives. It is also called as a "social bottom". People from lower class live near the poverty line or below it. There is an interim point which unites lower and middle class - it is a working class. It is considered to be something separate to date and covers wage earners. Low-level jobs, average income and passable living conditions are its main features. All the classes described above are very general and researchers still can't find a consensus about social stratification system. However, these classes remain basic over time. New living conditions, technological progress and level of development of the society still leave a space for inequality in the community of individuals which leads to the notion of social classes. Some of the particular structural elements change depending on the cultural, economic peculiarities of every society, while the basis of these elements remains the same. The history of "social class" notion is rather long and has many nuances. Our experts know all of them and can help you to write any type of research on the topic which you are interested in. If you want to learn what is classless society, Weber's class theory, class warfare appeal to us and get the highest mark.