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Essay on Social Class (918 Words)

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❶What is Social Class?

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An individual can change his or her social class if they have the desire to do so. Represent institutional leadership, heads of multinational corporations, foundations, universities Capitalist elite — owners of lands, stocks and bonds and other assets — wealth derived from what they own Forbes magazine publishes a list of the wealthiest families in America.

Bill Gates, in that year, had net worth pf Of all the wealth represented on the Forbes list, more than half is inherited. Represent scientific and technical knowledge — engineers, accountants, lawyers, architects, university faculty, managers and directors of public and private organizations. Have both high incomes and high social prestige. Lower Middle Class Clerical-administrative Provide support for professionals Engage in data collection.

Social class is one of the most important concepts that sociologists discuss and yet its definition is often illusive. There are two classical sociologists who are most important in the discussions about class. Karl Marx and Max Weber have different views upon social class in contemporary societies. These two groups are better known as the bourgeoisie and proletariat. In particular, the bourgeoisie use a mode of production, in the form of capitalism, to oppress the proletariat.

Whereby the owners of production bourgeoisie use the proletariat workers labour to produce their surplus value. In turn they pay their workers the smallest amount possible to make a profit, thus exploiting the working class. The bourgeoisie only appropriate the surplus. Marx identifies that the reason we have classes is due to a group sharing a common interest and economic position. The bourgeoisie own the capital of land, machinery and raw materials. Whereas the proletariat own nothing, they can only sell their labour power in an attempt to survive and provide for their families.

With these skills the individual is opened to numerous life chances and opportunities to further their career and increase their standard of living. Their market value equals their economic gain.

Market value is defined by their ability to market themselves to a particular job opportunity. For instance, a university degree makes an individual more marketable and as such they have greater chances to work in their preferred field. They are given greater financial rewards and in turn move up the social ladder. Different consumptions of social goods is the most visible consequence of class.

In modern societies it manifests as income, inequality, through the subsistence societies it manifested as malnutrition and periodic starvation. The conditions at work vary greatly depending on class. Those in the upper-middle class and middle class enjoy greater freedom in their occupations. They are generally more respected, enjoy more diversity and are able to exhibit some authority.

Those in lower classes tend to feel more alienated and have lower work satisfaction overall. The physical conditions of the work place differ greatly between classes. Most scales, however, recognise an upper, middle and working class. The underclass is comprised of individuals who are unemployed, or have never worked or who have a particularly weak position in the labour market.

Members of this class include single parents and ethnic minorities, but Runciman argued that it was not their status that placed them in this class but their reliance on state benefits. In general, however, most sociologists have tended to draw on one or other approach and these sociologists are referred to as neo-Marxists or neo-Weberians.

Neo-Weberians such as David Lockwood, however, challenge this view. Lockwood used Weberian concepts such as market, work and status situation in his study of clerks to argue that, while wages for this group had begun to drop below that of skilled manual labourers, their market position in terms of job security, promotion prospects and benefits still gave them an advantaged position.

Other criticisms of Marxist theories of proletarianization include the theory of embourgeoisement. Due to rising living standards among the working class, it was argued, increasing numbers of this group were effectively joining the middle class. While there are numerous debates surrounding the existence or otherwise of an underclass or a middle class, and even debates as to whether there remains an upper or ruling class in society, one thing most sociologists agree on is that social class is a system of stratification defined by the unequal distribution of social advantage.

While the key debate between neo-Marxists and neo-Weberians appears to centre around questions of social class composition, the underlying issues they seek to address are those of class inequality. Social class, then, is not simply a label applied for convenience in society to differentiate between social groups in terms of similarities and differences in occupation, lifestyle or attitudes; it is, rather, a system of inequality of opportunity.

Marxists and Weberians generally agree, despite the claims of other sociologists such functionalists, new right theorists and postmodernists, that there remain substantial inequalities between different social classes. Essay UK - http: If this essay isn't quite what you're looking for, why not order your own custom Sociology essay, dissertation or piece of coursework that answers your exact question?

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Sociology Essay - In sociology, the term social class is most often used to refer to the primary system of social stratification found in modern capitalist societies.

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Social Class in UK The term “social class” is in UK is a controversial issue,David J Lee said “ The use of the concept class in sociology has come under attack ”, .

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Social Class in the United States It is frequent that people living in the United States prefer to think that we are a nation that no longer has social classes, that all people are much better off than they were one hundred years ago. ADVERTISEMENTS: Read this comprehensive essay on Social Class! One of the important elements of social stratification is the ‘Class’. A social class is ‘a category or group of persons having a definite status in society which permanently determines their relations to other groups’.

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In this essay I shall begin by defining what social class is as illustrated in the collins social work dictionary. I will look at the way class can influence the . - In this essay the author will discuss the effects of class society, the bio-psycho-social issues and lifespan development, in relation to a 30 year old man described in the scenario (please see Appendix), and in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s [NMC] “Code of Conduct” (), to maintain confidentiality his name has .