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The American Class System Chapter 9, Section 2. What classes exist? 1995.

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Presentation on theme: "The American Class System Chapter 9, Section 2. What classes exist? 1995."— Presentation transcript:

1 The American Class System Chapter 9, Section 2

2 What classes exist? 1995

3 What classes exist? 2010

4 Determining Class -Three methods 1) Reputational method= members in a given community rank other members based on their knowledge of character and lifestyle. - Better for studying small communities where everyone knows everyone well. 2) Subjective method= people determine their own social rank. People generally said ‘middle’ class. Why? 3)Objective method= sociologists define class based on income, occupation, and education. - Least biased method

5 The Classes- 6 total The Upper Class Upper Middle Class Middle Class Lower Middle Class Lower class/The Working Class The Underclass

6 Classes The Upper Class o 1% of the population o Old money v. new money o Old money= inherited rich; families who have shaped the U.S. (i.e. Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Duke, Morgan, etc.) o New money= newly rich who have acquired money through own efforts, not inheritance. The Upper Middle Class o High-income businesspeople and professionals o College education, advanced degree o Very career-oriented.

7 Classes (cont’d) The Lower Middle Class/Middle Class o White-collar jobs (i.e. work that does not require manual labor) o Less education than those held by Upper Middle Class o Comfortable life, but must work to keep it maintained. The Working Class o Manual labor jobs– blue collar jobs o Can pay as much or more than Lower Middle Class jobs, but do not carry the prestige. o Pink-collar jobs– fields where women have previously dominated.

8 Classes (cont’d) The Working Poor o Lowest-paying jobs. o Temporary or seasonal work o Some depend on government support programs o Not involved politically The Underclass o Families experiencing unemployment and poverty for generations o May have a job, but very low-paying o Day-to-day struggle

9 Social Mobility Social mobility= movement between or within social classes. Three types: 1) Horizontal mobility= movement within a class. Occurs when you move from one job to another in same social ranking. 2)Vertical mobility= movement between social classes. 3) Intergenerational mobility = a type of vertical mobility. When a person’s class of origin (i.e. their parents’) is different from their current one.

10 Causes of Mobility Upward mobility: o Advancements in technology o Changes in merchandising patterns o General education level of a population Downward mobility: o Personal factors– illness, divorce, family death, and retirement. o Changes in the economy

11 So who are the American billionaires? Bill Gates- Microsoft $66 billion Warren Buffett- Berkshire Hathaway (owns Dairy Queen, Helzberg Diamonds, Fruit of the Loom) $46 billion

12 So who are the American billionaires? Larry Ellison- Oracle (3 rd largest software producer to Microsoft and IBM) $41 billion Koch brothers- diversified (Georgia- Pacific) $31 billion

13 So who are the American billionaires? Walton Family: Wal- Mart $26.1-27.9 billion Michael Bloomberg- Bloomberg LP (acquired Businessweek) $25 billion

14 So who are the American billionaires? Jeff Bezos- $23.2 billion Sheldon Adelson- Las Vegas Sands casino $20.5 billion

15 So who are the American billionaires? Sergey Brin and Larry Page- Google $20.3 billion George Soros- hedge funds (ManU, Washington Nationals) $19 billion

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