The Impact of Social Class Distinction in America

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According to Paul Fussell, and his essay, class is a “touchy subject.” Class is often noted as “any group of plants or animals.” However, when it comes to defining class as social distinctions, the word becomes more complex. The social class structure has remained “murky” over the years, and to most Americans, extremely complicated. In today’s society, social class has become more and more intricate, but it has never been set to where Americans feel comfortable in their own skin. Today, when talking about social class, people tend to get upset about the subject. They tend to “first straighten their ties and sneak a glance at their cuffs to see how far fraying has advanced there.” In R.H. Tawney’s book Equality, The word “class is fraught with unpleasing associations, so that to linger upon it is apt to be interpreted as the symptom of a perverted mind and a jaundiced spirit.” However, some go as far as calling the thought of social classes “America’s forbidden thought.” Since the Industrial Revolution, social classes have been fixed in with names that distinguish one social class to another. For example, the names that have stayed with American’s today, are the lower class, middle class, upper class, working class, and so on. Yet, when the “touchy subject” is brought about, the way a person acts by the amount of wrath, or aggravation says a lot about their social class. A trend that middle class people tend to show when asked about the subject is to feel very anxious and nervous, suggesting that they might be “slipping down a rung or two.” On the contrary, upper class individuals liked to be asked about their social class because they like to flaunt it. “The more attention paid to them, the better off they seem to be.” Prole... ... middle of paper ... ... has a very prestigious but low paying job. His or her prestige puts them in an upper class but their income puts them in another. In America, the extent of people becoming more educated, can earn more money and can be able to occupy more prestigious locations. Prestigious locations are the other factor that besides higher education and comfortable income influences an individual to identify him or herself in a specific social class. This helps give the lower social classes hope to make themselves better, as well as work a little harder so they are not hanging by a string or two, getting ready to drop in to the lowest social class. Social class is still a touchy subject, but still very “murky.” Society has a hard time fitting in with each other because they do not know where to go. If we really did away with social classes, would we be better off in the future?
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