The Impact of Social Class Distinction in America Essay

The Impact of Social Class Distinction in America Essay

Length: 899 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Social Upheaval in Persuasion by Jane Austin

- In the novel Persuasion, Jane Austin presents a story about the marriage of the main character Anne Elliot. In doing so she paints a picture of British society in the early 1800s when Britain was ending it’s war with France. She writes of the British Empire, which is characterized by the Navy officers returning home, and she writes of the social divisions of the time in the form of the distinction between the different classes of society. The major change that seems to be occurring in the novel at this time is the social upheaval caused by Navy men returning from war with enough prestige and money to associate with (and even marry) those of the old landowning class....   [tags: class distinction, social hierarchy ]

Better Essays
876 words (2.5 pages)

Class, Status, Party, By Max Weber Essay

- In the reading “Class, Status, Party,” by Max Weber, Weber illustrates how the three subjects of class, status, and party all intertwine and intersect one another. Weber pointed out that class, status, and party all have a direct link to power and the social order which exists within a society. Lastly, author, Weber, tended to categorize the three subjects by repeatedly using the ideas of power and honor. Weber directly stated that classes, status groups, and parties are all based upon the distribution of power in a community....   [tags: Sociology, Max Weber, Social class, Social status]

Better Essays
1097 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Diet Of Social Status

- The diet of social status Whether a person lives within high or low class in their social status, the socioeconomic factor can decide on one’s diet, along with one’s health plan. A family’s diet shows “how social class shapes our daily, face-to-face interactions—from casual exchanges to interactions at school, work, and home” (Fiske and Markus). Not many people can afford a particular diet, whether for religious reasons or a life changing personal decision. Similar to the vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, or other diets of their liking....   [tags: Nutrition, Health, Social status, Sociology]

Better Essays
1299 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Social Networking Sites: Bad For Our Society?

- Over the past few years something has taken a toll in most people’s lives, we use it, love it, talk about it, and check it almost every hour of every day: this thing is called social networks. It was only a few years back, in 2003, when MySpace was discovered, and in 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg established Facebook, and soon after in 2006 Twitter followed. These sites became more than just an online destination, but a way of life. Notifications, follower counts, friend requests, photo comments- all what might seem like silly things that teenagers and adults alike await the moment they come home to check....   [tags: Social Media, Facebook, Online]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Class Distinction Shown in The Prince and the Pauper Essay example

- In his book, The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain highlights class distinction very often. It plays an immensely important role in his novel, because Twain places his two main characters in the total extremes of the social class. Through these characters, Edward and Tom, Twain illustrates the vast difference between the high and low ends of the social class in England, shows how ignorant they were of each other, proves that a person's social status was determined by his appearance, and demonstrates that social status does not show the true worth of a person....   [tags: classism, class distinction, Mark Twain]

Better Essays
2543 words (7.3 pages)

Class Distinction in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Class distinction is one of Jane Austen’s themes in the novel, and the differentiation related to it is evidently depicted. Reading the novel from the first chapter, I realize that the author clearly illustrates that class is what matters most in many of the incidences displayed by the characters. Unless an individual is of a given class, the idea that he or she has money is not valued, since only birth in a certain background is what is of value. When a person openly values money over class, such a person is frowned upon....   [tags: class distinction, darcy]

Better Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Doll 's House By Katherine Mansfield

- Sorrow and angst swirled inside; Elsie and Lil captivated me by their strength. Society can have a profound impact on a child’s view and perceptions of the world, dictating the cultural norms on how we treat those in different social classes. In The Doll’s House by Katherine Mansfield, we see the theme of class distinction and the influences a parent has on how children view the world. Furthermore, society’s norms impact upon Kezia, Elsie and Lil. Prejudice and discriminating attitudes towards others have not yet influenced the innocence a child possesses towards the world; this can clash with the ideals developed by adults through society....   [tags: Social class, Sociology, Working class]

Better Essays
700 words (2 pages)

What the Social Classes Owe Each Other an Article by William Graham Sumner

- ... She was able to prove that welfare is a necessary part of the government and most people cannot get by without it. Not everyone starts out on the same playing field. Without a college degree, it is very difficult to get a financially stable job. To get a college degree you need some sort of income to pay for your schooling. She did not have a degree and ended up working for 7 dollars an hour or less. The work was both stressful and degrading. Similar to Ehrenreich, a professor named Frances Fox Piven wrote a book titled “The Nature of Disruptive Power”....   [tags: poor, rich, middle class]

Better Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

The Godey 's Lady 's Book Essay

- Religion and social class go hand-in-hand in understanding how society views gender. Throughout this paper I will analyze the influence that social class has on gender. First, with what influenced women, then with how society influenced women, and finally looking how literature shaped peoples perception of women in society. Social and economic class play an interesting role in how gender is understood and valued in culture. Louis Antonie Godey created the most successful magazine specifically for women....   [tags: Social class, Working class, Middle class]

Better Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

The Debate on How Urban Middle-Class Identities Have Changed Essay

- The Debate on How Urban Middle-Class Identities Have Changed “Materialism is the new karma”. (Pavan K Varma, 2005) Whilst numerical estimates of the Indian middle classes vary drastically, media images contribute to their portrayal as affluent consumers- participants in the IT boom in urban centres such as Hyderabad and those revelling in India’s status as a call centre “superpower”, particularly thought to symbolise a new urban middle-class. Varma’s quote encapsulates the astonishing effect mass culture is thought to have had upon Indian identity, especially those who occupy this middle ground of consumption....   [tags: Social Classes India Kinship Essays]

Better Essays
3940 words (11.3 pages)