Reflection Paper On Social Class

Reflection Paper On Social Class

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As someone who was taught to respect all and look down on no one, because one day I may be in their position, I have typically not been mindful of class in everyday life. However, it is difficult to not recognize it as a social factor when others are dealing with me. Generally, I speak clearly, dress nicely, and conduct myself in a respectable manner. I am also always cognizant of how I treat other people, always trying my best to be kind and polite. This is how I was raised to behave, however in the past, I believe people may have made judgements on my social class based on these things. At my current stage in life, I do not feel that people are assessing me based on class. This is due to the fact that I am usually in a college setting and these cues may not be reliable. In order to see how we determine someone’s socio-economic class, a study was conducted using participant observation. The site chosen to conduct this study was the grocery store.
During my trip to the grocery store which was my site of choice I came across a generous amount of people. My sample, which are the individuals who represent the population being studied, were to be regular shoppers. In order to avoid picking many of the same people, I picked at random. From this I selected three individuals; an old woman, a middle aged man and a young man. Using the participant observation method, which entails the researcher participating in a research setting while observing what is happening, I determined the class of these participants.
The first participant was a middle aged man. From my preliminary guess, I came to the conclusion that he was lower middle class. The lower middle class is known to have an education level of either high school or college and often a...


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...tation to be considered that is typical of participant observation would be generalizability. This refers to the extent to which the findings apply to other groups. This can be said for this study since people of other groups can dress the way that the other participants did, for example, someone of the working class may be able to afford brand name clothing, and not everyone in a business suit is a CEO. Therefore, generalizability has occurred.
In conclusion, using participant observation alone in order to determine an individual’s socio-economic status may not be a reliable assessment. This is because the study would be based on assumptions drawn merely from the participants’ material and non-material culture. This leads largely to generalizability, drawing conclusions from this study and assuming that they apply to others while ignoring other determining factors.

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