Essay on Structural Diversity And Social Class

Essay on Structural Diversity And Social Class

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Social class is a defining concept to each typical American family as it characterizes their place in society. It is important to use a structural diversity framework when demonstrating how class variation produces different social opportunities for each family. Structural conditions, such as class, race, and gender, all affect families differently, and create diverse family arrangements depending on their structural location. According to Maxinne Baca-Zinn in the textbook, Diversity in Families, using a structural perspective to study the stratifications associated to families demonstrates class, race, and gender all “foster group-based inequalities, are systems of subordination that shape family life and also place the family as a resistance to inequality” (138). By applying the structural diversity framework to study variations in family due to social class, it is possible to view the effects a changing economy can have on a family, as well as the consequences those changes have on the structure and choices a family makes to provide for itself.
Before applying social class affects to changes in the economy and consumerist choices among families, it is important to gain perspective on how families are placed within a social class, and from where these social classes develop. According to Diversity in Families, social class is defined when “a number of people occupy the same relative economic rank in the stratification system” which gives “some degree of identification” (Baca-Zinn 140). This economic ranking creates groupings where one may consider himself superior, inferior, or equal to another group. In order for social class to be considered a group based system, it must be considered a social stratification, or a socially p...


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... people along differing boundaries based on their income. Social class affects families within the same ranking in some of the same ways, as they survive differently within this global economy. It is, in fact, this global economy that caused such changes in social class to happen, and continuing shifts in the global market will cause social classes to continually evolve along them. As middle class families now employ both parents, a second income became crucial to living that type of lifestyle, whereas this was not the norm before 1980. With good housing markets a priority, demand began to rise, and with the collapse in 2007, families who had never seen below the poverty line began to emerge. As this shows, the economy and social class are directly linked, and family dynamics within their specific social class will continue to play the roles society attaches to them.

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