Susan A. Ostrander’s Women of the Upper Class dives into the true lives of women of the “elite” or upper class of America, and focused her studies on how these women fit into the social world. According to Ostrander, the upper class or elites are the “portion of the population that owns the major share of corporate and personal wealth, exercises dominant power in economic and political affairs, and comprises exclusive social networks and organizations open only to persons born into or selected by this class” (5). Just from Ostrander’s definition alone, it is quite clear that the upper class has a substantial role of power and influence, considering that by controlling the majority of business and personal wealth, they are able to have the most influence on determining what happens in their own society. Likewise, words such as “exclusive” and “dominant” are clear indications that most if not all of the social and economic inequality, derives from the fact that politics, economics, and wealth distribution are heavily favored towards the elites.
Ostrander shares very similar beliefs to C. Wright Mill’s, regarding the fact that freedom, wealth, and equality are things that are not properly exercised in the “new society of America”. “We confront there a new kind of social structure, which embodies elements and tendencies of all modern society, but in which they have assumed a more naked and flamboyant prominence”. Essentially Mills is stating that the methods in which we as a society used to interpret politics, economics, etc. cannot be applied anymore due to the fact that modern society has evolved so much. Due to the fact that in modern day, the upper class elites have the largest influence on...
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... work and can live off of their husbands money, I feel as though this inevitably leads them to feeling less of themselves. It leads them to feeling as though they do not deserve their class position as mentioned before, and makes them feel as though they do not have a true importance in society besides their own family. In order to reach a sense of equality, not only do working class citizens need to be treated equally to the business class, but women need to be treated equally to men. In order to do that, I think that women of the upper class need to play their part in either the business, working, or helping the working class citizens fight for income equality. If they do so, than the feeling of subordinance and financial dependence will fade away, and women of the upper class will be looked at as equals and more deserving of their class position and privileges.
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