Social Class in the U.S. Chapter 11 Introduction Our culture encourages the attitude that poverty and wealth are the consequence of individual effort rather than structural conditions. For this reason, being poor carries a stigma in which people shun the poor as “lazy” or “ignorant.”
While income is highly stratified in the U.S., wealth is extremely stratified. The top 20% of U.S. families own 80% of all wealth. This is remarkable in our so-called “equal opportunity” society.
Yearly Income (appox)
Upper middle class
Lower middle class
Mobility patterns vary by race.