Social Classes By Courtney Hill and Ryan McLean
The Upper Class • Generally contained within the wealthiest 1-2% of the population. • Distinguished by immense wealth which is passed from generation to generation • Term “upper class” was associated with hereditary land ownership. • Less than 1% of the U.S. population is upper class.
The Middle Class • Most Americans identify themselves as “middle class.” • The term “middle class” has come to mean having a stable job, safe home, access to healthcare, etc. • Constitutes anywhere from 25 to 66% of American households.
The Lower Class • Also known as “working class” or “proletariat.” • Describes those employed in lower tier jobs with lower income. • Mainly found in industrialized economies and urban areas of non-industrialized economies • Also includes those who are unemployed and/or are on welfare.
Origins of Lower Class • 3rd estate of people who were neither aristocrats nor church officials. • They were the lowest tier in Feudal Europe.
Origins of Middle Class • In Capitalism, referred to as the Bourgeoisie • These people were the merchants, traders, carpenters, etc.
Origins of Upper Class • In some cultures, upper class did not have to work, they were born into wealth. • Was based on social position. • Aristocrats, ruling families, titled people, and religious hierarchs.
Stereotypes of lower class • Racism can be associated to lower class • Lazy, unproductive failures going no where • The people who “do the jobs no one else wants to do.”
Stereotypes of middle class • “sitcom” families • White • Live in suburban neighborhoods • Have a dog and 2.5 kids • Man goes to work in an office while the wife takes care of the house
Stereotypes of upper class • Snobby/arrogant/self-centered • Like to spend money to show off • Unnecessary items