Understanding Social Class and Its Differences

Posted by Precious Jewel on

American society can be simplified into one statement, “the have and the have nots.” Those who have the income requirements, pedigree, prestige, and education are the haves. The have nots typically do not have these things. The difference in America is there are more opportunities for those to become the “haves.” How? Education, lineage, and more (which we will discuss later).

Ruby K Payne, author of "Bridges Out of Poverty", created a social class chart explaining how differently people in different social classes navigate society. According to Ruby, social class is not necessarily determined by how much money you and/or your parents make, but how you are raised, the behaviors you exhibit, and your environment.

"I know how to register my child in little league, piano lessons, or ballet." "I know how to order at a nice restaurant." "I discuss college with my children." "I belong to a social club." "I send my children to private daycare or preferred private or boarding schools." "I have trust funds established for my children at birth." "I know how to physically fight." "I know how to defend myself." Each of these statements can be assigned to a specific social class action or behavior. The separation of class can be broken down into four general tiers.

Upper Class: which is considered 19% of the American population according to the Pew Research Center.

Middle Class: According to Pew Research Center’s study, 52% of the US population live in middle-income households. This category is split into two sections: upper middle class and lower middle class, whose incomes range from $48,500 to $145,500 (2018).

Working-class: have incomes less than $48,500, and they are usually grouped with the lower class. This label has changed over the years because of increased income inequality, the Boomer generation retiring, etc. This category is sometimes called the working poor.

Lower class: is on the shallow end of the system to gain federal benefits as they are on the national poverty level. It was $25,624. Currently, the lower-income households are at 29%, including the working class.

Given the rise of social media use, multiple ongoing debates have emerged that, from my perspective, can be attributed to social class. Conversations ranging from parenting styles and family planning to education, dating, and marriage. Many, unfortunately, do not realize how our social class often determines how we behave, the choices we make, and how we choose to navigate life. Each of these levels has its own behaviors and belief systems, which I will be discussing for private society members, from luxury beliefs to behaviors, values, and motives.

Interested in learning the behaviors, indicators, and benefits of each social class? Consider purchasing blog access if you are not a Private Society Member. 


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