Social Structures Unveiled: Essays on Wealth, Class, and Mobility in the United States - Report Sample

Published: 2024-01-04
Social Structures Unveiled: Essays on Wealth, Class, and Mobility in the United States - Report Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Society
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1195 words
10 min read

What Is the Difference Between Income and Wealth?

Wealth is a store of valuable possessions owned by you, like real estate or even money, whereas income is money earned from working or receiving from investments.

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How Does Social Status Correlate to Political Influence in The United States?

Money is a form of political power; people’s views at the top of the income distribution have a more critical and positive influence on the laws that are to be passed.

What Is Occupational Prestige? How Does It Correlate to Educational Achievement?

People rate jobs that they would love to work at and those they would never work. The job rating is occupational prestige. High-tier jobs like surgeons often require an advanced degree. The positions at the bottom of a prestige scale do not require any educational achievement.

What Is a Meritocracy? Is The United States a Meritocracy?

Meritocracy is a society ruled by people depending on personal merit. The United States is not entirely a meritocracy as a person’s social status reflects their effort and talent to a certain level. (Thrift, Erin, and Jeff Sugarman, 2019). However, the position you are born into and the environment in your early years affect how successful you will be.

Define The Concepts of “Social Class” And “Classism.” Why, according to Mantsios, Don’t Americans Like to Talk About Class?

The definition of social class depends on the society one is interested in. For example, Marx’s definition says there are two classes; the one that owns production means called the bourgeoisie and labor providers. Classism is the discrimination of people belonging to a particular class. According to Mantsios, Americans do not like to discuss class because its identity has been stripped from popular culture.

What Are the Five Social Classes That Exist in The United States? Briefly Define/Describe Each

The American community is split into five classes. They include the upper, upper-middle, average middle, working, and lower class. The upper class is the top in wealth and income distribution, and it mainly consists of capitalists. The upper-middle class consists of those who have attained their college degrees and post-graduate degrees; those in this section have reputable jobs. The average middle class comprises those who have completed their college and typically have white-collar jobs. The working class usually has little to no wealth and is unlikely to own their homes. They are also mainly associated with manual labor. The lower class tends to have part-time hourly jobs with no benefits like health coverage pensions and unforeseeable schedules.

What Are the Four Common Myths About Class, As Outlined by Mantsios?

America is a classless society. Everyone is equal before the law. The second myth is that the U.S. is a middle-class nation. Regardless of economic status differences, most Americans have attained comparative wealth, widely acknowledged as a consumer society. The third myth is all Americans are getting wealthier, and the public is consistently going up the economic ladder. Lastly, the fourth myth is all people have the same chances of succeeding. Success is guaranteed in America if one has hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice.

Is Poverty a Result of Individual Effort (Or Lack Thereof)? Why or Why Not?

Poverty is not a result of individual effort since people work every day of the week and still languish in poverty; they cannot pull themselves out of poverty if their wage income is low. A person's race can also influence poverty; black Americans live in areas where opportunities are scarce and; hence are more likely to experience poverty than white Americans.

The values parents pass to their children vary depending on class (class socialization). What are some examples of this? How does this influence where someone falls into the class hierarchy?

Upper-middle-class parents like to be involved in their children’s academic and social lives, like checking homework assignments. In contrast, working-class parents who have less time and money are more likely not to interfere with their children’s free time. This leads to the upper class being more financially conservative and socially progressive, while the lower class being financially progressive and conservative socially.

How Does Social Class Correlate to Educational Attainment? How Does This Perpetuate Class Inequality Across Generations?

Whether one attains quality education depends on the social class they are born into. (Tyler, Tom, et al., 2019). Children who live in wealthy neighborhoods will have access to better schools. In most elite colleges, the majority of the students are from high-income families. Some of these elite colleges have a policy of preference admission of “legacy” students, whose parents or relatives once attended the college. Prestigious colleges are often the stepping stones towards financial success and jobs later in life.

How Does Social Class Correlate to Health Outcomes in The United States?

Disease and mortality rates differ by social class, and upper-class Americans tend to live healthier and longer lives than lower-class Americans. (Siders, Anne R, 2019). The upper-class people can afford better health services, nutritious foods, and full-time white-collar jobs, which have less exposure to dangerous objects and lower accident risk at work.

Why Do Social Class Differences Matter? What Do They Tell Us?

Social class differences matter in that you can get advantages like better healthcare, quality education, better occupations, and better income, determining one's life path. Social class gives us a way of identifying the good and the bad in people and comprehending the repercussions of these advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Social Mobility? What Is Absolute and Relative Mobility?

Social mobility is the change in social position. Absolute mobility refers to the process in which a person moves up or down the social ladder in absolute terms; is a person better or worse than before? Relative mobility involves an individual moving up or down the social ladder against their peers.

How Does Social Mobility Differ by Race and Gender?

White Americans tend to experience more upward mobility than black Americans; Black Americans are more likely to drop to the lower class than White Americans. Women born at the bottom quantile experience downward mobility more than men, which may be caused by women likely heading a single-parent home.

America is described as "the land of opportunity" in terms of the social mobility that supposedly exists within American society. Does this description match the reality of social mobility trends in the U.S. and opportunities for social mobility? Why or why not?

No, since all groups did not benefit equally from the United States’ economic growth, their upward mobility is still determined by their education status, race, gender, or where they start in the income distribution. This makes it even harder to climb up the social mobility ladder.

Works Cited

Thrift, Erin, and Jeff Sugarman. “What Is Social Justice? Implications for Psychology.” Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, vol. 39, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1–17., doi:10.1037/teo0000097.

Siders, A. R. "Social Justice Implications of U.S. Managed Retreat Buyout Programs." Climatic Change, vol. 152, no. 2, 2018, pp. 239–257., doi:10.1007/s10584-018-2272-5.

Tyler, Tom R., et al. Social Justice in a Diverse Society, vol. 100, no. 2, 11 Mar. 2019, pp. 112–163., doi:10.4324/9780429306310.

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Social Structures Unveiled: Essays on Wealth, Class, and Mobility in the United States - Report Sample. (2024, Jan 04). Retrieved from

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