Blog #2: So You Think Your Middle Class, Ey?

imageHave you ever sat down and honestly asked yourself, what social class you consider yourself? Odds are unless you own a Dunkin Donuts or work down on Wall Street, you make up America’s working class. A whopping fourty-seven percent of Americans are working class doing jobs consisting of retail sales, clerical, and low skill manual labor. These are honest, lower-income, white-collar jobs.

            So what about America’s middle class? Interestingly enough, everyone wants to be part of America’s middle class however, our middle class only accounts for about fourty-two percent of our population. Most jobs offered to the middle class require higher levels of education, and most of the time a bachelors degree just doesn’t suffice. We’re talking about a Masters degree or even a doctorate just to rest in America’s middle class.
          Ultimately what does all of this have to do with famous sociologist Weber? Good question! Weber thought of class as self-identification, meaning that every individual can locate themselves within a class structure. Instead of a social class being assigned to each and every individual, the individual can decide what social he/she is in depending on their particular relations or attributes, such as wealth or occupation.
            Think your part of America’s Upper Class? Your odds are pretty slim here. To be exact, only 2.5 percent of Americans make up America’s Upper Class. Most European nations, such as Germany, split their wealth in somewhat of an even fashion depicting about twenty-or-so percent  of wealth within each of their five social classes. In America, we can narrow down our 2.5 percent of our wealthiest Americans, to the top one percent of our wealthiest Americans and within this one percent, they own about 37.1 percent of private wealth within the United States. Yes, you heard that right! Less than one percent of our country encompasses slightly over thirty-seven percent of our country’s wealth.
            Fundamentally, Weber brings an interesting, converse argument to the table. Instead of living in a society where socialism rules at its finest and the government assigns you your job, salary, and social class with it, you are free to live in America’s wonderful capitalist society in which you can identify your own class, using what he calls class as self-identification. So the next time some one asks you what you consider your social class to be, remember Weber, and freely define your social class.

2 responses to “Blog #2: So You Think Your Middle Class, Ey?

  1. I totally agree with this. some of us think that our social class is greater than what it is. we believe that because we can go out and splurge once in a while we are living pretty good. when in fact what we splurge with we could really be using to spend on bills that we owe. unlike the wealthy class they are able to do both without worries in the end (normally).

  2. I certainly have asked myself that question plenty of times. Unfortunately, I’m a student trying to obtain my degree in the field of teaching wich will automatically leave me in the lower to working class. Honest jobs like you have stated pretty much don’t get the person bumped up to the upper class. Unless they have inhereted a large sump of money or won the lotto.

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