Weber defined social class as a category of men who essentially shared the same consumption patterns. Weber claimed that every society was divided into different social classes. Weber mentioned how status and class sometimes conflicted. To further elaborate on this thought, I can describe an example that demonstrates how status and class may conflict. There is a man who was of high class and status in his country and the society in which he lived in. Due to the relocation to a different society, this man now no longer has the financial prosperity he once had. Despite the mans current situation, the man still attempts to maintain his former status. This is an example of when status and class can conflict.
The video, status anxiety, was a very interesting and informative clip. The video spoke about the same class principles in America that Weber addressed. The video spoke about how despite the vast wealth that this generation has in comparison to previous generations, the level of happiness and satisfaction is still not there for people. In the video, it was said how in society people only envy those that they feel equal to. For instance we never compare ourselves to a millionaire like Bill Gates or a big celebrity like Tom Cruise, because we are sure that people like that are in much higher class and status. However we consider out neighbors and friends and colleagues to be equal to us and once they are doing financially better than us, we feel anxious. In 1970, 3% of Americans found a second television in their homes to be necessary, today 75% of people find it necessary. It is evident how much peoples desires and demands have significantly risen over the course of a short time. There is a story I thought of when reading Max Weber’s theory on social class and watching the video clip, Status anxiety.
The story is as follows, there was a millionaire who went to an Island for a vacation. In the island he came across a group of local people who were fishing, swimming, drinking etc. He approached these people and questioned them as to why they were here living a simple life. He encouraged them to join with him and he could make them millions and they would be able to achieve many financial accomplishments. The local people after hearing the millionaire speak, asked him very simply, what do we do after doing all of this. The millionaire responds by saying that well you can be like me and enjoy yourself in this island. That is when the local people looked at one another smiled and said well Mr. Millionaire, that is exactly what we are doing right now. I think the point of this story is very clear. The main point is how happy, content, and satisfied you are. If you are an individual who is happy and satisfied then you have accepted you’re class and status in society and have embraced it.