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Consequences of Social Class
Transcript of Consequences of Social Class
Social classes limit the access to the medical attention that people need. Upper-class citizens can afford medical care for themselves and their families, while lower-class families struggle to, or cannot, afford medical attention (Henslin, 2013).
Consequences to Physical Health
1. Henslin, M., J. (2013). Essentials of Sociology: a down-to-earth approach. Tenth edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Inc.
2. "Family Life." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. <https://www.boundless.com/sociology/boundless-open-textbook/stratification-inequality-and-social-class-in-the-u-s/consequences-of-social-class/family-life/>.
3. "Social Status Has Measurable Effect on Health | Common Dreams." Common Dreams. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. <https://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/29-1>.
What are the consequences?
The classes go, from highest to lowest, as follows:
1. Capitalist (1%)
2. Upper Middle (15%)
3. Lower Middle (34%)
4. Working (30%)
5. Working Poor (15%)
6. Underclass (5%)
Classes and Consequences
What This Means
The three big ideas which define social class are:
The Three Big Ideas
What is Social Class?
Weber described social class as: "... A large group of people who rank close to one another in property (wealth), power, and prestige." (Henslin, 2013).
Social Class as Defined by Weber is...
While all citizens are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law, social class plays a major role in arrest rates and how arrests are dealt with.
Consequences to Criminal Justice
Social classes have a great influence on the quality of family lives
Consequences on Family Life
What does that have to do with social class?
Marx described social class as: "One of two groups: capitalists who own the means of production or workers who sell their labor." (Henslin, 2013).
Social Class as Defined by Marx is...
Consequences of Social Class
Marx said that if you own production, you are a bourgeoisie, and if you do not, you are a proletariat (Henslin, 2013).
Property can be things such as land, buildings, cars, animals, furniture, etc, and that property is directly related to a person's wealth. Sociologists define a person's "wealth" as the total value of someone's property minus their debts (Henslin, 2013),
Power is defined as "the ability to get your way despite resistance." This term goes hand-in-hand with the idea of the "power elite" which is the term used to describe the people who make the big decisions in United States society (Henslin, 2013).
Prestige is defined as how much something is respected or how highly it is regarded. An example of something which would have prestige is a job. Things which make a job have prestige are things like higher pay, requires a lot of education, more independence, etc (Henslin 2013).
Property has to do with social class in the United States because it is something that everyone is supposed to have, and yet majority of the land in the US is owned by the wealthy citizens. 10% of America's wealthiest citizens own 75% of America's wealth, and 1% of America's wealthiest citizens own 36% of the wealth (Henslin, 2013).
Power is an idea directly related to an idea called "The Democratic Facade". This idea makes the American citizens feel as though they are involved in the major decisions made, when in reality the government, along with big businesses, make the major decisions regardless of the lower class opinion (Henslin, 2013).
Prestige has a lot to do with social class because it is the way in which people show others what class they are in. If you are in the higher class you show that off with luxurious things, show people of your class and other classes know that you have a high social ranking. Prestige also makes people in lower classes behave as if they are in the higher classes, buying things which are impractical for their own social status just to seem to belong to a higher rank (Henslin, 2013).
Why is this bad?
The problem with social classes is that it presents an economic divide amongst the people, there are extreme rich and there are the extreme poor. As you climb down on the social ladder, your level of education, the amount of money you make, and your occupation drops. And there are higher numbers of lower class citizens than there are of higher class ones, with 1% of the population being Capitalists, and 5% being underclass. The most frequent class level is Lower Middle Class, at 34% (Henslin, 2013).
Lower-class families have higher rates of divorce, usually because there is more financial stress than upper-class marriages (Family Life, 2014).
Areas with more lower class families tend to have issues with overpopulation, as there is less funds to access birth control and safe sex education (Family Life, 2014).
Social Class also plays a role in how parents raise their children: children raised in lower class homes are often victims to physical punishment, while middle-to-upper-class families typically use verbal persuasion (Henslin, 2013).
As you move down the social class ladder, the level of health decreases- but why?
Medical emergencies, or any emergency, is a struggle and major set back for lower-class citizens, while the same emergency may be a hiccup for an upper-class citizen. The level of stress that setbacks place on lower-class citizens take away from their quality of life and their overall health (Common Dreams, 2003).
Social classes shape the lifestyles that people live. Lower-class citizens are more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products, as well as eat poorly and exercise less frequently than upper-class citizens. These lifestyle choices wear down their bodies and lessen the level of physical health.
Members of different classes tend to commit different types of crimes: upper-class citizens commit more "white-collar crimes" such as embezzlement, and lower-class citizens commit more "street-crimes" like robbery (Henslin, 2014).
Crimes committed by upper-class citizens are typically dealt with outside of a courtroom, because the person who committed the crime has enough money to pay his/her way out of it. Lower-class citizens are more likely to be held to justice in a court room, and have a higher chance of going to jail for their crimes (Henslin, 2013).
Street crimes are typically committed in lower-class areas, so citizens of those areas are more likely to be the victims of the crimes. People who live in lower-class areas have higher chances of being robbed, assaulted, murdered, etc. than those who live in higher-class areas (Henslin, 2013).