Social Class Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1904 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology

Social Class

The term class and particularly social class continue to be and will continue to be a cause of enormous uncertainty in social science. (Headrick, 1) The writings reveal meager conformity regarding what comprises class. Classes continue to be described by ownership of property, status or responsibility, position class, self-esteem or through intermarriage. (Rummel, 47) Simkhovitch describes classes as categories of people having identical sources of earnings. They are aware of the related or equal monetary benefits. According to him a social class is a structured group of persons having the same economic attainment. This pattern is akin to Marxism, since it regards class as a pressure group. L. Von Stein breaks the classes of society into ownership classes, legal classes and honorific classes. Honorific classes have been categorized by a lot of present day establishments with social classes.

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Marshall distinguishes class from social class by way of identifying class as producing unit and social class as utilizing unit. Veblen's renowned hypothesis of the latest 'chain of command' structure of status is related to conspicuous consumption rather than related to the mechanism of production as propounded by Marx. A new textbook in sociology, on the other hand mentions that a social class is an economic category whose participants are homogenous in their associations in the method of achieving a source of livelihood. Not many philosophers continue to subscribe to this opinion; Mombert, Speier, Ginsberg, MacIver, Mess, Vablen and a lot of others have openly or obliquely disproved it. (Headrick, 2) Max Weber integrates the monetary facet and the socio-psychological causes in building of prestige groups. He classifies: having financial sources, the outer level of lifestyle, cultural and prospects for enjoying leisure. As a concern of decreasing significance, the sequence ought to be inverted. The first should be societal agreements, followed by conspicuous consumption and finally accumulation of riches.

Term Paper on Social Class Assignment

As a lot of writers have been using the expression professional hierarchy and social hierarchy in the same context, a correlation should exist between the two hierarchies. Absolute similarity has been dishonored by the philosophers. (Headrick, 3-4). Bucher fathomed the proximal correlation between the position of the person and his preference of a particular job. Bucher Schmoller reasoned that the social classes were a consequence of division of labor and the hoarding of riches. However, Bucher responded that the disparities in wealth and earnings are not an outcome of division of labor, but they are its main reason. In an endeavor to substantiate this, Bucher refers to those individuals placed in some social hierarchy marry among themselves and possess proximal social relationships. Bougle ascribes to socialist hypothesis, specifically; the principle that division of labor resulted in formation of classes and also social occupation is an outcome of technical occupation. (Headrick, p.5)

Fairchild records profession as one in which he has complete liberty to prefer from. A complete description of this hypothesis will perhaps divulge that the common man might be having a broad array of preferences in respect of profession but not in respect to the position of the profession preferred. It is true that the professional scope of the common man is strictly restricted by his class position. The social class explanation of professional selection as opposed to the economic explanation is mentioned concisely by Bougle: "instead of owning allegiance to a specific class due to joining of a specific profession, one joins a specific profession owing to allegiance to a specific class. Social status dictates the delegation of occupations." (Headrick, 25) While indicating the social classes, several of the more cautious authors do not refer directly to professions. MacIver declares firmly: "Difference in classes depends in the final analysis not on the occupation but on the position." (Headrick, 25)

Mombert does not consider groups based on profession from his classification of social class that he associates with class. One can mention with ease that the influence of the controlling body is presently leaned on those who distinguish between professional groups and social position categories. Rene Worms makes a firm declaration: Individuals should not get baffled with the distinctions among classes with occupations. A profession comprises the set of people whose functioning generates a particular outcome, regardless of their position on the social hierarchy. Tawney refutes the hypothesis of analogous states between the social obligations and the social classes in these expressions: The class system sheds off its veneer and formal wear and puts in attire suitable to the need of the season. Gradually, this status is being acknowledged in social science. (Headrick, 25-27)

Ginsberg condemned the managerial approach to the concept of class. Classes are not considered by him as associational and do not deserve to be explained in terms of goals and objectives. He symbolizes the social class awareness as the awareness of kind, sense of equality and harmony, and a sense of superiority. This emphasis has a different dimension and signifies to another environment. This however, is not considered as the socialist solution for winning over the class struggle. This is only an explanation of the social class structure. This is regarded as another type of class and another type of class awareness. Marshall emphasized it categorically as the Social Class has its root on the equality of thoughts rather than of identity of interests. The Class awareness therefore is to be supplemented with the facts of the ambition to rise or to facilitate their children to rise. This has given rise to think that the unfaithfulness is also an attribute of Social Class.

The general mass according to Sumner constitutes the basis of the Social structure, conventional living with long held traditions, habits combined with the reformations over time. They are keen on acceptance of their group traditions and not inclined towards revolutionary changes in the social order. Thus the social class organization thus is forced to tolerate the political disturbances rather than creating them. There are other elements that give rise to the political tremor, political discord and class disagreement. However, there is a close connection between the class conflict and class awareness in view of the political and industrial environment and the social class awareness of family rivalry, accommodation and collaboration. (Headrick, 28, 29)

The readers often find the differentiation of the terms more confusing more they desire to have the use of the terms to be stable. However, this is not the generalization. Every writer attempts to immerse in his own social world with differentiations and attempt to divide the people into the different social classes. As a result of this there are varied types of theories and different approaches in this respect. With advancement of social theory more attention are being provided to these concepts. Gieger a political expert on class theory surveyed various descriptions of Classes for use by the readers prior to putting forth of his own and derived that the sections of the populations are not classes or status groups. The persons going to form a different layer are obtained solely by themselves. Obtaining the concept of stratum is seen through autogenetic and subsumptive methodologies. Even though this description is not considered as comprehensive, still it is regarded as good beginning for intensive understanding of the concept of social class. (Headrick, 56)

An effort has been made by Max Weber to differentiate between the class as a kind and the social class. His emphasis is on the personal choice aspects of the creation and continuance of the social classes. There exists different classes divided on the basis of ownership, occupational and social classes itself. The social classes are achieved through the combination of all those class positions, which enables personal interaction and its continuance generation after generation. The description indicates that the social classes are formed out of families and not of individuals and a fraction of the social class inflexibility or evolutionary continuity is quite essential to the construction of a real social class and that the social class depends upon a foundation of isolation on the basis of the inherent values of the participating members. The conservative personal interaction becomes the trademark of the social class. (Headrick, 56) By birth individuals are stigmatized to a certain class stratum, according to Schumpeter. A comprehensive and sufficient description of the social class therefore, is felt essential. According to Ross, the social stratum is determined by a type of inheritance of occupation, prestige, office, authority, property etc. On the one side and that of lower stratum, lack of liberty and disability on another side. (Headrick, 58) meticulous study and distinction of different approaches to the definition of social class indicates various conclusions. A social class is indicated to be combination of various homogeneous social-status groups that offers enough liberty to a family to be included in one leaving the other freely. Such families form smaller groups that provided enough scope to them to acknowledge each other fully in terms of equal status and that associate them continuously in the sphere of eating, playing and gossiping. It is only through this… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Social Class" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Social Class.  (2004, October 11).  Retrieved May 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Social Class."  11 October 2004.  Web.  26 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Social Class."  October 11, 2004.  Accessed May 26, 2020.