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Research English - Essay Example

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Social Classification in America Name of Course Your Name Name of your University Introduction This paper examines the concept of social classification in the United States of America. It begins by looking at a primary definition of the concept. It goes further to draw into the idea of social stratification put forward by the renowned sociologists, Thompson & Hickey…
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Research English
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Download file to see previous pages According to Horvat et al (2003 p319) “ classification involves the grouping of people in society on the basis of the collective features of individuals...” This implies that social classification involves the grouping of individuals in society based on common social features. Based on these characteristics, social scientists and other interest groups in the society can identify similar characteristics and make generalizations which can help in the improvement of lives in the society. There are many possible ways of classifying people in the society. Historically, the most popular basis for the classification of people in the American society has been race (Thompson & Hickey, 2005). In other words, people were grouped into various categories based on their skin color and race-related features like facial features, hair types amongst others. For generations, this remained convenient because the skin/racial features offered the most conspicuous method of identifying individuals uniquely. However, in the 21st Century, the classification of people into groups based on their racial features has been found to be unconstitutional, unfair, illegal and unacceptable. Due to this development, people are classified into groups in ways that are legally acceptable. This enables interest groups to study and get a good understanding of general trends in the American society and provide better ways of improving the livelihoods of individuals through collective methods. There are numerous ways that individuals are classified in America. The different methods of classification of social groups is based on a number of criterion. Schooler & Schoenbach (1994) identify that the most popular basis for the classification of individuals into groups in America are jobs, income, education, wealth and social networks. People can be classified on the basis of the rank they occupy in the workplace. This is based on the logic that individuals with the same rank have certain unique behaviors, trends, habits, attitudes to job security and preferences. Thus operatives in businesses in America and management can be grouped in separate categories since their behavior and tastes are likely to be fashioned along similar lines since they are affected by the same circumstances most of the time. People can also be categorized on the basis of the level of income they make. This is because income is likely to affect the spending habits and preferences of individuals and the collective picture can give room for some generalizations. For instance people earning just enough to pay for basic necessities are likely to behave in a way that is different from people who earn enough to cover their basic needs, security needs and also get some excess to save and invest. In practical terms, whilst the first group will focus on survival matters, the second group might be considering better ways of spending their money and more fruitful investment activities that will bring them more returns. This shows that there is a clear distinction between the two groups. The educational and wealth level of each group of people also determines their social classification. This is because education often affects the mental scope of individuals and also affects the earning power of individuals. Thus people can be grouped on the bases of their education and wealth. Also, the social network a person belongs to is important ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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