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Class System in Australia - Essay Example

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Class System in Australia There has been considerable interest in different classes and class systems especially in sociology. Indeed, social commentators and the Australian public have consistently shown their interest in class systems and relations (Bryson & Winter, 1999, p.14)…
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Class System in Australia
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Download file to see previous pages However, there is no definite meaning of class. There is so much literature covering the topic of class, or the lack of, but it seems as though class continuously shows itself between groups over a lifecycle (Plummer, 2010, p. 166). Class is a significant and central topic in history, anthropology, political, and sociological theories and carries the description of a position in a system of structured inequality based on the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and status (Germov and Poole, 2011, p. 510). A class is divides the society alongside religion, ethnic group, gender, and social outlook. In fact, people in the same class share the same means of production and relationships. Moreover, a class adopts a pure or a non-pure classification. An open class promotes social mobility while factors like migration, immigration, and democratic principles are significant in a class system. This paper will seek to confirm if Australia have a class system and discuss the social forces that shape perceptions and realities about class in Australia. In doing this, I will focus on the changing nature of work, the changing basis of the individuals’ sense of identity, and the changing nature of politics and the way political parties are less closely associated with class identity and class struggle. It is relatively hard to draw a clear definition of class conflict In Australia. The competing groups are on the struggle because they have conflicting core values. As such, these classes adopt the Cosmopolitan (middle class) and the parochial (ordinary Australians) references. According to the most recognized theorists in sociology, Karl Marx and Max Weber, there is no pure social class in Australia, however, there are social groups or stratifications present in the Australian community. Social stratification refers to the ranking of people in hierarchy in a given society. Social stratification is a function of individual differences that persists over generations. However, although social stratification is universal, it has some elements of inequality. It also manifests variability and a defined societal belief. One has the ability to move from one hierarchy to another depending on their financial muscle that distinguishes the hierarchy levels. Changes in nature of work, sense of identity and nature of politics accords this. Class relations involve interests, values and attitudes (Bryson and Winter, 1999, p.18). To understand class, or the lack of it in Australia, various social forces that shape our perceptions and realities surface. Three important points of consideration include the fluctuating nature of work in Australia, the way an individual’s sense of identity has altered and the changing nature of politics in Australia. In Australia, you can refer to the majority of the population as middle class or cosmopolitans. However, in Australia there is social mobility where people with different earnings respect one another and intermingle freely thus the challenge of defining middle class (Matthews, 2007, p.1). Similarly, in Australia, you cannot classify people by their ascent. This is because all the Australians have the same history of convicts who spoke the lingo of the poor English. Hence, the rich and the poor adapted to harsh conditions, same language, farming, and rural life with no roads regardless of their wealth. It was thus hard to draw a line between their classes. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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