The American Class System - Essay Example

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The class system in America originates from the revolutionary period when slaves from Asia and Africa were brought to work in the country. …
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The American System The American System Introduction The system in America originates from the revolutionary period when slaves from Asia and Africa were brought to work in the country. Slaves received poor treatment in America despite their effort while working in the farms and in the construction of roads and railways. Africans were the main slaves, and they were forced to undertake tiring duties because the whites believed that this group was not prone to diseases, and they could survive the hardships (Adair, 2011). Asians and Indians also worked on the farms, and whenever they got sick, they were left to die. These treatments that immigrants receive in America led to the split of the citizen based on ethnic background. Presently, the citizens split themselves into groups based on the level of income, gender, race, education background, and parental status among others. Different groups view the class system differently, but the views of women, people of color, and those with nontraditional gender orientation are more significant; these groups suffer the consequences of the classification more than others. Women’s views about the Class system The views of women in the United States vary according to their color. The white women view the class system from the perspective of upper, middle, and low income levels (Kendall, 2011). The upper class consists of those who earn high incomes and own numerous resources. The middle class are those who earn income that is sufficient for their basic needs, but they control fewer resources than the upper class. Low-income groups, on the other hand, are those who earn little income such that they cannot satisfy their basic needs. White women associate themselves with the upper class because they are employed in well-paying jobs. This group considers black women to be lower income earners in the society (Adair, 2011). Black women, on the other hand, view the class system as based on color and ethnicity. These women view the class system as discriminatory because they are the victims, and as a result, they are employed mostly in low-paying jobs. Black women secure more jobs in the public sector, which compensates workers with low incomes (Kendall, 2011). Black women may have higher capabilities than the whites, but their color hinders them from owning resources and earning high incomes (Kendall, 2011). Women of other ethnicities that are not American also view their status as based on their ethnic background. This indicates that women other than whites view the class system as discriminatory on the basis of color and ethnic background. The whites judge women of color based on their ethnic background rather than their views, strengths, and abilities. As a result, these women accept lowly paid jobs, and they work for the white class in the society; despite their capabilities. Class views from the Perspective of People of Color People of color refer to men and women who are not white in the United States. These groups of people are referred to as the minority because their population is lower than that of the white people. People of color view the class system as based on race and geographical background. The fact that they are known as minority groups stimulates them to think that they are a minority in all other aspects (Adair, 2011). People of color recount their discrimination from the revolutionary period when they received harsh treatment. People of color take up lowly paid jobs, they live in regions associated with the poor, and they struggle to catch the attention of the whites. This group feels inferior because they do not enjoy the privilege of being white (Kendall, 2011). People of color in the United States view their characteristics as inborn, and they cannot escape from the class system because their color distinguishes them from whites. Views of Nontraditional Gender orientation This is the group of people who believe that marriage may be between same sexes instead of different genders. The group includes lesbian and gay associations in the society (Adair, 2011). The men and women in these groups believe that the class system is based on sexual characteristics. This is because the society holds varying views about lesbianism and gay, but most of the people disregard the practices of these groups. The gay and lesbian societies believe that they would not be discriminated against if they held the traditional sexual orientation beliefs. Men and women in this group believe that the social class would end if people judge them based on their capabilities; rather than actions (Adair, 2011). Sociological Conflicts The conflict theory of sociology that was developed by Karl Marx argues that the upper class controls the poor in the society. This theory states that social classification may end in the society if conflicts between upper and lower class decrease (Kendall, 2011). This is contrary to the theory of symbolism, which argues that social class may end when people change the meaning of symbols. The theory of symbolism states that social class exists because people attach meanings to symbols such as color. The hypothesis argues that when whites view the color of non whites positively, social classification may end (Kendall, 2011). The two theories give rise to conflicts when people of color are involved. This leads to confusion in the society, and social classification continues as a result. Conclusion The social classification in the United States is based on income, color, race, gender, and geographical origin. Different people have different views regarding the classification in the society. Women and people of color believe that the classes are based on color and race; while non-traditional sexual societies believe that it is based on sex. The classification ignores people’s thoughts, feelings, capabilities, and achievements. Sociological views of conflict and symbolism theories differ on the solution to end social classification. This may be the reason why the social classification does not end in the society. References Adair, D. (2011). Sport, race, and ethnicity: Narratives of difference and diversity. Morgantown, : Fitness Information Technology. Kendall, D. E. (2011). Framing class: Media representations of wealth and poverty in America. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Read More
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