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Flashcards in Chapter 8 Deck (14):

The Six-Class Model of Society

(1) Upper Class
(2) Upper Middle
(3) Lower Middle
(4) Working
(5) Working Poor
(6) Nonworking Poor


The American Class Structure

(1) Upper Class
(2) Upper Middle Class
(3) Middle-Middle Class
(4) The Lower Middle/Working Class
(5) The Lower Class


social class

a category of people who share similar opportunities, similar economic and vocational positions, similar lifestyles, and similar attitudes and behaviors
-most researchers feel that there are two dimensions to a social class: an economic dimension and a behavioral dimension


economic component

as an economic concept class refers to:
(1) what people know (education)
(2) what people do (occupation)
(3) what people have (income)
-the combination of these three variables is often referred to as socioeconomic status (SES)


social class

can be thought of as groupings in which people share not only similar occupations, incomes and levels of education but also similar lifestyles


lower class

-the working poor: working full time, but unable to lift themselves out of poverty
-the underclass: remain in poverty for long periods of time


current poverty line

takes the cost of a basic low cost nutritionally adequate diet, then multiples this number by three, because at the time that it was established, it was thought that food accounted for one third of a family's expenses
-using this formula, there has been little change in the poverty rate since the 1970s


class system of stratification

a system of stratification that includes several social classes and permits social mobility


upper class

a U.S. social class characterized by corporate ownership, elite schools, upper-echelon politics, and a higher educaiton


upper-middle class

a U.S. social class characterized by professional and technical occupations and college and graduate-school training


lower-middle class

a U.S. social class that compromises skilled and semiskilled laborers, factory employees, and other blue-collar workers


lower class

a U.S. social class characterized by unskilled labor, service work, farm labor, and little interest in education or high-school completion


functionalist theory

an explanation for the existence of social classes based on the idea that to attract talented individuals to each occupation, society must set up a system of differential rewards


conflict theory

an explanation that says social class arises and persists because those with more wealth and power use their means to enhance their own position at the expense of others