Social Class in America | A History from to the Present
The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, In a new series of Social Mobility Memos, we will examine the state of the The first task, however, is to get a sense of what's going on. . But class is not just about money . In itself, the relationship between upper middle class status and. Many Americans believe in a simple three-class model that includes the rich or upper Social class refers to the the grouping of individuals in a stratified hierarchy based on position in the social hierarchy and is determined by their income, wealth, . Social class has both a cause and an effect relationship with family. The Economics of Cotton · African Americans in the Antebellum United States · Wealth and Culture in the South · The Filibuster and the Quest for New Slave.
They are able to develop a distinctive style of life based on extensive cultural pursuits and leisure activities, to exert a considerable influence on economic policy and political decisions, and to procure for their children a superior education and economic opportunities that help to perpetuate family wealth.
Historically, the principal contrast with the upper class in industrial societies was provided by the working class, which traditionally consisted of manual workers in the extractive and manufacturing industries. There are considerable differences within the working class, however, and a useful distinction exists between skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled workers that broadly corresponds to differences in income level. What characterizes the working class as a whole is a lack of property and dependence on wages.
Associated with this condition are relatively low living standardsrestricted access to higher educationand exclusion, to a large extent, from the spheres of important decision making. Aside from the dramatic rise in living standards that occurred in the decades after World War IIthe main factor affecting the working class since the midth century was a general shift in the economy from manufacturing to service industries, which reduced the number of manual workers.
In the United States and Britainamong other countries, the decline in traditional manufacturing industries left a core of chronically unemployed persons isolated from the economic mainstream in decaying urban areas.
This new urban substratum of permanently jobless and underemployed workers has been termed the underclass by some sociologists. The middle class may be said to include the middle and upper levels of clerical workers, those engaged in technical and professional occupations, supervisors and managers, and such self-employed workers as small-scale shopkeepers, businesspersons, and farmers.
At the top—wealthy professionals or managers in large corporations—the middle class merges into the upper class, while at the bottom—routine and poorly paid jobs in sales, distribution, and transport—it merges into the working class. It was a goal of prosperous merchants, lawyers and doctors in Charleston to buy lands and retire as country gentlemen. Charleston supported diverse ethnic groups, including Germans and French, as well as a free black population. Beyond the plantations yeoman farmers operated small holdings, sometimes with a slave or two.
Missionaries commented on their lack of religiosity. The plantation areas of Virginia were integrated into the vestry system of the established Anglican church. By the s a strong tendency to emulate British society was apparent in the plantation regions.
However the growing strength of republicanism created a political ethos that resisted imperial taxation without local consent.
Social class in American history
Led by Virginia, the Southern Colonies resisted the British policy of taxation without representation, and supported the American Revolution, sending wealthy planters George Washington to lead the armies and Thomas Jefferson to declare the principles of independence, as well as thousands of ordinary folk to man the armies. The frontier itself was egalitarian as land ownership was available to all free men.
Second deference faded away as frontiersmen treated each other as equals. Third the frontiersmen forced new levels of political equality through Jefferson Democracy and Jacksonian Democracy. Finally the frontier provided a safety valve whereby discontented easterners could find their own lands. Historians now agree that few Eastern city people went to the frontier, but many farmers did so; before the America had few cities, which were mostly small, and the vast majority of people were rural.
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According to the Turner modelthe social structure of the East was similar to the familiar European class-based structure, while the West increasingly became more socially, politically, and economically equal. Hundley who in had defined the Southern middle class as "farmers, planters, traders, storekeepers, artisans, mechanics, a few manufacturers, a goodly number of country school teachers, and a host of half-fledged country lawyersdoctors, parsons, and the like.
Owsley argued that Southern society was not dominated by planter aristocrats, but that yeoman farmers played a significant role in it.
The religion, language, and culture of these common people created a democratic "plain folk" society. Stephanie McCurry argues, yeomen were clearly distinguished from poor whites by their ownership of land real property. Yeomen were "self-working farmers," distinct from the elite because they worked their land themselves alongside any slaves they owned. Ownership of large numbers of slaves made the work of planters completely managerial.
Phillips in the early 20th century. He argued that plantation slavery was a school for civilizing the blacks, albeit one that produced no graduates. The program administered by the U.
Colonial Social Classes : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site
Department of Labor offers free of charge education and vocational training for 16 to 24 year olds. SinceJob Corps has served more than 2 million young Americans. Moynihan concludes that poverty lies deeply rooted within the culture due to the absence of nuclear families, more specifically the absence of fathers.
The arrangements of society facilitate such leadership and reward it. Inevitably stuck in a matriarchal structure, African American males start at a disadvantage in a society that rewards success based on income and wealth.
Social class in American history - Wikipedia
Moynihan stressed that without equal access to jobs and the means to contribute meaningful support to a family, African American males would become systematically alienated from their roles as husbands and fathers, increasing divorce rates that had already become a trend early in the s.
African American males would inevitably remain stuck in the cycle of poverty. Homelessness in the s s PSA for Homelessness in America Throughout the 80s, the federal government determined that somewhere betweentoAmerican citizens were then homeless.
This extreme decrease created an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of the low-income population, leaving thousands of Americans homeless. The Act was to provide federal aid directly to homeless shelter programs.
It also provided transportation for homeless school children to get to their school of origin regardless of their location in the city at the time.
This act still exists today and remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of the homeless community. Although the program was a success, it still left minority groups in perpetual poverty with rising crime, lower education standards, rising illegitimacy and a glass ceiling beyond which the poor seemed unable to break through.
His book revealed that the welfare state so carefully built up in the s and s created a system of disincentives for people to better their own lives. By providing aid to single parents living in poverty, Murray argued that the government was encouraging pre-marital sex and as a result single parenthood became more attractive because the government would pay for that lifestyle.
He further argued that by doling out dollars at a rate that could not be matched by the economy, the system encouraged the poor to stay home, lowered the value of education, and lowered the punishment for criminal activity.Social Class & Poverty in the US: Crash Course Sociology #24