Social Class Essay

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All societies have developed specific ways of carrying out basic functions--economic production, government, family life, religion, and so on. Because of biological life cycle, full-fledged members of any society must teach the young how to carry on the social patterns of that society if cultural continuity and social order are to be maintained.


Each of these relationships is culturally defined, thus anyone occupying a position is expected to behave in culturally defined ways toward anyone occupying any of the related positions. When a society becomes highly differentiated so that different adult males and adult females are found carrying out a large number of rather different roles, the task becomes much more complex.
Modern theories of class divisions view occupations as the basis of classification within the stratification system. Americans actually view different occupations as superior and inferior to one another. Thompson & Hickey (2005) identify five social classes: upper class, upper-middle class, lower middle class, working class, lower class. This has been demonstrated in countless ways in sociological research. It is thus seen as a means of attainment of social level rather than as a direct measure of social level. It is one of the important links between one's origin and one's destination, not only an influence in determining one's destination, but also influenced by one's origin. A major concern will be to investigate the degree to which one's educational level is a function of one's origin. ...
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