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The Black Middle Class - Essay Example

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Color is a major society phenomenon that has greatly influenced growth and community change in the United States. Urban sociology therefore needs to use different strategies to understand the new physical and social changes in the community. The changes have led to formation of three classes in the Black’s community: the black middle lower class, the black middle class and the elite middle class. The definition of these classes is based on their difference in income, whereby the black lower earn less than $50,000, the black middle class earns between $50,000 to 99,999 while the elite earn more than $100000. People of different classes associate themselves with activities that identify them to their classes, for example, the middle class blacks tend to embrace the fact that they are blacks but embrace the middle class white culture identifiers (Lacy, 11). The black middle class historically originated from the black people who worked as slaves in the whites homes. They therefore developed a desire to live as the whites, for example the way they interacted with other people, their profession and charisma. The banishment of slavery led to the blacks living a life that was dependent on the professionalism of the whites. If they needed services, such as hospital services, they had to look for white doctors. These blacks, aware of their difference from the whites, acquired skills to equip their black society since they feared that the low class blacks would interact with the whites in the wrong manner. There was therefore an existing gap between the low class blacks and those in the higher class due to the professionalism. Although they were aware of their limiting black color in the society, they embraced practices of the whites. They interacted amongst themselves but tried to fit in the whites social circles. There was an increase in the number of blacks in the white schools and the white dominated organizations (Lacy, 19). The middle class blacks have therefore embraced some identities in order to fit in the society. They practice classical assimilation in order to prevent discrimination and creation of equal employment opportunities. Two of the construction sites they embrace are schooling in the white’s schools and shopping conduct. The blacks in middle class embrace Boundary-work for each construction site. Boundary-work is the strategies they embrace to set themselves apart from their fellow blacks. These strategies draw them closer to the whites of the middle class and mark a boundary that differentiates them from the blacks of the lower class. They are symbolic in how the group conducts itself around in the society and the interaction with the whites and the blacks. The boundary-work for these blacks’ choice of schools is class-based. They show that they have enough income to educate their children it the whites’ institutions, hence their focus is the middle class title. Assimilation sets them apart from the other groups due to their need of getting the whites education. This is also due to their need of their children to interact with the white world. For the shopping conduct construction site, the boundary work is exclusionary. They strive at showing the society that they stand out from the rest of the blacks and tend to prove the blacks stereotypes, of rudeness and shop lifting, wrong. The middle class blacks tend to introduce their children to the white’s world in order to preve ...Show more
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Summary

This paper discusses the various classes that exist among the blacks. It gives a brief origin of the black middle class and states two of the construction sites they have built around themselves with time…
The Black Middle Class
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